Who needs to go out when there are plentiful virtual universes to explore indoors?
We admit, not all games are worth venturing through, but you can stack countless hours in the brilliant titles below.
‘Rip and tear’, a significant line that’s been embedded in our brains since first booting up the instant hit DOOM revamp in 2016.
Despite being placed on a deserted colony on Mars filled with monstrous and immensely powerful beasts out to destroy you, being put in the shoes of the legendary DOOM Marine empowered gamers to the point that there’s nothing to fear – instead, everything fears you. That’s a rare feeling to have in a game, and it seems impossible that its sequel will top its satisfyingly wrath-filled gameplay.
But, developer id Software knows what its mass fan base wants, and it’s already looking like DOOM Eternal will make its predecessor obsolete. Lucky us.
Eternal follows on from the original’s heightened sense of fast-paced clashes and elevates it, bringing new move sets including a swift double dash and grapple hook to get gamers face-to-face with enemies. That makes those flashy ‘glory kills’ more frequent, and they’re needed, given the amount of foes swarming around.
To level the playing field this time, Doom Guy now has new equipment to keep him alive and keep, well, tearing. There’s the Flame Belch that engulfs enemies and provides armour drops, and the Ice Bomb, freezing foes and dropping much-needed health.
It’s time to rip and tear, gamers – and then some.
Available March 20 on PS4, Xbox One, PC.
Is Kojima Production’s first game so meta it can’t be missed? Or is it just a simple walking simulator? Well, now’s finally the time to find out. Regardless of your thoughts (and how long you spend with it), Death Stranding is a spectacle to witness on screen, and if you tick with it, you’ll see some moments that will stay with you long after you put the controller down.
In a sentence, Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) must bridge (yup) the divides of several fragmented societies in America that have created ‘Walls’, which has them all living in isolation. That’s a big goal to achieve, especially since a lot of the gameplay we’ve seen is just about...delivering packages. But leave it to Kojima to make what is essentially a delivery simulator the most thrilling experience we want to get our hands on.
From lush green mountain tops with flowing rivers to crumbling urban cities to navigate through, Sam must go all Man vs Wild and Solid Snake to survive each environment and escape his enemies. And these foes are freaky things. Beached Things, or BTs, are otherworldly entities that have somehow “stranded” themselves on Earth following the Death Stranding event, and they seek to devour Sam. Then there are Mules, humans that don’t want to kill you, just nab all of Sam’s stuff. How annoying.
From kitting out Sam’s inventory to fit exdentable ladders to talking to a cast that includes someone called Die-Hardman, this is a strange, mysterious game only Kojima could make.
It’s hard to comprehend what it is, and that’s because Media Molecule has effectively created a game that you can completely customise. Looking for a first-person mystery inspired by PT? It’s there. How about an arcade-style alien-shooter that has a fuzz-ball alien in a full suit mech? Sure. Lovecraftian FPS? Destructive car racer? A simple game of tennis? Checks all round.
Clearly, the game is fittingly titled, but the catch is players will need to literally make their dreams come true. Although, that’s not necessarily a ‘catch’ for the creative types out there and if Super Mario Maker has shown us anything, there are plenty of them. Through its Dream Shaping section, Dreams gives simple-to-use tools for players to design and build in-game mechanics, from numerous sculpting and painting to music tools and gadgets. It’s community-driven and the possibilities for what players come up with are pretty much endless. Cool or what?
Available now on PS4.
There should be a lot of noise about this game, as Genesis brings a much-needed shift in gameplay style to the table, and it blows last year’s Darksiders 3 out of the water. Sorry, Fury.
We say there’s a change of style, but it’s more like a change in camera angle. Now taking a top-down action RPG route, Genesis may seem like it’s taken a few pointers from the loot-centric Diablo, but make no mistake, it plays just like a typical Darksiders game – tactical button-mashing fights, sprawling dungeons and puzzles galore. Add the local co-op and brilliantly playful banter between an old favourite and shiny new character, and this side entry looks to be the direction the mainline Darksiders’ series should take pointers from.
Throughout its 15-hour campaign (give or take a little), players will take control of the noble and duty-driven War, and finally the last of the four horsemen, Strife. He’s witty, sarcastic and gets on War’s nerves. But brothers will be brothers, and who doesn’t like seeing family squabble on screen? While the story is fairly generic, taking place centuries before the apocalyptic events of the series (as the name suggets¬), there are a few touching moments between the two to keep gamers entertained. That, and the tried and tested combat. War plays exactly like before, while Strife mixes it up as ranged gunner. Despite a few technical hiccups that need to be ironed out, Darksiders Genesis is one to pick up.
Out now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.
Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
For the past seven years, we’ve been playing along through three acts (plus a few extra stories) of this point-and-click adventure, and now the full story is finally coming to PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
Without spoiling too much of the story, the main crux of the game is that players take control of Conway, a truck driver accompanied by his dog (who you can name). Conway is a delivery man for an antique shop owned by a woman named Lysette, and he’s been sent out to deliver something to an address in Kentucky, USA.
The thing is, he can’t find the place, so heads to a local gas station called Equus Oils for directions. It’s a strange old place and they tell him the only way to get to his destination is by taking Route Zero.
It’s all about the narrative with this one. There aren’t any real puzzles or challenges to complete, just the chance for gamers to pick dialogue options for Conway (along with other characters) and tell him where to go with a simple click. That’s all that’s needed, though.
Available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The original Ori and The Blind Forest caught gamers off-guard when it hit stores, with its hand-painted artwork, suave animated character performance, and a fully orchestrated score. It slapped us in the face with an adoring fantasy tale we didn’t know we wanted. Once it was over, gamers were left pining for more, and Moon Studios seems to have spent the half-decade since getting ready to deliver even more slaps to the chops.
What are we most excited for this time around? The fluidity of movement and combat. Remember the cartoons of the ’90s where everything was so meticulously drawn? That’s how Ori looks and feels when jumping off walls or trees, bouncing out of pits or dashing through the air using a list of special abilities. Speaking of abilities, the sequel brings new ones to the table, including a magical spear, bow and arrow, hammer, and self-healing.
Gaining these power-ups to get through areas or fight off foes has been switched for a more flexible slot-based shard system, with each shard offering a unique ability that players can equip to customise their character builds. This change in formula might mean the game has a different tempo and progression to the first one, but it should also makes for a more tactical experience.
Out now on Xbox One, PC.
The Outer Worlds
What, still have played the tactical action RPG that’s a spiritual successor of Fallout: New Vegas...in space? It may not be the longest RPG out there, but take on all the side quests (that’s the main crux of the game, after all) and you’ll have a solid 40 hours or so on it.
Gamers can expect the very same style of quirkiness, coupled along with the more tactical first person shooting gameplay and RPG elements of Fallout – a little too on the nose at times. Armour and equipment are set to individual limbs, from helmets to body suits (which means an array of deep customisation to play around with), while gamers invest skill points to their characters varied personality traits, including leadership skills and even making them lovably dumb (because why not?).
Obsidian even has its own take on Fallout 3’s VATS System, this time named ‘Tactical Time Dilation’. Unlike VATS, time doesn’t come to a complete halt, but rather slows down so players can pinpoint enemies’ critical weak points, to either hinder their movements by shooting off a robots leg or concussing an for with a well-timed headshot. While combat hardly seems like a challenge, being able to be creative in action like in Fallout is nostalgic bliss.
Available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
It’s got Game of the Year at the Game Awards 2019 – if you still haven’t played it yet, why aren’t you? Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice can be classed as From Software’s hardest game yet – and that says oceans. Although, aren’t they all? In doing so, the developers have delivered a brilliant new combat system that quite frankly is intimidating, and that’s a good thing. Sekiro could take you anywhere between 25 to 70 hours to complete, depending on how many time you die (twice…) of course. Don’t let this one slip by gamers. Oh, and beware of the Guardian Ape.
Available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC.