Of course, we can’t speak for everyone out there, but it’s safe to say that the majority of us inside our homes have to also deal with cancelled or postponed holiday plans because of the raging pandemic. Of course, that comes from a place of privilege since the fact that we can stay at home and do our work from here already puts us in a better place than most people.
Still, it sucks. Like a lot. And it’s okay to say that.
Thankfully, video games can offer a lot of reprieve for our vacation-starved hearts, in that they can provide endless hours of virtual tourism. And the best part is a lot of the destinations they offer only exist in their own digital worlds.
So if you plan on spending your 2020 holidays in video game world, here are some of our top destinations for you:
What’s better than exploring the Big Apple? Well, exploring it from a bird’s eye-view, of course… by web. So hit the streets of a fully-realized and, for the most part, accurate, New York City as the titular web-swinging superhero in “Spider-Man PS4.” From Manhattan, to Times Square, to the Statue of Liberty and the Avengers Tower (?), the game features a sprawling city that feels real for the most part, all open for you to explore. You can even get to take selfies in the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
While, technically, any place in this game’s continent will surprise you with amazing visuals, it’s Toussaint where you really want to go as the monster hunter Geralt. Featuring luscious hills, sprawling forests dotted with rivers and streams and the fairy tale-esque charm of Beauclair, exploring this region is a dream come true. That is, until the monsters start coming out. Thankfully, you have two swords, so you can get back to sight-seeing ASAP.
If, for some reason, you believe a near-future, post-apocalyptic America would be a good holiday destination for you, then look no further than “Death Stranding.” Best part? You get to really explore this wasteland because the game is 90 percent walking. Expect to struggle a lot in the varied (but hauntingly beautiful) terrain and watch out for ghostly monsters. Oh, and the rain makes you age quicker too, so maybe stay away from it as well.
Grand Theft Auto V
No one makes open world games better like Rockstar, and “GTAV” is no exception. Because of this, you can basically explore the game’s own version of the West Coast as much as you please, which it will deliver in droves, from beaches with bikini bodies, suburbs, cityscapes and even nearby mountains you can hike in a matter of a few minutes. There’s a lot to explore here.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Ahh, the pandemic’s essential video game escape. There’s a lot to unpack here, but the game essentially gives you your own island getaway that you can explore and customize to your own liking in order to build a community for your would-be virtual friends. It’s charming, it’s a literal island getaway… and it makes you fish. A lot. Like a lot.