The social isolation caused by the epidemic of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) has already become a way of life, although many resist the idea that this is the new standard to be obeyed. The fact is that there are far more questions than answers right now: how long will confinement be necessary? Are we far from the worst moment? What will life be like after that? Will we experience what we considered “normal” again?
While these issues are not clarified, we need alternatives to keep energy, optimism and head on straight. And that’s why many of us see video games as the perfect form of escapism — especially when it comes to games whose universes are so beautiful, immersive, and interesting that they make us never want to live anywhere else.
That was the mission of the IGN Brasil team this week: to recommend games with idyllic and wonderful universes, so much so that it would be perfectly adequate to imagine a lifetime inside them. Because if reality is too scary, the peace we so desperately need may be waiting for us right there, in the safe infinity of virtual worlds .
This is the game of the moment. The arrival of Nintendo’s beloved franchise on the Switch has been a favorite retreat for many gamers around the world who are facing the difficult period of social isolation. Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers a smooth and fun experience that can keep you busy for months. As the new resident of an isolated island, you are quite busy: build your house, collect insects and fish, make friends with other inhabitants, create your own clothes, help in the development of the island… There are so many activities that we can even say that It’s a complex game, but that’s exactly what makes it so immersive and charming.
For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac – Tip by Carol Costa
Firewatch takes you out of the real world to insert you into the forest reserve where protagonist Henry seeks refuge. The plot involves mysteries, discoveries, suspense and a bittersweet relationship with Delilah, her supervisor whose voice can only be heard through a walkie-talkie. There is much to discover and contemplate in this forest that little by little you will know like the back of your hand. Until then, allow yourself to experience a sensitive narrative that has a lot to say about relationships, exchanges and expectations. And enjoy the days lulled by Delilah’s sweet voice — she’ll likely echo in your mind for a long time after you play.
For Android and iOS – Tip from Matheus Bianezzi
A geometric and minimalist world is all you need right now and didn’t know it. Monument Valley can be defined as an extremely sensitive and sympathetic game, but it is no less challenging for that. Inspired by the impossible constructions of Dutch artist MC Escher , Princess Ida’s journey through labyrinths of optical illusions in search of a mysterious forgiveness inspires and thrills with a limited amount of words – in the best grip of the also exciting Journey . The puzzles are a show apart, composing a visual spectacle full of paradoxes and pastel tones, just like a true “hipster paradise”. And enjoy: during the quarantine, the sequel Monument Valley 2 is free for Androidand iOS .
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
For Xbox One and PC – Tip from Bruno Yonezawa
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a journey to play headfirst into. The recently released sequel to the adventure created by Moon Studios in 2015 once again gives prominence to the friendly spirit Ori, this time accompanied by good friends, but also immersed in great dangers. The game is a delight and a great pastime, both for those who play and for those who watch. In addition to the beautiful soundtrack and an extensive map to explore and re-explore (after all, this is a typical metroidvania ), the stunning scenarios delight the eyes of those who have the controller in hand. There are also regions that, despite being hit by desolation, remind us that there is always a dawn after a twilight – a more than perfect parallel to the unique moment we live in today.
Final Fantasy IX
For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile – Tip by Diego Lima
A theater shaped like a flying boat, little pigs with bat wings, magic crystals and an enchanted castle. It sounds like I’m describing the beginning of a fairy tale, but I’m referring to Final Fantasy IX — in my opinion, the best FF of all time. Since I was a child, I dream of this particularly diverse and magical reality, which would represent an escape from the gray everyday life we deal with from the moment we wake up. Visually, this is perhaps the most childish Final Fantasy in history, but don’t be fooled: deep musings will inevitably hit the player as the story progresses. After all, forgetting about the outside world shouldn’t stop us from thinking about who we are or hope to become.
For PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch – Tip from Barbara Gutierrez
Abzû is a blue world with beautiful landscapes and a soundtrack that follows the current as you explore the ocean looking for your way… just like in Journey. Don’t be surprised by the comparison, it’s already expected: both games feature the same art director and the same composer, but offer antagonistic experiences. Giant Squid’s fully underwater adventure depicts the journey of a diver restoring marine life as she travels through natural caves, comes across ancient ruins and swims alongside whales, in one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever witnessed in games. Even if he can momentarily forget about the daily dramas, the player cannot avoid being impacted by relevant and current themes, such as food chains and preservation of the environment.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
For Nintendo Switch – Tip from Pablo Miyazawa
In 2017, my personal life was in a complicated state. Things weren’t going well at work and, consequently, they weren’t going well at home either… or was it the other way around? In that difficult period (which was the harbinger of an even worse one, I would find out later), only one escape valve offered me solace in the sleepless nights: accompanying Link in his tireless exploration of the vast and passionate world of Hyrule. Looking back today on those hundreds of hours put to good use, I can see that Breath of the Wild is not just the most immersive virtual world I’ve ever experienced; for me, it’s the definitive statement that video games can save lives, or at the very least provide the breath, the necessary comfort, the reasons to want to move on.