Being Quarantined Has Strangely Made Me Want to Play Some Really Odd Games from My Backlog
There has never been a better time to play Knack 2, Resident Evil 6, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Since many folks around the world have now quarantined themselves in their homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this is arguably the best time in modern history to do nothing else but play video games. For many, this newfound free time may allow them to pick up some games from yesteryear that they’ve always been meaning to try out. Others may find it comforting to return to one of their personal favorite games that they haven’t played in quite some time. And some will likely dive into multiplayer experiences so that they can still socialize with friends from the cover of their own home. But for me personally, I keep having these strange desires to play the most nonsensical games from my backlog, and I have no earthly idea why.
As this whole coronavirus has really started to take hold in the United States, I’ve begun realizing that I’m going to have much more time on my hands in the coming weeks and months. So much so, in fact, that I’ve actually started to take inventory of my backlog for the first time in awhile. In case you don’t know how I operate, I have a list on the notes section of my phone that’s full of “Games I Want to Play” at some point in my life. Over the past year or so, I’ve been so busy playing nothing but new releases (and League of Legends) that I’ve opted to kind of stop worrying about this artificial list of games hanging over my head. But as this whole pandemic has come about, I decided to revisit this list and see what I could now finally pick up that I couldn’t in the past.
Amongst a list of titles that includes critically-acclaimed gems like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, all-time classics like Chrono Trigger, and games like Red Dead Redemption 2 that I never saw through to the end, the titles that have been jumping out to me the most are the ones that are likely the most mediocre of all. Like, I’m talking about some truly bizarre games like Resident Evil 6, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Days Gone, and Knack 2. So just why are these oddballs the ones that I’m wanting to play the most? Honestly, I do not know.
I think that of the specific games I’ve listed here, Days Gone is the one that I’m most able to rationalize why I want to play. Even though I never had a lot of interest in the game leading up to its release last year, I ended up picking it up for reasons I’m not really sure of not too long after it launched. Since then, it has been sitting on my PS4’s dashboard and I often see it out of the corner of my eye when I go to play other games. Days Gone had a pretty mixed reaction from critics, but I’m actually inclined to believe I may enjoy it a fair amount. I’ve always been a fan of Ubisoft’s checklist-style open-world games and Days Gone absolutely seems to have aspects of that. Games of this ilk have often been comfort food for me over the years, so I at least understand why I’d want to give it a shot.
Sticking with the PlayStation exclusives, Knack 2 is the one that I’m truly a masochist for even giving a thought to play. Believe it or not, I do actually own Knack 2. I bought it essentially as a gag like two years ago when it went on sale at one point in time, and it’s been sitting on my shelf of games ever since. I’ve often told my roommate over the years that we need to actually do a full, non-stop playthrough of Knack 2 at some point because, “Haha, the memes, dude!” He thinks I’m an idiot.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that I bought the original Knack with my PS4 at launch back in 2013 and I played through the entirety of it. My verdict? That game totally stunk. So, again, why would I ever seriously consider playing the sequel like I am right this very moment? I honestly don’t have an answer for you.
Both Resident Evil 6 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, on the other hand, I can at least understand my desire to play just because I love each franchise so dearly. Resident Evil and Mass Effect are likely in my personal top 5 of most beloved franchises, which means I’m a complete sucker for each of them deep down.
In the case of RE6 specifically, it’s the only mainline Resident Evil game that I have never played. When it initially released back in 2012 and I heard it was a disaster, I decided just to avoid it entirely rather than have it break my heart. Since that time, however, I’ve been morbidly interested in returning to it, especially since Resident Evil has been back on the come-up the past few years with RE7, RE2 remake, and next week’s release of the RE3 remake. Now that I know the series is in a good place again, what’s the harm in going back to see it at what many consider to be its lowest point? I’ve been putting off playing this one for nearly a decade and I’m thinking I finally need to rectify it.
And then there’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that’s so bad some have even claimed it killed the whole series (despite the fact that BioWare is reportedly working on a new entry). I came into 2017 more excited for Andromeda than any other game that was set to launch in that year, and after playing it for a few hours, I quickly realized I didn’t like it at all. Not only was it buggy, but the story, gameplay, and just overall tone of this new world wasn’t clicking with me whatsoever. It really, really bummed me out greatly that I didn’t like it initially, but I always swore I’d finish it one day.
Even as I look at this one on my backlog and legitimately entertain the thought of finally returning to it, I just don’t know if I can do it. Andromeda is almost like the inverse of RE6 for me at the moment. I think I need to see Mass Effect as a whole redeemed before I might be able to play this one all the way through just to see what it has to offer. For now, it’s just still too painful to know that EA and BioWare really screwed up things up so badly with this entry. It still makes me sad to even talk about.
So, why am I even writing this piece to begin with? Partially, it’s just to inform you of how dumb my brain is. I don’t know why I’m like this. Please, talk some sense into me if you’re reading this article. Convince me to play The Witcher 3 in its entirety like I know I should be doing rather than diving into Knack 2, of all things.
The other reason though is to just say that it doesn’t really matter what you’re playing right now. As long as you’re deciding to stay at home and “flatten the curve” as we’ve been told to do, anything from Superman 64 to Persona 5 Royal is more than adequate to spend your time with. Playing video games is, bizarrely enough, almost a form of public service at this point in time. Even though your time can surely be spent experiencing many better games than some of the ones I’ve listed here, take pride in the fact that it’s now more socially acceptable than ever before to plop down on your couch and do nothing but veg out and play the vidyas.
As for what’s on the docket for me this weekend? I think I’m going to actually dive into a replay of Halo 3: ODST because, sure, why not? It’s not like I’ve got anywhere to go.