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Multiplayer video games to keep you social during the COVID-19 lockdown

Representative image of a lone gamer playing a multiplayer game

Representative image of a lone gamer playing a multiplayer game  

Whatever you comfort level in gaming is — novice, hardcore or just unsure — there is something on this list for everyone

Who says gaming is an anti-social sport? Sure, the stereotypical image of gamers sees them nestled into a couch with a day’s worth of snacks around them as neither their gaze never strays from the monitor in front of them nor their fingers budge from the controller or keyboard. We bet that’s changing now.

Honourable mentions
  • League Of Legends, Dota, World Of Warcraft, Rocket League, Need For Speed, Team Fortress, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Seige, Genesis 6, Halo, Doom,Grand Theft Auto, Mario Kart, Borderlands

With the lockdown underway across the country, people yearn for the company of their friends and families. That said, the digital space compensates with the power of communication and entertainment, and nothing is quite as interactive as gaming. Plus, it shoves unnecessary small talk aside, sending you right into the centre of the action.

Here is MetroPlus’ pick of multiplayer games that will have you feeling a little less alone in these hard times:

Minecraft

We’ll start this off easy. Minecraft is one of the gaming industry’s best world-building games. Despite the simplicity of its pixellated design, the game offers countless possibilities of building a kingdom, playing virtual Hunger Games, or replicating your actual home. Kids, in particular, take a shining to the Education Edition as it gamifies learning and catalyses creativity on many levels.

A screenshot from Minecraft

A screenshot from Minecraft  

Minecraft also appeals to the tech-savvy for its impressive scripting tools, and the massive player pools in Minecraft also make it ideal for those missing their friends and family. Yes, we know a digital environment is not a substitute, but in the lockdown we are in now, can we afford to be picky?

Minecraft is available on most mainstream gaming, mobile and PC platforms.

The Sims 4

Have you really gotten into gaming if you haven’t done a several-hour binge of The Sims? Electronic Arts have perfected the second-life game sub-culture over the years since the Windows-exclusive release in 2000. Yes, The Sims franchise is 20 years-old now. This game is ideal if you’re down ‘meet’ your friends at the virtual club you built and dashing away to the nearby castle for some romance... but we do ask you not to take break-ups on here too seriously.

A screenshot of The Sims 4 ‘Get Togther’ feature

A screenshot of The Sims 4 ‘Get Togther’ feature   | Photo Credit: Electronic Arts

That said, the Sims 4 escalates the experience with better persistent worlds, emotionally-driven activities and an improved Build Mode which will turn you into an architectural genius. What an apt game in the time of social distancing.

The Sims 4 is available on MacOS, Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

FIFA 20

Is there a better multiplayer game to play during a lockdown? For generations, friends from across continents have bonded over the FIFA Ultimate Team feature of the game that continues to evolve with newer versions. Featuring over 30 official leagues, 700 clubs and 17,000 players, the licensing is the real win here over eternal rivals Pro Evolution Soccer.

Screenshot of FIFA 20

Screenshot of FIFA 20   | Photo Credit: Electronic Arts

While FIFA 20 comes with its fair share of detractors, there have been enough tweaks in the gameplay to keep players occupied for hours — and weeks — at a stretch. The much-criticised Career Mode (in which you manage a team over an entire season) could actually be a godsend for those in countries with slow/ regulated internet, and the new addition of VOLTA (inspired by street and Futsal games) makes for a lot of fun. The Journey Mode returns as well, and can be played offline, and offers the closest experience gamers get towards experiencing a real footballer’s life in its storyline mode, with all its drama and off the pitch decisions.

Ultimately, FIFA remains what it always has been: the perfect ‘outdoor’ social gaming experience.

FIFA 20 is available on Microsoft Windows, PS4, XBox One and Nintendo Switch

PUBG

Despite a tumultuous realtionship with the government, the allure of Unreal Engine 4’s PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battleground) is undeniable. Unlike most games of this scale, PUBG had a soft launch but made quite an impact in gaming regimes the world over, with its anti-cheating mechanisms, rating protection cards and HDR Mode. Plus, the game, singular in form, has updates which come in the form of seasons, so once you have PUBG, do stay up to date.

Screenshot of PUBG’s Battlegrounds

Screenshot of PUBG’s Battlegrounds   | Photo Credit: Unreal Engine 4

Players go head-to-head in shrinking mapped areas, leading up to a battle royale of sorts. The adrenalin rush of PUBG is incomparable, due to the simple framework of the game. So don’t expect a rivetting storyline here; it’s all about getting in and being the last one standing.

PUBG is available on PC, mobile, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Destiny 2: New Light

Richly detailed and brimming with purpose, Destiny 2 creates one of the richest atmospheres and storylines in gaming history. Bungie and Activision set players, as Guardians, on a mission to unite three former comrades in order secure peace across the universe. New Light is stunning, too; it takes the cake for impressive design of its persistent state world.

Screenshot of Destiny 2: New Light

Screenshot of Destiny 2: New Light   | Photo Credit: Bungie

We recommend taking a crack at its predecessor, purely for the rivetting storyline. In an MMO (massive multiplayer online) realm, join other Guardians for challenging co-op missions, or compete against them in a variety of PvP (player-versus-player) modes.

Destiny 2 is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and MacOS.

Call Of Duty: Warzone

No multiplayer listicle is complete without Call Of Duty, whatever the version. Latest addition Warzone features the classic Call Of Duty battle rezz staples such as weapon looting and a vast player pool so there’s no limits to the number of comrades you can team up with. If you’re not ready for Warzone just yet, we would recommend Modern Warfare — of which Warzone is a part, but does not require a purchase in order to play Warzone. Modern Warfare is known for being a landmark in the franchise, offering multiple reviving options, item-weapon combinations, and stunning graphics.

Screenshot from Call Of Duty: Warzone

Screenshot from Call Of Duty: Warzone   | Photo Credit: Activision

The franchise has some committed die-hard fans out there too; Warzone saw more than 30 million players in less than two weeks post-launch, so you could very well make some interesting friends during a gaming session.

Call Of Duty: Warzone is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:00:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/multiplayer-video-games-to-keep-you-socialising-during-the-covid-19-lockdown/article31160860.ece

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