Gaming Through Quarantine

The world is going through some pretty crazy stuff due to the coronavirus shutting down basically everything, and for everyone’s safety, it’s best to stay home. Luckily, for those who play games, this quarantine is coinciding with an absolute onslaught of new releases. On top of that, some of my favorites have been making changes to keep players entertained.

While we can’t really go outside, there are plenty of interesting worlds to get immersed in and explore.

The Cutest Island Getaway

From media to the shift to online courses, there’s a lot for students to be worried about. Luckily, one of the most relaxing games just came out: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” It’s a game where you don’t really have to do anything, and it’s almost entirely about relaxing and going at your own pace.

Tom Nook, the series’ iconic shopkeep, now runs a travel agency that sends villagers to remote islands where they set up their new lives. In the beginning, it is your character and two villagers moving into a randomly created island.

The time within the game matches your real-world time with different events happening every day. Once you’ve selected where to live, you don’t really have any clear objective. How you spend your time is entirely up to you and it is very satisfying to set goals and whittle away at them.

“Animal Crossing” has a little or a lot to offer, depending on how deep you want to go. But regardless of how invested you get, it feels satisfying to accomplish your goals and build up your island.

Rip and Tear

Heavy metal, intense challenges and gruesome violence. These are the core pillars of “Doom Eternal”. The end of the world has come with hell spilling out into a far-flung futuristic earth. Its story is surprisingly deep, starring the Doom Slayer as he tries to take on all of hell in order to save humanity.

The game mixes classic, fast-paced shooting with a unique, almost rhythmic strategy behind every encounter. You have a shoulder-mounted flamethrower to get armor and staggering enemies will allow you to perform brutal kills for health.

Juggling these different item drops forces players to have to actually think about how they mow down the armies of hell. Enemies hit hard, abilities like the flamethrower have long cooldowns and the initial ammo pools for weapons run dry very quickly. Every encounter requires you to really master the gameplay.

“Doom” is the grandfather of the first-person shooter setting the bar in 1993, and in 2020 they’re still at the top. Despite its tense action, unleashing fury on the armies of hell is a great way to get out any frustrations from being stuck indoors.

New Friends and New Journeys

Being stuck indoors can feel pretty isolating, but luckily there are plenty of games that can keep you connected with friends, and even help you make new ones. For me, the game that I’ve been playing to keep in touch is “World of Warcraft.”

On March 20, Blizzard implemented a 100% experience boost to every character until April 20, and it is fantastic. Iwas already leveling up a new character to play as a healer, but this boost has brought many players back, and the community is buzzing with a bunch of friendly players who are dying to talk.

WOW is fifteen years old and has been updated consistently in all that time, so there’s a ton of content to play through. Having this experience boost is the perfect opportunity to try out new classes, see content that you’ve not played before, get characters ready for the upcoming expansion and just hang out with friends.

I went from level 20 to level 113 in a fraction of the time it normally would take and I met a lot of cool people along the way.

Plus, staying up until 4 a.m. with friends cracking jokes and playing games is a perfect way to get your mind off of the coronavirus.

These are only what I’ve been playing so far, but there’s so many different options for people who love games. “Doom” and “Animal Crossing” are only the beginning of a year jam-packed with excellent releases coming soon.

Stay safe and pull up a controller!

Story by: Alex Schilling
Photos Courtesy of: Nintendo of America, Bethesda Softworks, Blizzard Entertainment