‘Working’ from home? It’s time to clear these games from your backlog

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Anyone who is able to work from home should be working from home. We know this. You know this. Your boss… may not know this. That’s a South African cultural thing and hopefully it’s shifting right now. If that’s the case, though, perhaps don’t let your boss catch you reading this. If you’re already working at home, though — read on.

It’s a fact that you can’t work all the time. If you’re at home, though, you don’t have to pretend that you’re working while playing Cookie Clicker when nobody can see your computer screen. No, you can decompress between tasks in far more interesting, effective and perhaps even productive ways. Provided you have a video game console like a Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox. Or perhaps just the PC you’re reading this on right now. If that’s the case and you are working from home, here are a few (very long-lived) distractions to get you through quarantine/social isolation/the work day.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

We, very sadly, know more than a few people who have left this Nintendo gem uncompleted. If we’re being fair, Breath of the Wild is one hell of a title — it can be completed in relatively short order but to see everything the game has to offer will take you a couple hundred hours. That’s not a short amount of time. And since the Switch is portable, you can save Hyrule in between data input sessions without even leaving your desk. The length? As with the rest of these entries, we’re expecting social distancing to last a while.

Red Dead Redemption 2

The tale of a doomed gang, the conclusion of which we saw in Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar’s sequel is a vastly, hugely detailed world that loads of players explored. Less saw it through to the end, however. It’s time to reacquaint yourself with Dutch van der Linde and his gang and finish what you started. We’re all left with a little more time on our hands suddenly and there are far worse places to spend that time. And, if you’re feeling socially bereft, you can also play Red Dead Redemption 2 online — they’ve ironed out many of the kinks that plagued the game’s launch.

Darksiders (trilogy)

A prime example of what happens when a good game series is beset by problems that don’t have a whole lot to do with the game, the Darksiders trilogy is still incredibly playable. Grab yourself Darksiders: Warmastered Edition on PC or newer console, follow it up with the best in the series — Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition — and then round out your experience with Fury’s journey in Darksiders III. The series may hit a little close to home, given that it concerns the end of the world, but we’re battling a virus rather than the myriad forces arrayed against our ‘heroes’.

Final Fantasy XV

There are a few reasons why you’d want to play Final Fantasy: Boy Band Edition but the prime one is just the experience of wandering from place to place with your friends. Sure there’s incredibly well-animated action, balanced gameplay, a wide open world and more quests than you can shake a journal entry at but it all pales compared to hearing your party banter and chat as you drive from point to point, hunting down objectives and resources in this sprawling but slightly flawed game. Especially noteworthy are the camp sections, where you’ll go to level up. If you want to care about your characters over 100 or more hours, you’re in the right place.

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is a procedural game that promised the universe at launch and failed to deliver. Right away, that is. The devs have been working on it since launch and it’s bigger and better in every way. If you’re looking for a time-sink that will distract from the fact that you’re not allowed to touch other people for a while, this is where you get off. Explore a planet until you’ve got everything it has to offer (you don’t have time to do that — trust us) or jet off on a mad, unplanned jaunt around the cosmos, stopping only to upgrade your kit/shop/self. Best of all, do it in VR and escape from this reality for a little while.

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (plus expansions)

When a humble bard
Graced a ride along
With Geralt of Rivia
Along came this song
When the White Wolf fought
A silver tongued devil
His army of elves
At his hooves did they revel
They came after me
With masterful deceit
Broke down my lute
And they kicked in my teeth
While the devil’s horns
Minced our tender meat
And so cried the Witcher
He can’t be bleat
Toss a coin to your Witcher
Oh, valley of plenty
Oh, valley of plenty, oh
Toss a coin to your Witcher
Oh, valley of plenty…
Do this for 300 hours. You know you want to.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey/Origins

Greece or Egypt — that’s your call. For our money it’d be Origins and Egypt, if only for Bayek and Aya and the afterlife DLC. But you can also Sparta-kick the crap out of the Greek myth as Alexios or Kassandra (pick Kassandra) in Odyssey. Ubisoft’s open-world epics are both amazing plays, revolving around a massive amount of stories. You can disappear into an ancient world that never was, take a tour of the world that we think existed in the exploration modes or just ride, fight, explore and hunt your away across savagely detailed lands. Both games have quests that deal with plagues and illness as well, so you can also get vent some anxiety as the same time.

Uncharted (quadrilogy)

Keep busy with Nolan North, Emily Rose, and Richard McGonagle in the Uncharted quadrilogy. The first three games, released on PlayStation 3, have been remastered for the current generation and will keep you (and anyone else sharing your home space) enthralled for literal hours each. Once you’ve done the big three, hit up Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End for a fitting (and absolutely gorgeous) send-off for the game’s main characters. And, if you haven’t had enough high-octane thrills by the time that’s done, finish the trip with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Super Mario Odyssey

It doesn’t have to all be serious. You’ve probably finished Super Mario Odyssey but you almost certainly haven’t completed all the missing moons. There is at least one location you haven’t seen and more to find even in the areas you have explored. If you’re playing along with YouTube videos, Odyssey has enough hidden in plain sight that you’ll wonder just how the heck this game was designed. Alchemy? Thaumaturgy? Some other kind of magic? Mario’s grandest adventure yet certainly wasn’t created by human hands. It seems far, far too detailed for that. It doesn’t matter, though. The game is an extremely cheerful place — and we could all use a lot of that right now.

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