With people being forced into isolation during the coronavirus outbreak it can be a scary time, but it is important to keep doing things that make you relaxed and distract you, also a little bit of escapism helps too.
Personally speaking, gaming makes being stuck at home feel more normal. Luckily, video games and films no longer need to be purchased in a shop or hoarded like toilet paper. Most video games are available on digital storefronts like Steam.
The idea of being locked inside and working from home seemed like a dream at first until I realised that I can’t leave. Suddenly I longed to frolic outdoors. Tell me I can’t do something and it’s all I want to do because the human brain is funny like that.
So here is a selection of games that might make it easier for you. If your brain is as easy to trick as mine all the simulated greenery might help you stop going crazy.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Become cowboy and crook Arthur Morgan with his gang on the run from the law in Rockstar’s beautiful western epic.
Travel from the open plains to the scorching deserts of the west. Rob, cheat and steal or just try and get by in this part-simulation, part-third person action, part role-playing game.
With stunning vistas and painstaking attention to detail, as well as staggeringly well-acted and believable characters make this a great realistic virtual world to wander. If you’re sick of looking at your living room or bored of grey empty cities this western makes a welcome change.
If you want to get your friends involved the game also features an online option too. You can build your own posse as well as talk to other people and become a scourge or hero of the west.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 is an open-world action role-playing game set in a medieval world where magic and monsters collide and roam the land.
Humans, however, are still the most dangerous creatures in this universe by far with war, murder and political machinations it’s all part of this game’s gripping story and fantastic action-packed gameplay.
You play monster hunter Geralt of Rivia who is a Witcher, a human mutated by twisted alchemy and magic then trained to slay monsters. Geralt is searching for his lost daughter Ciri who is being pursued by the spectral beings known as The Wild Hunt. You need to track her down and stop The Wild Hunt while finding out what they want with Ciri.
The Witcher 3 has a huge open world, an epic story, lots of interesting side quests to keep you busy, as well as kick-ass combat to boot, perfect for those wanting to get lost in a rich, detailed world with an extensive cast of interesting and deep characters.
3. Ring Fit Adventure
This Nintendo Switch game is unique as it involves performing real exercises and working out. Ring Fit Adventure offers helpful guidance and tips for effective movements and stretches, as well as simple standalone sessions.
But if you want to go all out the Adventure mode acts like a turn based RPG with fun and challenging levels to increase your confidence in keeping fit.
Adventure mode is fantastic when you’re stuck indoors as not only do you have to actually jog on the spot to traverse the levels, when you are attacked by creatures you have to use exercises to fight them off.
These may seem simple, but the exercises are surprisingly challenging. Some really get your heart pumping and make you build up a sweat. You can even compete with friends and compare your scores to discover who’s the best.
Woohoo, a guilt-free gaming session, plus the endorphin rush you get after a good session helps chase those isolation blues away.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Another stunning open-world action RPG that breathed new life into the traditionally formulaic Zelda series, this nonlinear game shows a ruined Hyrule in a way we have never seen it before.
Explore a beautiful post-apocalyptic, melancholic open world with you discovering the aftermath of Gannon’s re-emergence and nature retaking the ruins of Hyrule.
Find weapons, food, items and complete puzzle shrines to become stronger, learn the games detailed mechanics and gain stamina and health hearts.
Once you’re ready, face down the malevolent force of Calamity Gannon to save Princess Zelda and bring peace to the land.
This game is a masterpiece and with its minimal aesthetic, brilliant physics and a beautiful world that you can tackle any way you want. With some much to see and do whether that be on horseback, climbing or teleporting, tackle it in your own way.
5. Pokemon Sword/Shield
The Pokémon games have essentially followed the same formula since their inception in the 90s.
This combined with the unchallenging gameplay and pleasant world make Pokémon a great game to play when the stress of the news or the isolation is getting to you.
After all, nothing bad ever happens in the world of Pokémon. Except for the culturally accepted slavery and forced fighting of animals. It’s a great game for feeling comfortable and safe. While not offering too much challenge its colourful world is fun to explore with many charming creatures to meet.
In this instalment you play a young Pokémon trainer trying to enter the big leagues and become the champion while discovering the mysteries of the British inspired Galar region.
6. Yakuza 0
A crazy third-person action, role-playing beat-em-up that sees you take on the role of a yakuza member trying to clear his name of a murder he did not commit.
The game feels very cinematic and has a great sense of humour. Yakuza is comically violent but at times can be surprisingly poignant, with lots of intrigue, twists and turns.
As Kiryu, you use various fighting styles when often jumped by thugs and drunk sallerymen on the streets.
Kiryu uses insane martial arts skills and fighting styles and can even slam attackers into walls or beat them with inanimate objects like bicycles.
After performing a bone crushing move on attackers they drop a shower of coins and limp off apologising.
There are also loads of mini-games, from racing pocket cars, playing classic arcade games, fishing darts and bowling to name but a few. These diversions help you earn money and are a fun break from the drama of the main story.
Side quests usually lead Kiryu into surreal and often weird situations trying to help the strange people he meets on the streets Kamurocho, a district modeled after 1980s Tokyo.
7. Doom Eternal
Doom Eternal is a hyper-violent first-person shooter with you taking on the hordes of demons who’ve come spilling out of Hell. Your job is to wipe them out and make them regret ever leaving their dimension.
The game is the sequel to the smash hit 2016 Doom, a remake of the classic 90’s shooter that popularised the first-person genre.
Use shotguns, machine guns, chainsaws and Glory Kills to literally tear your enemies apart to regain health and other items.
Everything forces you to move quickly and aggressively to conquer your foes, and it’s incredibly fun to play if you just want to let rip and vent some pent-up aggression.
If cabin fever is beginning to set in or you’ve just had enough the Doom is a fun and cathartic release. With the monsters, and pumping metal soundtrack it’s hard not to gleefully smile as you obliterate the skull of another demon
Explore an absolutely massive, randomly generated world populated with animals, villagers, hostiles and so much to see. Build a home, build tools, survive the horrors that come out at night and work together to make it to the end.
Minecraft can be as intricate as you want it to be. You can create hideouts and go exploring or build massive elaborate structures, so others will marvel at your building skills.
But be careful, as there’s nothing more frustrating than perishing far from a spawn point and losing all your hard fought treasures.
Gather resources to help you build your perfect home, defend it from monsters, experiment with crazy contraptions and even travel to a hell like dimension.
There’s loads to do and if you play online there’s the addition of friendly and hostile players, so it might be best to grab a few mates and put your mining hat on.
9. Two Point Hospital
You know what they say about laughter being the best medicine?
In this business simulator game, research and cure strange and hilarious illnesses with weird and wacky machines. Care for the sick and try not to make your staff snap in a fun hospital simulator game in the same vein as classic Theme Hospital.
Design your dream medical facility, treat patients while keeping the hospital from falling apart but remember you’re no Florence Nightingale and your objective is earning money.
The game features silly puns, slapstick comedy and several funny radio DJ’s. While not always laugh out loud funny, the game never fails to bring a smile which is just what the doctor ordered.
10. Sea of Thieves
Feel like some mayhem on the high seas? You and your scurvy crew sail the watery deep and plunder all you can while avoiding walking the plank yourself.
Rare’s swashbuckling multiplayer pirate game features a huge open ocean complete with all manner of threats. From skeletons, Krakens and islands to explore and worst of all other pirates players to either attack or avoid.
The sailing mechanic is fun and exhilarating, especially trying to get your ill-gotten gains back to a safe port when another player’s vessel has seen you and is heading your way.
Do you fight or run?
Epic ship to ship combat is fantastic but requires coordination and teamwork. You could be sneaky like me and blow hostile ships up from the inside, sending them to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Getting a group of friends together and exploring, pillaging other players and finding treasure is a blast.
Of course, there are plenty of other games you can play but these are some ideas to get you started and hopefully help you relax during this crazy time. Stay safe and I’ll see you online.
Let us know what you’ve been playing while in isolation in the comments section below.