COVID-19 has derailed many of our usual routines, but folks around the world are finding creative ways to adapt to the mandated self-isolation.
Gamers have always found alternative methods to social interaction, if the countless online multiplayer titles available are anything to go by. However, the best among those games have always capitalized on the social aspects of gaming, such as cooperation and teamwork.
These interactive games are as important as ever at a time where most socialization is happening by way of group chats, texts and emails. That communication is essential, but finding activities outside of group chats can also go a long way in maintaining a healthy outlook. Of course, not every gamer is a social butterfly, and some introverted folk may want a time-killing title where all the interactions come by way of charming characters and various social situations.
As such, we at HYPEBEAST have compiled a list of video games to play while self-isolating at home, ranging from classic MMORPGs to innovative new releases.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Genre: First-person Shooter/Battle Royale
Warzone is the latest battle royale title to hit the scene this year, and has made a big splash with gamers. The title mixes the greatest aspects of Fortnite’s looting, PUBG’s realism and Apex Legends’ weapons and ammo management. It also introduces a new 1v1 Gunfight round that allows fallen players to return to the battle royale if they win.
The game is unique for its symbiotic relationship between the free-to-play title and Modern Warfare, as weapons and loadouts follow you in each game–a model rarely if ever seen in the free-to-play market. Its Plunder mode, which sees the first team to collect $1 million is something you don’t see in most Battle Royale games, either. Download it now and join your own 150-player matches and see what all the praise is about.
Minecraft has always been that space where your virtual avatar could build anything — the only limit is your imagination. In the past, folks have looked to popular culture inspiration and built the Titanic and even King’s Landing from Game of Thrones. Since the lockdown, the game has taken on new importance as players have been using the game to recreate social gatherings like school graduation and classes via the virtual world.
Pokémon: Sword & Shield
When you have ample time on your hands, you can never go wrong by getting deep into the story mode of a Pokémon game. Although this particular installment has a rather short post-game compared to previous titles, there’s a lot of hunting to do in the newly introduced Wild Area via Max Raid Battles. You can also join a dedicated Pokémon Discord channel and link up with a few folks to capture giant-sized versions of your favorite Pocket Monsters. The most fun we had was attempting to capture Shiny Pokémon with other folk in Max Raid Battles. But you could also holler at a few folks in there just looking to complete their Pokédex or partake in a few Discord-ran Surprise Trading events.
Although it doesn’t seem that way on Twitter, we found the Pokémon community to be quite nice on the couple Discord channels we’re part of. And because of those communities, we have found new life in a title we thought we were done with. Who knows, you may walk away with more than a few Shinies afterwards.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Genre: Social Simulation
Animal Crossing: New Horizons couldn’t have been released at a greater moment, for better or for worse. Not only is the charming setting and cast of whimsical bipedal animals a delightful distraction, but its social simulation interactions also involve tons of outside activities. These outdoor activities are wholesome in their simplistic nature, as they mostly revolve around gathering materials for building and fulfilling tasks given by the townsfolk. Players can also connect online with friends in this version. It’s escapism at its finest.
Out of all the most popular competitive esports shooters out there, we feel Overwatch is the game where teamwork is most important. Much like Team Fortress 2 before it, this title puts cooperation at the core of its functionality, and connecting with friends for a few rounds of Overwatch is a great excuse to get in some much-needed socialization. Plus, the addition of a new character named Echo has changed the game for the better thanks to her powerful ultimate ability to take over the skill of an enemy player. This most certainly will be the last character to arrive in the title before Overwatch 2 arrives later this year. So enjoy the basic formula of Overwatch while you can before the sequel gives it a refresh.
Genre: Sports Simulator
NBA 2K has some of the most passionate fans in gaming. This was never more evident than when countless players dressed their avatars in Laker jerseys following the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant earlier this year. Now that the NBA season is over, folks are emulating real games as if the season never stopped — to the point where the sports outlets, and now the 2K Twitter handle, have started covering the video game the way they would the real thing. Now you can either partake in your own version of the season or watch it playout in other match ups on Twitch.
World of Warcraft Classic
Take a trip back to 2004 and reassemble your old World of Warcraft crew while we self-isolate. Nostalgia as a comfort food is the cornerstone of pop culture in the 21st century, particularly in WoW Classic with its loyal fanbase. Although the graphics and interactions haven’t aged well, they still contain the same charm that enraptured fans in the beginning. Moreover, the game even retains the friendly community WoW was originally built on before toxic behavior became the norm for online multiplayers. WoW pushes players to get involved with each other to take down dungeons, raids, and various other situations that force players to think on their toes for a solution. Any game that’s this immersive and relies so heavily on teamwork is a no-brainer pick-up during these times.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Genre: JRPG/Social Simulation
Fire Emblem: Three Houses was among our favorite games of 2019, which is saying a lot considering the title made its debut in November. Its perfect pairing of time-consuming RPG elements and social simulation with potential party members is perfect for the current occasion. The cast of characters from each faction feel like their own individuals and are easy to fall in love with. It doesn’t hurt that like most JRPGs, the story and personalities in focus are anime as heck, meaning there are a bevy of typical, yet loveable, stereotypes and archetypes from the medium that make their way into the game. Sure isolation isn’t much of a challenge for some of those gamers who already prefer alone time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t interact with someone, even if it’s with several video game avatars.