Finals can be a stressful time. The stress that comes with a rush of projects and tests all occurring at around the same time can be overwhelming. If I ever need a break, I turn to video games to help take some time off and refocus on what needs to be done. Here are some recent and upcoming titles sure to aid you in this stressful time.
From Remedy, best known for pioneering bullet time in games with “Max Payne,” comes a new time-bending third-person shooter for Xbox One and Windows 10 called “Quantum Break.”
Players take control of an every-man named Jack Joyce as he works to stop the end of time as we know it. The action is fast and fluid, with a host of time-based abilities for players to master while fighting enemies across large and open arenas. The game also features a four-episode television series guided by choices the player makes in the main campaign. With outstanding acting, particularly from “The Wire” and “Fringe” alum Lance Reddick, the series complements the game’s story by shifting focus to employees of the shadowy organization bringing about the end of time.
PlayStation 4 owners should not feel left out either, with Insomniac’s remaster of their 2002 blockbuster hit, “Ratchet & Clank.”
More than just a remake, the new “Ratchet & Clank” completely overhauls the duo’s first adventure with a more streamlined plot and progression mechanics that became standard with later entries in the series. Fan favorite weapons from later installments also make a return to add a new spin to classic fights. The visuals have also received a huge upgrade, using game-optimized models from the upcoming animated feature film adaptation of the series.
If science fiction does not interest you, then From Software’s “Dark Souls III” — available on PS4, Xbox One and PC — might be what you seek.
In “Dark Souls III,” players explore an ancient kingdom known as Lothric to hunt a group known as the Lords of Cinder in order to save the world from destruction. Not for the faint of heart, “Dark Souls III” may help ease or highly agitate your stress levels. Striking a balance between the faster, combat focus of “Bloodborne” and the slower, more methodical pace of past “Souls” games, combat can be tough for new players to master. However, finally overcoming a tough boss fight may boost your confidence for other pursuits.
Of course, game developers are constantly releasing video games, and there are always new ones on the horizon. These games will be available in time for dead week, but weren’t available by press time.
Platinum, creators of action masterpieces like “Bayonetta” and “Vanquish,” are bringing their development expertise to Nintendo with “Star Fox Zero,” exclusively on Wii U. With Platinum’s pedigree in action games, Nintendo’s new willingness to let other developers take their franchises in new directions and the game’s control scheme using Wii U’s gamepad in new and exciting ways, “Star Fox Zero” promises to be a must-play for Wii U owners.
Finally, Sony has been courting the independent scene since the release of the PS4. They have been reaping the benefits with a burgeoning catalog of indie titles for all tastes. Klei Entertainment’s “Invisible Inc” is a turn based tactical strategy game with an emphasis on stealth and espionage. Following a successful PC release, the game launched on PS4 Tuesday. Also launching on that day are a Vita release of highly acclaimed exploration game — “Axiom Verge” — and puzzle-based game called “KOI” from a small team in Shanghai, China.
Perhaps at least one of these games is to your liking and will help relieve some stress during this year’s finals.