BY ALEX WAKEFORD
The international impact of COVID-19 cannot be understated. Industry events have been cancelled and increasing numbers of countries are enforcing social distancing, isolation, and quarantine measures to ensure the safety of all.
With more time spent indoors, it turns out that we’ve all got a lot more time to actually play games now.
Here are five titles that we recommend clearing from your backlog – it’s your civic duty!
NO MAN’S SKY (2016)
Almost four years on, No Man’s Sky is still receiving massive free support updates from Hello Games. Most recently, the ‘Living Ships’ update introduced space-faring vessels players can ‘grow’ to traverse the universe.
There are numerous reasons to play No Man’s Sky, as there are numerous things to do. Perhaps you want to pursue the main story to the centre of the galaxy, do missions for the various factions, build bases and homes, catalogue the creatures you find, play with other people, max out your journey milestones, find rare items, save up to buy a cool new ship, learn alien languages…
The list keeps growing, and Hello Games keeps setting the bar higher for themselves with every update.
For me, it’s taking screenshots. I gather all the resources necessary to travel far-and-wide across the galaxy and spend my time using the game’s photo mode to take interesting shots of this epic sci-fi adventure.
If you’ve not played No Man’s Sky before, or it’s been on your shelf for some time, here’s your chance to dive back in!
Control released August 2019 and took the gaming industry by storm as a new and compelling original IP. Since then, it’s won over a dozen awards for its art and game direction, music, and many more – and it’s up for another two-dozen nominations still to come!
Last year, we wrote about how Control crafts a perfect opening scene, and the experience from there only sustains that momentum.
Coming March 26th for PS4 and Epic Store (June 25th for Xbox), the first major DLC will be releasing for Control, titled ‘The Foundation.’
It’ll feature new enemies, weapon upgrades, and abilities in a 4-5 hour story-driven expansion, so if you haven’t stepped into the Oldest House yet, now’s the best time to do it.
It’s gonna be dynamite!
Doom Eternal is just days away, so if you’ve not yet found the chance to don the Doom Slayer’s helmet in 2016’s much-lauded reboot, now is the time to pick up that shotgun and turn a horde of demons into mulch.
What more needs to be said? There’s no better cathartic power fantasy out there.
Rip and tear, until it is done.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: ODYSSEY (2018)
Many open-world games these days demand more and more of our time, becoming a hobby unto themselves with a truly staggering amount of content, which only increases over time with updates.
In the case of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, there are two major story expansions composed of three ‘episodes,’ and a dozen ‘Lost Tales of Greece’ which released as free DLC.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey hits a real sweet spot for me because Classics was one of my favourite school subjects (Homer’s Odyssey remains one of my favourite ever reading experiences). I put off buying this game until I could properly commit to dedicating the time to it.
That time has come.
Even beyond the bulk of its ‘traditional’ narrative and gameplay content, there’s a photo mode (always a massive win for me!) and a Discovery Tour which provides an educational journey through Ancient Greece.
Having recently acquired the Ultimate Edition for £30 on Xbox, this seems like an absolute bargain for what the latest Assassin’s Creed has to offer!
GEOMETRY WARS: RETRO EVOLVED 2 (2008)
Here’s a bit of a wild card.
I’ve long given up my days of being an achievement hunter, but if there’s one game that I feel I have unfinished business with… it’s this one.
To this day, almost twelve years later, I still have not finished Sequence (a mode with a predetermined pattern of enemies, with thirty seconds to destroy them), let alone the ‘Smile’ achievement where you have to complete seven of the twenty rounds by surviving the whole half-minute round – these things get intense!
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 has been a consistent go-to game for me since summer 2008 and I still have a lot of fun playing it now. It’s one of the Xbox One’s backwards compatible titles, and so I would set you the challenge of spending your time in self-isolation getting all twelve of its achievements.
Hopefully it won’t take you another twelve years…
These are just a few titles among many you could be playing, of course. Our backlogs are only getting bigger (and many of us are naturally cursed to end up replaying titles we’ve done a hundred times over)…
Let us know what games you’ll be playing to get by during this period of self-isolation.
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