2021, COVID-19 1/2, and Video Games

The first month in 2021 is nearly half over already, which brings us to almost a year of dealing with COVID-19. If you're like me, you're tired of all the junk from 2020 spilling over into our new year and poisoning our fresh start.

2021 doesn't have to resemble 2020 at all. The great thing about life is that we can choose what to fill our eyes, ears, and thoughts. We can decide what gets our attention, focus, and whatever we decide to invest our time into, whether family, play or work, we are giving away pieces that we will never get back, so invest wisely.

I put family first in that statement because that's where I want to invest most. Time spent with family, my kids, and grandkids, doing things, going places. However, I'm a workaholic and loath working. That's the truth.

I know it may seem strange that someone who is a workaholic and is always up between 3:00 AM - 4:00 AM every day would hate working, but I do.

Now, some of the things I do every day I don't consider work. Writing, reading, thinking (yes, sitting and thinking is a thing), I usually do not watch television, but at night my wife and I like watching before sleep, playing games once in a while.

My XYZ Printing Da Vinci AIO 3D Printer

Sometimes my work isn't working either. I design 3D objects for various projects, Second Life models, things I print on my 3D printer. The 3D prints are sometimes for models I build or prototypes for friends.

I helped prototype a friend's Dice Dungeon for him. I love mine. We have been friends for years, and he too because an author and designer, writing various books and creating some dice games.

One thing my family likes to do is get together and play board games. Some of our favorites are Monopoly, Go to the Head of the Class, Trivial Pursuit, Ticket to Ride. But with all the things going on, it gets hard to get everyone together.

So many board games to choose from!

This Christmas, only a few of my kids and grandkids could come. We understand, considering six kids and seven grandkids (plus spouses) can be a lot for scheduling.

This year at Christmas, we played the traditional pickle game, but we added a Christmas scavenger hunt and bingo, all for extra gift prizes, of course. It was a great time.

With nearly all the cafes closed, restaurants not allowing dine-in, shops open limited hours; it's becoming challenging to spend time with family outside the home.

One way we share time is Social media, which is a poor substitution for social interaction. Another way we sometimes spend time is gaming together online. Since my kids were little, I have had a home network gaming system set up, and they each had their computers. We would game together, and it was a lot of fun.

Now, with high-speed internet, we game together online.

Sometimes it's on the PC, and other times it's the Xbox.

Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles RPG available at Palladium

Cyberpunk came out not too long ago. I heard about problems with it on Playstation and Xbox, so I decided to get it for the PC. It's only a single-player game, which I usually don't play, but when I was a kid, we played Cyberpunk RPG (but later transitioned to TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG). So I thought it would be interesting to get.

I played for a short time, putting in about 2 hours of actual playtime. It wasn't my cup of tea, and I like all sorts of tea. So I deleted it from my limited space SDD and moved on.

Today I was thinking, though, as I drank my morning coffee, I wondered what games were coming out in 2021 and if any of them would be worth playing?

So I decided to check out what is coming up, make a list here, and maybe put it in my two-cents.

  • Far Cry 6

  • Hitman 3

  • Halo Infinite

  • Resident Evil Village

  • Gotham Knights

  • Age of Empires 4

There are far more coming out than this in 2021. However, these are the ones I want to check out.

Far Cry 6

OK, Far Cry 6. First off, it was cool to see Giancarlo Esposito (if it's not him, it's a twin) on the front of the game. I have enjoyed a Far Cry game or two over the years and enjoyed the sandbox to create levels and play them over LAN with friends. That was always fun. I haven't played the last few Far Cry games because I have been too busy with the Pandemic Dawn novels and other projects. But with 2021 forcing downtime on us, I may have some game time this year. So, I may give Far Cry 6 a try, especially if there is a sandbox for making playable levels.

Hitman 3. I liked 1 & 2 and loved replaying levels to see if I could get a better score. From the video trailer's looks, it will be more of the same, just a different storyline, which is good if you already like Hitman.

What I don't really like from the video is the looks of the mechanics and game engine. Are they still using the same engine and mechanics from the first? Probably time to upgrade. I may still try this one.

Halo Infinite. I LOVED the first Halo on my Xbox 360. My kids and I would play for hours while yelling at each other to stop peeking at our screen. Remember how four people could play; however, all four screens were on the TV in front of everyone. When Halo 2 came out, they swapped out the game mechanics, and it felt completely different. The game responded differently. The response time was odd, and there was a delay between controllers and screen. This lag is detrimental to PVP, especially when your kids are winning.

After my experience with Halo 2, I'm not sure I'll try Halo Infinite.

Resident Evil Village. I can't believe they are still making Resident Evil games. I loved the first few I played on my Playstation and Playstation 2. I like the puzzles, as well as the intermediate action, with breaks. I feel the gaps and puzzles build the suspense and make the action even more heart pounding. I'm not even sure which game I played last, but I may give this one a try if they have it for PC. I still have my Xbox One X I could play on, but since my computer upgrade, the gaming and graphics are far superior on my PC; plus, I love modding.

Gotham Knights. As a kid, I loved Batman, and watched the cartoons and cheesy TV show with glee. Then the Marvel cartoons started showing, and I watched the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Fantastic Four, and the Marvel kingdom drew me in. To this day, I collect every Marvel movie and have them on the shelf in the order you are supposed to watch them (except for the alternate universe of Xmen). I did enjoy some of the DC movies like the Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Batman (Michael Keaton), Batman Returns, Batman Begins (Christian Bale), The Dark Knight, but it stops there. With some of their movies, I just can't get "into" them. They feel like something is missing. The only Batman game I have ever played was Lego Batman on the Nintendo Wii with my grandson. It was fun. But I have no interest in becoming the Dark Knight and saving Gotham. If I were a superhero, I would want to be Wolverine, but probably end up as Legion or something closer to my real life. So this is a no for me.

Age of Empires 4. I typically don't care for these types of games. Sim-like top-down view games where you have to build and keep things running smoothly to do anything else in the game. I either forget to plant enough food, store enough water, make enough troops. I am lousy at these games. I did play Age of Empires II with my two sons, and it was a lot of fun. Usually, set up takes so long that by the time you actually get to play you become reckless, and just want action. At least I do.

So, unless one of my boys gets it and wants to play online together, I'll pass here as well.

A few games to look at for now. If I get something, I'll post about it, or if I see other exciting games.

Happy gaming!

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