Hopefully, by now we’re all practicing good social distancing habits and staving off madness with animal friends in New Horizons. If, for whatever reason, you’re not enjoying a cup of Brewster’s best—or headbanging in id’s new Mick Gordon simulator—then I’ve got what you need. Four games under $20, most of them playable on any platform or able to run on any modern computer.
Darkest Dungeon – $6.24 on Steam until March 27th
Available on All Platforms
I’d pay $6.24 for a blank screen that spits out quotes from “Darkest Dungeon’s” narrator every fifteen seconds. To get one of the best turn-based RPGs of the last decade is too inticing. “Darkest Dungeon” is a well polished masterpiece of turn-based tension. You manage a growing group of adventurers tasked with clearing THE DARKEST DUNGEON (which demands to be written in caps) but not before clearing through the eldritch horrors it has spawned in other locations. If somebody made Neon Genesis Evangelion about D&D rather than giant robots this would be it. Grab it if you enjoy RPGs, gothic horror, or difficult games.
Broforce – $14.99
Available on Windows, Mac, Switch, and PS4
If you too enjoy cheesy action flicks and American satire, then “Broforce” was made for you. “Broforce” is a side-scrolling run n’ gun where you play as an American military unit made up of action heros tasked with fighting terrorists, aliens, and Satan. It’s somehow more ridiculous than it sounds and is just as fun to play as it is funny to watch. Every time you die you come back randomly as one of 42 different “Bros”. Each bro is fully realized, fun to play, and comes with a forced pun name. Flambé your foes as Ellen Ripbro, kick some comrades as Bro Lee, or blast away baddies as Planet Terror’s Cherry Broling(the lady with the machine gun leg, and in “Broforce” the recoil on it is so extreme you can fly). Anyway, I’ve run out of alliteration. Go have fun destroying everything in sight as Brobocop. And did I mention it has couch/online co-op?
Fallout: New Vegas – $9.99
Available on Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360
“New Vegas” turns 10 this year and in that decade I don’t think there’s been a better time to lose oneself in an open world RPG. If you’ve played Fallout 3 or 4 and enjoyed the worldbuilding of those games, then New Vegas will blow you away. By far my favorite of the new Fallout games (and most true to the originals), if it can’t charm you I doubt any Fallout game will. “New Vegas” does look and feel aged, but there’s an expansive modding community that can help with that. Plus you don’t play a game like this for those reasons. The shining light of “New Vegas” is it’s intelligent storytelling and wide roleplaying space. The characters you meet along your journey will stick with you and the choices you make will matter. If that all sounds too serious the game also allows creativity in how you enjoy it. Turn on the Wild Wasteland feat to make the apocalypse goofier, or try survival mode if you prefer the weight of the wastes. If none of that is convincing enough, perhaps Mr. New Vegas will change your mind?
DOOM (2016) – $19.99
Available on All Platforms (Cheapest on Windows & Mac)
Since “Eternal’s” release on the 20th, the 2016 Doom has been dropped to $20 and it id still well worth it. The game looks incredible, but id Software put a lot of time and love into the optimization. They are old school PC developers after all, and it really shows. If you’re skeptical that your computer could run “Doom” I recommend you download the demo; chances are it will run better than you think.
2016’s “Doom” was a true return to form for the series and will likely be remembered as the best shooter of the decade. Its high impact weaponry, speed focused combat, and intense soundtrack (I use that word in the best way possible) elevate the original “Doom” formula. The best new feature has to be the way Mick Gordon’s soundtrack is implemented in the action. “Doom” developers took inspiration from rhythm games to make the music match the pacing of combat. What follows is the most hellish version of DDR imaginable, lovingly known as “the Doom dance.” The pounding pace of combat in Doom will grip you in a way that few games can. If all else fails, it’s worth twenty bucks to hear Mick Gordon’s infernal beats.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment