Coronavirus Games: Things to Do While Quarantined
You’re surely sick and tired of reading anything coronavirus-related by now, and with good reason. Everyone’s fed up with the whole pandemic, and it feels like anywhere you look there’s some new piece of information, even on gaming websites. Most countries are advising (or decreeing) self-isolation, so let’s talk about a couple of coronavirus games you can play (among other things) to keep yourself entertained during isolation.
First of all, if you’re a gamer, odds are you’re ecstatic to have to stay home and not go anywhere. If you have a stable enough internet connection and a vast library of games, this can practically be considered as a holiday. No one’s making light of a bad situation. But it’s hard not to enjoy a bit of downtime now that things have come to a halt. Students can take a breather and enjoy the games they love before regular life ramps up again.
No one’s quite sure how long this whole pandemic craze will last. So, let’s focus on things you can do and games you can play over the coming weeks and months.
Get in on the Battle Royale Craze
If you’ve been hesitant to board the battle royale hype train, now would be as good a time as any to give this “emerging” genre a chance. The thing is, if you’re not a fan of battle royale, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about it. Even though Fortnite became the poster child for the genre, it is by no means the most popular or attention-grabbing representative at this point.
Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends took the world by storm and broke many records previously held by Fortnite and PUBG. It was a spectacular game upon release and has held up immensely over the last twelve months. It has its faults, much like any other title. But it’s a fantastic game through and through that just so happens to adhere to battle royale rules. The gunplay is fantastic, each class brings something unique to the table, the controls are both simple and fascinatingly complex. It’s hard not to get an adrenaline rush once you clash with another team in-game.
In many ways, Apex Legends represents the best of what the genre has to offer.
By the same token, Infinity Ward, the developer behind Call of Duty, decided to get in on the hype train and has recently released Call of Duty Warzone. We’re talking about the same engine from Call of Duty Modern Warfare, so you’re getting one of the best FPS experiences out there in a free-to-play package that you can download and play right this instant. They even refined a couple of things and have added an element of their own: the gulag.
If you’re self-isolated, you might as well try it out. The genre itself isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it wouldn’t have succeeded to such a degree if it wasn’t fun and engaging. The only downside is that it’s almost 100 GB “heavy.” Yeah, you’ll probably need to delete a few things before starting the download, but it’s well worth it.
Online multiplayer games often get the most of our attention. But there have been multiple top-tier single-player releases over the years that have surprised and delighted millions of players across the globe. We’re talking about games that redefined their genres; games that have transcended their medium and, in doing so, became visceral experiences.
Single-player games don’t have the same replay value as, say, MOBAs or FPS titles, but that in no way diminishes their grand nature and sheer entertainment value. Nothing can transport you into a different virtual world quite like a good triple A title. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of stellar releases that have managed to captivate us with their incredible storytelling and worldbuilding.
A game like Control combines the best of both science fiction and action; Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes the Dark Souls approach, twists it unexpectedly and allows you to assume the role of a samurai from the Sengoku period. Titles like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, The Outer Worlds, Gears 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, Monster Hunter World, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and many others are more than deserving of your undivided attention.
There’s also Death Stranding, one of the strangest and most fascinating video games you’ll ever come across.
These games were designed and developed with immense passion and attention to detail. If you’re mostly playing stuff like League or CS:GO, it’s easy to forget that there’s this whole other side of the gaming spectrum that’s equally, if not even more fascinating. At the very least, if you didn’t follow what came out over the years, you’ve missed out on some of the best and most fascinating video games in history.
So you might as well look through the back catalogs, now that you have a bit of free time on your hands!
If you took a break from the world’s most popular MOBAs, now would be a good time to jump back, seeing how both League of Legends and Dota 2 changed considerably over the last couple of months. Dota was infused with a bit of life thanks to the Outlanders update, whereas League went through its staple preseason period which heavily affected most aspects of the game.
Still, most people come back whenever there’s a new hero release. Fortunately, both games had multiple new additions. Valve released Snapfire and Void Spirit last November, whereas Riot went a step further and released three champions in just as many months — Senna, Aphelios, and Sett.
All of these champions bring something unique to the table which is why they skyrocketed in priority in both casual as well as competitive play. Finally, both games were slightly changed meta-wise. They’re more entertaining — your average game is much quicker and if you build a lead you’ll have a much easier time snowballing it. There’s a much bigger emphasis on skirmishing and hectic teamfighting, rather than slow and drawn-out rotations and macro-oriented decision-making. These layers are still present, thankfully, but it feels like they took a backseat, at least ever so slightly.
This means you’ll probably have more fun, too. Dota, in particular, changed considerably over the last couple of months with the removal of side shops and the addition of neutral jungle items shared between teammates. Oh, and now everyone gets a separate courier and wards are free! These are huge changes and they have, naturally, changed the game in many nuanced ways.
They’re still Dota and League of Legends, of course, which means they still carry the same things you once loved or hated, but they’ve changed enough to warrant a second chance if you’ve decided to move on from the genre for whatever reason.
Once the coronavirus outbreak happened, almost every esport competition came to a halt. This whole pandemic left every major developer and tournament organizer scrambling. For a brief moment, no one was quite sure what was going to happen. After all, there’s no rule book or guide for this sort of thing which means everyone had to improvise on the spot.
Fortunately, seeing how esports isn’t tied to any physical space, most competitions are set to resume this week. If you’re isolated and are a fan of competitive esports, you have a reason to celebrate! The Overwatch League is back in action. The same goes for the LEC and LCS. The LPL is already underway. The LCK should return in a week or so as well. We’re still not exactly sure how this shift to online play will pan out, but at least we’ll have something to watch, so no one’s complaining.
Self-isolation can be a blessing in disguise if you’re a gamer. This is especially true if you were short on time and can now relax and catch up on the games you love. It feels like most developers are still able to churn out content and entertain their players even though the whole world is struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Blizzard has just announced a huge Hearthstone update that includes a brand-new class (Demon Hunter) and expansion (Ashes of Outland). By the same token, the release of Teamfight Tactics mobile is finally upon us, along with the much anticipated Fiddlesticks rework.
We’ll have a lot of new content on our hands over the coming weeks to keep us busy. If you’re more into single-player stuff, you can check out Doom Eternal, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, or the latest Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch. In the meantime, stay safe, follow government regulations, and keep a low profile until the whole pandemic craze blows over.