With winter break coinciding with lockdowns around the country, it’s time to put your feet up, pick up the controllers and get stuck into some video games.
There’s something for every type of player, so whether you’re into fast-paced shooters, laid back life sims, or just a way to stay connected with friends while stuck at home, The Standard has six games to help you pass the time.
Available On: Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Vita, iOS & Android
If yet another lockdown has left you feeling stressed out, take some time out and settle in for the ultimate cosy game, Stardew Valley.
Befriend townsfolk, plant crops, and (if you’re so inclined) go dungeon crawling in the 16-bit inspired game focused on connecting with the world and returning to your roots.
Let the relaxing soundtrack and wholesome interactions soothe the nerves in a low-stakes, low-pressure environment and enjoy living the simple life.
Playing Stardew Valley is like a warm, comforting hug wrapped up in a cute farming sim.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
It’s a cold and dreary winter day outside. You’re stuck inside, it’s raining and there’s absolutely nothing to do. Why not take a trip around the galaxy from the comfort of the couch with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition?
The Legendary Edition compiles all three Mass Effect games into one package. This edition also adds some major quality of life updates, without compromising on the story and gameplay the series is known for.
Since lockdown’s been extended for another week, now is the perfect time for new players to check out the series.
If you’ve played it before, replay for nostalgia’s sake, it’ll be a great excuse to romance someone else for a change or smooch your favourite for the tenth time.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Available On: PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, iPad, Mac & Windows
Dungeons & Dragons groups have had to take another break from in-person games, but don’t worry, Divinity: Original Sin II is here to save the day and help the group stay together while apart!
Divinity: Original Sin II is about as close to a D&D game as you can get in a video game format. The game is an absolute blast to play, with a vast and ever-changing world to explore and a myriad of ways to complete quests.
The cherry on top is the four-player co-op mode—just think of all the stories you’ll be able to share on how a plan came together or disastrously fell apart.
The game is also available on almost all platforms, so there’s no excuse not to play.
It Takes Two
Available On: Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X
Missing catching up with friends? Then use the Friend Pass to invite a buddy to come and play alongside you for free in It Takes Two.
Together you can overcome obstacles and challenges as Cody and May, a disjointed couple turned into dolls, as they try to fix their relationship.
It Takes Two is a breakout game with rave reviews that is sure to keep you and your gaming buddy entertained for hours on end.
Strap in for a fun-filled co-op adventure that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Tell Me Why
Available On: Windows and Xbox One
Feeling introspective or just wanting to experience an engaging story? Tell Me Why, from the creators of Life Is Strange, explores the story of twins brought together as they remember a traumatic past and try to understand their mother after her death.
Tell Me Why has great LGBTIQ+ representation and a unique memory gameplay mechanic that is sure to keep you glued to the screen as a small town’s secrets begin to unravel.
Dontnod Entertainment’s episodic narrative game is like playing through a movie, much like their other works, and will have you thinking about the power of memory (and its infallible nature) for some time after you finish.
Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, Windows & Stadia
Doom: Eternal is here to fulfil your demon-slaying needs so, round out your freezing winter holidays with a trip to the hottest place imaginable and go to hell.
There’s only one way to progress in Doom: Eternal, massacre every demon within the immediate vicinity until they’re nothing but a fine mist.
Electric heaters might help with the winter chill but, they’re no match for the warm feeling of ripping up a Cacodemon with a chainsaw or firing a rocket into the face of a Hell Baron.
The satisfying and fluid combat is sure to get the adrenaline pumping, while Mick Gordon’s booming metal soundtrack will make you feel ready to take on the world.