The United Kingdom ramps up the measures against the coronavirus with every passing day. That said, gaming is one of the few hobbies largely unaffected by the lockdowns and distancing requirements. Today, our writers seek to connect by other means.
Mortal Kombat 11
James Troughton, Newcastle upon Tyne
My initiation into the brutal, fear-mongering-for-parents franchise was with Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, and my favourite fighting game up until now was Injustice 2, but Mortal Kombat 11 truly gives it a run for its money.
Netherrealm has yet again knocked it out of the park with this latest entry into their beat-em-up gallery, and the gory spectacle is a great stress reliever that is perfect for the anxiety-building tension of self-isolation.
Whether it’s the fantastic movie-like story, the rewarding towers, the competitive online or the phenomenal ‘kustomisation’, Mortal Kombat 11 has something for everybody, even those like myself who favour fancy dress over punch-kick-uppercut.
Like most games, the only thing that lets it down is the player base – if you delve into the matchmaking system, make sure to disable your messages, otherwise, you’ll be met with a barrage of toxicity. Even then, you’ll find yourself at the other end of tea-bagging tryhards. This is a game best played with friends in tight-knit, casual 1-v-1s, or by your lonesome, exploring a cosmetic catalog that rivals Club Penguin’s.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Moving on from the lumbering beasts of Shadow of the Colossus, I returned to the small, adorable creatures of Animal Crossing thanks to the latest instalment: New Horizons. Alex did a great job of summarising what makes returning to this game so great, so I thought I’d jump into island life to explore one of my favourite parts of the series: multiplayer!
It’s always been a joy to visit the towns of friends, admiring whatever little projects they’ve been working on. A major part of each game since the introduction of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on DS, each new entry has attempted to develop this element. It’s safe to say I was looking forward to seeing what had changed in New Horizons.
But then I ran into the roadblocks. Lagging behind the rest of the gang by a day or so, it meant that I couldn’t yet access the multiplayer. Beyond that, any attempt I made to access the online portion reminded me that I had not yet paid for a Nintendo Switch Online membership. While I’m sure that the online offerings will be suitably expanded for this outing, this served as a reminder of simpler times, when all that was needed was a DS and a WiFi connection.
No one said that there wouldn’t be complications in this quest to play a new game every day. I’m just glad that there was a wholesome, objective-rich single player to stick my teeth into while I wait for my online woes to be resolved.
Alex Darbyshire, York
The phrase ‘life imitates art’ is often thrown around these days, but I feel today’s experience with Bloodborne best embodied it. Yharnam, the city of the game’s setting, is beset by a disease that forces all of the xenophobic populous to stay indoors. Sound familiar?
I don’t mean to trivialise a very real pandemic by my comparison here, simply that it was serendipitous that my friends and I decided to begin a co-op session just as Boris Johnson locked down the country. Hopefully nobody in real life turns into a bloodthirsty beast, or a monstrous space-squid.
Bloodborne is as good as ever. It’s quite right that this game is lauded as one of the finest on the PlayStation 4 platform. Skulking around the dark streets of Yharnam with a couple friends will never get old. What will, very quickly I’m sure, is the novelty of being forced indoors by the government.
Last modified: 25th March 2020