For those who are taking the wise precaution of working from home, avoiding large gatherings and washing your hands on the regular, life can start to get a bit tedious. The news and social media can also make people feel a bit anxious and afraid. When the needs for distraction comes along, video games are just perfect: a way to be completely absorbed in a new world. To assist in this trying time, OnlySP has put together a list of games that are worth binging on.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
If you have a Nintendo Switch laying around, you can do a lot worse than plug in a copy of Breath of the Wild and enjoy the expansive sandbox fantasy adventure. Not much can be said about this game that has not been said elsewhere, but Breath of the Wild is truly a game where hours can pass like seconds as players explore the world, fight monsters, delve into dungeons, or spend ages trying to find every hidden secret.
Available for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is not really a traditional Fire Emblem game, but that does it no harm as players will find themselves becoming attached to the students of whichever house they choose. With four different story scenarios as well as the recently released ‘Ashen Wolves’ DLC side-story, the game has plenty of content to delve into, and the chance to replay the game many times to get a favoured result certainly helps.
Available for Nintendo Switch.
Red Dead Redemption 2
For those who have a fondness for Westerns, and a desire to explore a lovingly detailed recreation of America’s Old West whilst following a storyline that weaves together themes of loyalty, redemption, and questions of morality, try Red Dead Redemption 2. Alternatively, players can indulge in some hunting, explore the environments, and play with the many, many side quests. Red Dead Redemption 2 and its predecessor are excellent time-sinks.
Available for PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and Xbox One.
Whether it is the vanilla release or the updated and expanded Persona 5 Royal, this title has a cast of interesting and eccentric characters as well as an engaging story that touches on a lot of relevant political issues without being too preachy or heavy-handed. The unique visual style and amazing soundtrack also have a lot of appeal. For those who are into collecting, the game features 225 persona available to recruit, not including DLC and whatever new ones are introduced into Persona 5 Royal.
Available for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Zero Escape series
Visual novels are huge in Japan, and while they have not received the same level of success outside that country, some titles are definitely worth checking out, especially if you have plenty of time on your hands. The Zero Escape series is one example, starting out with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, followed by Virtue’s Last Reward and then Zero Time Dilemma. These story-heavy ‘escape the room’ titles are all available in the Zero Escape: The Nonary Games bundle.
Available for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.
Players who are missing out on their weekly Dungeons and Dragons sessions thanks to social distancing might be able to comfort themselves by playing one of the recently re-released Dungeons and Dragons-based games, such as Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, or Icewind Dale. These titles are a bit more retro in design, but that might just provide that extra hit of nostalgia.
Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II are available for Mac and PC.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition are available for Android, iOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Swinging around the Big Apple as Spider-Man is a dream come true for many, and happily Marvel’s Spider-Man provides the chance to do exactly that, whilst also adding an interesting and often heart-rending story to follow as players attempt to get to grips with becoming the Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man. A big DLC pack containing three side-stories is also available for those who want to continue to adventure a bit further, and of course the game has plenty of hidden collectables and side-quests to find.
Available for PlayStation 4.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles and its two sequels is in the unusual position of being a spiritual sequel to a spiritual sequel, continuing a legacy that started way back on the original PlayStation with Xenogears. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 continues the tradition of having a strongly affecting storyline that contains some deep themes. The combat is noteworthy, being a system that is relatively easy to pick up, but difficult to master all its intricacies for full effectiveness. Players can also spend time grinding out Blade cores to unlock every rare blade, or download the Torna: The Golden Country expansion pack DLC, which is effectively another game in its own right.
Available for Nintendo Switch.
Do not be fooled by WazHack‘s simple visuals: this traditional roguelike is packed to the brim with complicated item interactions and different ways to play. On top of the potions, magic wands, and weapons having randomised effects every run, many more surprises lurk within the dungeon’s depths. Hanging on to an egg rather than eating it may result in a friendly monster being hatched, a great aid in the game’s many battles. Rubbing a lamp will usually cover the protagonist’s hands with oil, making wielding a weapon difficult, but every now and then a genie might be freed, granting the player’s wishes. With eight character classes to try and countless mysteries to uncover, WazHack is a polished, addictive experience that will make days pass in the blink of an eye.
Available for Android, iOS, and PC.
Device 6 is a unique interactive story that makes full use of its mobile format. Lines of text form the world map, forcing the player to twist their phone around as protagonist Anna explores a mysterious island. Impeccable sound design adds a weight to Anna’s world, with her footsteps echoing as the player scrolls the text and music fading in and out as she travels. Puzzles are simple, generally in the form of finding codes and replicating them in a different location, but hit the right level of making the player think without requiring a notepad full of clues. The game is a short experience, lasting perhaps an hour or so, but it is an entirely engrossing one.
Available for iOS.
The Reigns series provides the perfect substitute for swiping on Tinder matches in these social-distancing days. As a newly appointed monarch, the player must approve or deny the requests of their subjects by swiping left or right. Each decision has a cost, however: the strength of the kingdom’s military, church, people, and finances fluctuating with every choice. Have too little or too much of one of the four resources, and the king will meet an untimely death. The simple controls make the game easy to pick up and play, but mastery will take careful negotiation between the kingdom’s many factions. Each of the three entries in the series is well executed, but the second one, Her Majesty, is probably the strongest of the bunch. The game has refined the formula from the original, which suffers from a poorly designed maze, and is more focused than the Game of Thrones tie-in sequel.
Available for Android, iOS, and PC.