Google Stadia is scheduled to launch on November 19, and it begins with a dozen games already; not a big load, but all of these are quite attractive. The essential thing about Google Stadia is its cloud computing solutions that let you play heavy games even on weak hardware, with no need to sell a kidney for a console or a powerful PC. All it really requires is a strong, fast Internet connection.
There’s even more to Stadia. It can be reached from any PC, from TV with Google Chromecast, or from Pixel smartphones. More than that: soon it will be supported by most Android devices (it’s not clear about Apple devices, as Apple Arcade may tolerate no rival). Playing console games on a mobile device is an impressive idea.
Though there are over 40 games scheduled for release on Google Stadia, the initial offer only includes 12 titles. The rest will come in early 2020, by the time Google Stadia is better tested and established as an option for gamers. Unlike subscription-based services like the aforementioned Arcade, the games on Stadia are to be purchased separately. On the other hand, your purchases will remain, no matter if you’re on Stadia Base or on the paid Stadia Pro ($10/month).
If you have preordered Stadia Premiere Edition, you will be able to try it right on November 19. The edition includes everything for the best gaming experience, namely a Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra dongle, a licensed copy of Destiny 2, and a three-month subscription for Stadia Pro, with a buddy pass you can present to a friend. As for Stadia Base, it starts in February 2020 and brings 1080p video at 60 FPS. But the paid option lets you stream games in 4K, and, in addition, each month, a paid subscriber can add a free game to the collection.
So, here are the games that Google Stadia offers right from the start.
Red Dead Redemption II
This game by Rockstar Games defined the 2018, becoming the Game of the Year. It’s a “Wild West version of GTA”, telling the story of a gangster travelling the West, which is unique with its detailed simulation and realistic world. Everything matters, from guns and food to your relationships with people and horses. So far, the game has been released for PC in a buggy version only, so Google Stadia is the only method to grab its updates quickly.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
This game was chosen for testing Google Stadia in 2018, and now it’s logically among the first. This time the story goes ancient, deep into the war between Sparta and Athens, and you can play for a mercenary who fights his (or her, depending on who you select) own war against the war itself. The game looks great and feels more RPG than previous versions, though there are too much paid extras you’ll need.
Destiny 2: The Collection
Destiny 2 by Bungie is an unusual RPG full of inevitable pathos and mystics, yet very enchanting. It’s a hybrid of fantasy and science fiction, telling the story of the greatest stand on the Earth after a failed attempt to spread across space. Now there are both aliens around and mystical powers of darkness and light splitting the Earth. You are here to fight this war along with other players, as the game takes place online, like the first installment.
Just Dance 2020
Just Dance 2020 is yet another installment of the popular rhythm-and-dance game by Ubisoft. If someone says gaming is all about sitting in front of your TV or PC, prove them wrong with this game. It requires you to dance to the rhythm, repeating the example on the screen. The game rates your moves with the camera you have pointed at yourself; probably, you’ll need to use your phone with the companion app to grant the best view. The version of 2020 features enhanced graphics, better move recognition, and a load of new and old pop hits to dance to.
Kine by Chump Squad is a musical puzzle game. Meet the three machines that want to be musicians, and help them through the puzzle city, using the unique abilities of each of them. The game is soon to be available on Steam too, and its system requirements are rather low, but if you avoid Steam, or don’t want to have any games locally, having it on Stadia is a better move.
Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 by NetherRealm Studios is the latest installment of the famous arena. The familiar characters, from Raiden and Johnny Cage to Kronika, Liu Kang and Shao Kahn. The timeline is so crooked that sometimes your fighters will have to combat another version of themselves, younger or older. But the idea is unchanged: it’s a 2D arena with now 3D characters who brutally fight until the bloody end. By the way, there are now Fatal Blow and Krushing Blow, in addition to Fatality.
Thumper is a rhythm-based arcade by Drool where timing is everything. You need to guide your character, a strange beetle, through a strange world, by hitting the obstacles to the rhythm. The gameplay combines with the music, and along with bright neon colors, it makes a very psychedelic experience. Again, the system requirements are quite moderate, but Stadia is the best way to play Thumper on multiple devices or save your local storage.
Samurai Shodown is a famous series by SNK. This installment is the latest in the series that lasts since 1993, and it offers the familiar mechanics: 3D characters fight on a 2D plain terrain (just like in the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 11). The setting exploits traditional Japanese mystic myths along with samurai tales, making them into a heroic legend. If you have missed all the previous games of the series, start with this one, as it’s effectively a reboot.
"Gylt †" by Tequila Works is so far the only exclusive title for Google Stadia. It’s a puzzle-based horror that references lots of horror movies, but it also has some originality. Our reality meets the half-destroyed world of nightmares, where the wild things dwell, and if you want to solve the mystery of lost children, you have to enter it. Some compare it to Alan Wake due to third-person perspective and a flashlight as the main weapon of the heroine.
It’s the reboot version developed by Crystal Dynamics in 2013 and critically acclaimed, giving another birth to the series. In this third-person action Lara Croft, still a young archaeologist, enters the mysterious island near Japan to explore the forgotten kingdom of Yamatai. This installment is considered one of the best in the entire Lara Croft’s history, and, despite being six years old, is still playable.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The sequel of the previous title, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a story of the search for the lost town of Kitezh in Russia. Yet Lara will have to visit Syria, encounter a paramilitary organization of the keepers, and convince the world the incredible is real. This is a well-received sequel that adds tragedy and personal experience into the story.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The final installment in the prequel trilogy takes you to Mexico where Lara is searching for – what you might think – the lost city of Paititi. Preserving the basic mechanics, this game takes interactive environment to the new level, making Lara a real master of using every jungle thing as a weapon, a transport, or a tool. This one is full of side quests and rich in narrative, though the gameplay is somewhat repetitive. The fans forgive, though.
More to Come
Along with these games, there will be more adapted for Stadia even before the Base subscription becomes available. It will feature rebooted classics like Doom or Wolfenstein: Youngblood, as well as famous titles of the latest time, like Metro: Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Avengers, and so on.
The pricing won’t be different from that of physical consoles. That is, the game that costs $60 in PlayStation or Xbox version, will be available for about the same price on Stadia. Yet it may be the only way to get the game running on PC (like with, say, Red Dead Redemption II).
Your Opinion, Please!
What do you think of these? Would you rather buy games for Stadia, or for traditional consoles? Or will you opt for Pro to have your monthly free games? Have you preordered the Premiere Edition? And what do you think of it after trying? Drop your comment if you please.