• James Hewlett

Lockdown Gaming

I’ve had a lot more time to play video games these last couple of weeks, obviously.

I’ve really enjoyed playing fun, social, party games with my friends when we’re all around to do that, but with some people working from home, some people keeping themselves busy in other ways and some just not feeling it in the moment its never a done deal that that will be an option.

Normally my preferences for video games are single player, narrative driven experiences anyway though so this feels like the perfect sort of time to dive into one of the many games I’ve had to pass over due to a lack of time to commit to it right?

Thats what I thought too, it turns out though that I cannot for the life of me seem to focus on any stories in a video game at the moment. At first I thought it was just that the one or two I tried playing weren’t grabbing me but I’m now pretty certain that it isn’t the games fault at all, its just me. As much as I would like to distract myself by delving into something I just can’t switch my head completely into that mode.

So with that said I have found myself babbling in and out of a few things but mostly Halo multiplayer, where I can drop in for a match or two against strangers and then bounce, or Just Cause 4, in which I play single player, flying around a tropical island on parachutes, wing suits, zip lines and other assorted ridiculous means of transport blowing everything up and skipping every cutscene and bit of dialogue while loudly exclaiming, “I don’t caaaare! Nobody is playing this game for plot!”

It’s not a great game by any stretch of the imagination. I’m probably doing myself a disservice by not playing something from the last few years that I’ve missed that actually is very good, but the good thing about Xbox Game Pass is that if I’m not feeling a game, I can just stop without thinking I’ve wasted money on a game I may never play again!

I think it would be a different story if one of the big new releases coming later this year, namely Cyberpunk 2077, were out. I could definitely get lost in a game like that for weeks, but we’re in an awkward spot right now where things that are just being finished up are probably all going to be delayed because of the global lockdown right when we need new games the post.

I think that is why Nintendo were able to hit the jackpot with the release of Animal Crossing on the Switch, its exactly the sort of calming, wholesome, endless and somewhat mindless game that people need right now. I don’t have a Switch though and it isn’t a game that interests me enough to warrant getting one, especially when I could just play Stardew Valley and get a similar feeling.

How are you keeping yourself entertained while you’re at home? Are you reading more? Binging shows? Taken up a new hobby? Let me know, I’d be curious to hear about it. I’ll see you tomorrow.


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