This holiday season is a time for joy, for family and friends; to reconnect with the ones you love. But before and after you’ve done that there’s still plenty of time left.
So what is there left to do? Perhaps it’s time to finally tackle that ever-expanding backlog of videogames! Or maybe you’re just seeking some comfort in games you’re played before, to make you feel all warm and happy. At least, that’s what we’re doing here at All Maverick.
Here’s some of the games we’re playing this holiday season and why we think you should try them too!
Some people like myself have a very short-lasting social battery so during the sweet hours I get to spend alone. (More than I actually have to spend around people, but I like it that way) I’ve resorted to playing some comfort games to help recharge my social battery and ensure I’m ready for the next oh so lovely encounter with people (!).
One of the many games I’m quite excited to replay is James Bond Bloodstone. A favourite of mine that features my favourite Bond, Daniel Craig, as the player model. It even sees him voice act the dialogue too! Besides, if Die Hard is a Christmas movie, who’s to say Bond can’t be too?!
The gameplay is a third-person shooter with elements of hand-to-hand combat and even the odd driving sequence sprinkled in. Sadly, Bloodstone is only available on the PS3 & Xbox 360. Then again, it’s a good reason to dust off my poor little PS3 slim cluttering up the corner of my bedroom, like a child who’s long since fallen out of favour.
Sadly, I feel this game can be bland depending on which level you’re playing. One of the levels is basically a stretched-out sewer section that sees a lot of grey and dark colours so I imagine I’ll stop playing around this time and choose one of my other picks to play!
My second go-to game for comfort is the one and only Cyberpunk 2077. I think I’ve spent more than enough time showcasing how and why I truly love this game, and also defending it from its critics. I’ll keep this short, sweet, and to the point! I’ll either be starting my 4th playthrough, or just spending some time driving around Night City and enjoying the lovely scenery!
Image credit (left hand side) to Twitter user @RobertoVader_
Another game I’ll be picking up is Mass Effect Andromeda! I know it has a very dark story at times but it’s the player character of Sara Ryder that I truly find some comfort in! Such an inspiring leader (providing the player chooses those options that is) she really is a true comfort character of mine along with Rey Skywalker, Lara Croft, V from Cyberpunk and Shaundi from Saints Row.
In all honesty, there’s a lot here with just these three games, but I do have some honorable mentions that I’ll be playing if the mood is right. The first of these is certainly Forza Horizon 5! With it being solely about racing I certainly have to be in the right mood to play a game like this and with only a few more accolades until I reach the ‘Hall of Fame’ I might be inclined to jump into my McLaren and hit the lovely open roads of Mexico!
My second honorable mention is Star Wars Battlefront 2. Yes, the remake! With Star Wars being among my most comfortable things to watch and Rey being my favourite character ever, I may try to hop into a game of Heroes vs. Villains or two.
My final honourable mention is GTA Online. With the last update wrapped up, I’ve really been enjoying driving around the city of Los Santos whilst listening to those extremely addictive and exclusive Dr. Dre tracks. I’ve already been doing laps around Los Santos listening to them as it is, so this might just become a game I resort to if the mood is right.
There you have it! Those are the games Lucy is going to be investing time into during her break!
The two games I will be obsessed with in the next few weeks will be the fighting game, Guilty Gear Strive and Virtual Reality sword fighting simulator, Blade and Sorcery. Yes, I’m fully aware these are not exactly games that scream Christmas cheer and good tidings but I assure you that my reasons are mostly wholesome.
As one of the easiest fighting games to get into, as well as one of the most visually appealing on the market, GG Strive was the perfect game to introduce to my girlfriend and brother as a gateway into the often inaccessible fighting game genre. What makes it such a good game for newcomers is the slower pace of combat and the general leniency of button inputs. Issues such as your opponent dashing all over the screen and unleashing a barrage of attacks that you need to reactively block at high speeds, are not as prevalent.
The game prevents this by having significant delays between certain actions and blocked attacks create more distance between you and the opponent, whilst ensuring there is enough spectacle and complexity to be fun. I’ve enjoyed teaching my friends and family how to play the game. I can also confirm they have been understanding the mechanics very well, courtesy of its decent tutorial and simple concepts.
Perhaps with the extra time on your hands, you and your family and friends can learn a new game together and expand your gaming tastes. At the very least, the matches will devolve into a button mashing fiesta which can still be a good time. Add a caveat of alcohol intake for the loser of each match and you just might have a drinking game for the festivities.
But after the 25th, once the presents are opened and the dinner is consumed, I am left with most likely a hangover and a gut filled to the brim with food. Most normal people will state that this is the time they would hit the gym. But gyms imply effort and so I choose to play Blade and Sorcery as placebo in lieu of actual exercise. In its current state, the game is more of a tech demo as opposed to an actual game. The gameplay mostly consists of throwing you into an arena of your choosing and then spawning waves of humans from various antagonistic professions to take your head. In a traditional game this would be boring, but for some reason, in VR it is transcendent.
The game is physics based, so every weapon will have a different weight and thus must be handled as if it were a real weapon. This leads to impactful gameplay where you’ll eventually find yourself fighting like a real swordsman instead of a maniac twiddling glowsticks. Combine that with an abundance of mods which add weapons, spells and enemies from a passionate community, and you have an infinite sandbox where I personally found several dozens hours of entertainment and, hopefully, burnt a few calories (unlikely).
With the Oculus Quest 2 costing around the same price as a Nintendo Switch, more people are buying VR headsets as presents and so why not try this game out for your new toy? Maybe even download a Candy Cane mod for some seasonally appropriate violence!
And so that wraps up James’ questionable choices of games to occupy him this holiday season. Moral of the story? Any game can be a Christmas game with enough mods shoehorned in!
So there you have it! The games we’ll be sinking our teeth into during the Festivities! We’d love to hear from you! Please do leave a comment telling us what you’re playing or what you thought of our choices. Better yet, why not join our Discord Server where you can pop in and chat with us during the break! (Though we can’t guarantee instant responses, we’ll be busy stuffing our faces)
So if you’re reading this past December 23rd then please do have a wonderful rest of the year from all of us here at All Maverick! We’re very much looking forward to seeing you in the New Year ready for a brand new year of gaming and no doubt some wonderful videogames, movies, and all things entertainment!