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BY NEON SERPENT
Sometimes you just need to set down the gun, put away your pickaxe, stick your football in the closet and just go for a walk. Take a break. Get some perspective on these videogames you like so much. ULTRAWORLD provides a lush blocky landscape and a companion to do that with. The experience is akin to taking a stroll through a wooded path, lazily batting questions back and forth with a friend about the nature of art, of games, of storytelling. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
Perfect for: People with a fondness for moseying, fans of FRACT OSC‘s aesthetics, virtual explorers
Playtime: Two to four hours.
VALIANT HEARTS (iOS, XBOX ONE/360, PLAYSTATION 4/3, PC)
BY UBISOFT MONTPELLIER
The unglamorous battles of WWI, with stalemate after stalemate ending in nothing but trench foot, don’t often lend themselves well to videogames. But Valiant Hearts remedies this deftly, by focusing on the real action: people’s tragic, war-torn lives. Inhabit four captivating characters of different nationalities, races, and genders as they survive a world reeling from conflict. The game is now for iOS, so you can grapple with its complexities while waiting for your lunch.
Perfect for: History buffs, puzzle-adventurers, people immune to trench foot
Playtime: Six hours.
METRO REDUX (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE)
BY 4A GAMES
Post-apocalyptic Moscow is somehow even more daunting than the American wastelands of the Fallout series. Everything screams ostranenie: defamiliarized, taken and made strange, then sprinkled with radiation monsters. Whether this is your first trip into the Metro series or you’ve lived your life in a Russian subway station, Metro Redux is not only the best version of Metro: 2033, it’s also the best version of sequel Metro: Last Light. Finish summer indoors.
Perfect for: Lovers of Dmitry Glukhovsky,Fallout, and subway dwellers
Playtime: Two somber trips through hell.