We get it, there’s only so much Tiger King you can watch while ‘working from home.’ So why not try games instead? Here are ten of the most recent releases that’ll have you happy to be home, including Animal Crossing, DOOM and more.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
It might not have been the original plan, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons has arrived at pretty much the best time imaginable. The ultimate life sim for when we can’t really do all that much living. So get ready to jet-set to a new island, name it whatever you please and then get cracking on a wild assortment of day-to-day activities in order to customise it to your heart’s content.
You’ll be collecting bugs, visiting your friends, decorating rooms and just embracing your most OCD of tendencies. Things start off slow, but pace yourself because the addiction will hit hard, and when it does – say goodbye to many, many hours. Such is the power of Animal Crossing. We’re still logging in daily to perfect our glorious Nic Cage wall, because a)that’s totally possible and b)don’t bloody judge us?
Trust us, buy this game.
2. Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
This is it, guys. The remake that has been years in the making has finally arrived, and yep, it’s as much of a joy to stare at Cloud Strife’s pretty boy blues as all the fanboys were hoping. This game is seriously pretty and revamps the classic tale in all the right ways – adding plenty of depth for both newcomers and long-time fans of the classic JRPG alike.
It’s worth remembering though that this is not a full remake of Final Fantasy VII. In fact, it only covers the Midgar portion of the adventure, which is the opening eight hours of a 40+ hour epic. What happens next? Nobody really knows, but don’t let that hold you back from experiencing one of the best games of the year.
3. DOOM Eternal (PS4, XBO, PC)
A love letter to old-school shooters, DOOM Eternal is an assault on the senses – banging metal soundtrack included – that’ll have you slinging curse words aplenty. But it’s also surprisingly intelligent in its execution. Battles are frantic, sure, but they’re also incredibly strategic thanks to the fact that resources are directly tied to how you dispatch enemies. Need ammo? Slice through them like butter with your chainsaw. Health? Just trigger an impressive glory kill. It’s like the most beautiful, bloodiest ballet you’ve ever witnessed.
Though arguably a touch on the long side, but if you’re after a tough-as-nails shooter that strays away from the typical COD-inspired formula, DOOM Eternal will be the answer to your hellish prayers.
4. Nioh 2 (PS4)
You’ll forget all about your iso restrictions, because Nioh 2 will make you forget about pretty much everything as it crushes you with its brutal gameplay. It’s not just the bosses, either – regular demon foot soldiers can quickly see you screaming into a pillow, which for fans of the Souls’-style games is like sipping on a well-aged vino on a Friday night.
The three-stance combat system returns, adding complexity to each encounter, that only grows deeper once you add new mechanics in like Burst Counters which borrow a page out of Sekiro’s book and give you the opportunity to turn the tables on your rage-inducing foes. It might take a lot of trial and error, but hey, you’ve got plenty of time on your hands.
5. Moving Out (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC)
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes built into couch co-op- games: offering the perfect safe space to trade insults with friends and loved ones with no repercussions because, video games. Moving Out is such a title, tasking you with one simple premise – help various homeowners load their belongings into a truck – often leading to beautiful chaos.
It’s easy to classify Moving Out as the furniture removal equivalent of Overcooked, but there’s more to it than that, especially once the levels start to ramp up in complexity and creativity. Communication, puzzle-solving and planning will become critical, especially if you want to shoot for the gold score. It probably comes as no surprise that playing solo is a bit of a bore, so we’d absolutely recommend playing with a friends from start to finish. The ‘80s vibes that permeate throughout are also an absolute winner.
6. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (XBO, PC)
As expected, this sequel takes everything that made its predecessor a smash-hit and polishes the absolute bejesus out of it. Everything just feels bigger and better while still retaining that fundamental platforming joy. It also continues to pack a serious challenge, but thankfully checkpoints now help save your remaining strands of sanity. Although you’re ultimately trying to help Ori locate a little owlet, exploration is the name of the game here, giving you plenty of freedom to explore what you want how you want, meaning if a particular area is too much of a pain, you can return later when you’re better equipped.
With Xbox exclusives gradually starting to slow down before the launch of the Series X, it’s worth giving Will of the Wisps a crack, and if you’re a member of Xbox Game Pass it’s completely free of charge!
7. Resident Evil 3 (PS4, XBO, PC)
Survival horror fans went gaga for the stellar Resident Evil 2 remake last year, so the quick turnaround of its follow-up makes a lot of sense. But where its predecessor was a more subtle, tense experience, Resident Evil 3 thrusts the big boy guns in your possession pretty quickly, amping up the explosions and destruction tenfold. Makes sense considering a giant, bio-mutated, flamethrower-wielding monster would love to feast on you like an after-dinner snack.
Your pants are a little safer here, as the scares don’t quite pack the same punch, but this is a drop-dead gorgeous and enjoyable romp all the same.
8. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX (Switch)
While many Pokémanics have become accustomed to a particular playstyle, the Mystery Dungeon series tosses all that out the window. You see, instead of following a Pokémon trainer wanting to be the very best, you mysteriously wake up in the body of a Pokémon. It’s not long before you befriend a fellow pocket monster and create a team designed to help save those stranded within randomly-generated dungeons. Cue plenty of dungeon-crawling gameplay unlike anything you might’ve seen in the mainline series.
Thanks to tile-based movement it’s a lot more strategic than it may first seem, but there’s a joy in entering your mind palace to work out the best way forward. If you’re looking to make a jump from Pokémon GO or Sword and Shield, DX is well worth a look. Or, you know, try Animal Crossing.
9. Bloodroots (PS4, XBO, Switch, PC)
Much like its story, Bloodroots’ simplicity is also its winning quality. You control Mr Wolf as he seeks vengeance against his old gang, the Blood Beasts, after they leave him for dead. Think The Revenant without the bear. What follows is a bloody action puzzler in the vein of Hotline Miami, as you gradually plot out a lethal plan of attack and build up lengthy combos to rack up the best score you can. You’ll die plenty in your quest for greatness, but it’s rarely frustrating as you continue to strive for greatness with a smile on your face. It’s short, sweet and memorable in all the right ways.
10. Paper Beast (PSVR)
One look at Paper Beast’s unique aesthetic should be able to tell you that this game is in a world all of its own. The strangely beautiful paper flora and fauna dominate the landscape as you try to solve puzzles by influencing creatures to complete certain tasks or actions within the environment in order to progress. There’s a free-flowing sandbox feel to it all which is suitably calm and peaceful, especially as you embrace Paper Beast’s world in VR. It certainly won’t be for everybody, but is perfect if you’re looking to deviate from the video game norm.