I’ve been playing a lot of video games the past several months. A welcome distraction? Sure. But they can also offer good laughs, tough dilemmas, and moments of transcendent beauty.
Well, I understand some of you also like video games. This being a full-service blog, here’s a thread to talk about them! I’ll start; here are some of the recent highlights from my living room:
- Wattam (PS4, PC) is the new game from the creator of the legendary Katamari Damacy (which was also recently remastered). You play as a variety of sentient household objects, with the goal of reuniting them with all their friends. Practically guaranteed to induce smiles and giggles, it’s perfect for casual gamers and people who just want some absurd whimsy. At five hours, it’s short, but priced accordingly. No particular skill required.
- Untitled Goose Game (PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox) was last year’s unlikely hit. The premise is simple: “It’s a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose.” You traverse various stages in an English village, where you tick off a to-do list of ways to fuck with the residents. Everybody who’s ever known a horrible goose can relate. Also short, and also priced accordingly, this game does require minor skills with stealth and sneaking.
- Death Stranding (PS4), from legendary auteur Hideo Kojima, is not for everyone, but it worked for me. Part post-apocalyptic Amazon deliveryman simulator, part high opera dripping with clumsy symbolism, part collaborative commentary on the Internet and social media, part stealth/horror. It’s very hard to explain. Check out the linked review; watch a video. It was one of last year’s blockbuster releases, so it doesn’t need boosting, but I enjoyed it so it’s going on this list.
- From the people who brought you the original Fallout games, as well as New Vegas, comes a new property, The Outer Worlds (PS4, PC, Xbox). It’s a first-person RPG set in an alternate timeline where Teddy never busted the trusts. Abusive megacorporations control space colonization efforts, turning newly-terraformed moons into indentured labor camps. Kitschy and fun, but you’re forced to make difficult decisions, too. (The world is also awash in butch spacefaring lesbians, following present trends.)
What have you been playing lately? Anything coming up you’re excited for? People seem psyched for Cyberpunk 2077, though William Gibson is not one of them.