It’s soon to be the new year. That means we change the last digit in the year to a 4 and scroll back to 1st January. So, that means we are soon to be starting 1st January 2024. What does that mean? Nothing in reality. Just another day. Nothing actually changes. Although if you love games, it does mean twelve months of potential greats to look forward to.
But, what to do about bringing in the new year? Not everyone likes to go out, socialise, get drunk and do whatever people do when out at midnight. Some like to stay home, alone and drink instead. So I thought I would look at what you could play to bring in the new year like a loner. And yes I’m assuming you don’t play online games. Because, if you did then you already know what you’re doing.
#1 TIMESPLITTERS 1, 2 & 3
Immediately after leaving Rare, a bunch of clever people opened their own development studio and set about getting to work on a brand new IP for Sony’s soon to launch PS2. In fact, it was so soon to launch, Free Radical Design only had sixteen months to get this thing out the door.
You can clearly see TimeSplitters was developed by ex-Rare staff. It has Goldeneye and Perfect Dark blueprints everywhere. The way each level starts with random shots of various areas and then a zoom in on your character to go first person. The energy meter down the sides of the screen. The blatant fact some props are the same as in the two N64 games. And yes even the music is so obviously influenced from their previous two FPS titles.
But this all makes sense when you have a really strict deadline to create a whole new game based on a whole new IP for a brand new console. Remember, back in the 90s and 2000s, consoles were built using custom hardware. It’s really only starting with the PS4 and Xbox One that we started seeing a move towards a more friendly PC like environment. So getting to grips with a new console would have been a lot more challenging. Also, remember that engines were not as robust as they are now and that will always slow things down.
So, if you have access to play these three awesome games then go ahead and do it. You should be able to avoid hearing the sounds of clocks striking midnight, drunk people cheering and singing Auld Lang Syne.
It’s just really depressing that not only did we never get the expected trilogy remastered, but we won’t ever see a new game in the series again.
#2 DRAGON QUEST XI: ECHOES OF AN ELUSIVE AGE
I am going to say, if you love JRPG games and for some reason you have not yet played this one, you must play Dragon Quest XI and by that I mean the definitive edition that first released on the Switch but later the PS4. It’s awesome.
Granted this is the first game I played in the franchise, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. So a lot will always be unhappy with their opinion on what’s the best game in the series. But I don’t care. I make the list and this is what I’m personally putting forward. If you have a different opinion then go and play it.
Like you should expect from any turn based RPG game, this will take you up to well over one hundred hours to complete. So you not only miss the new year but also a few days after too.
It’s bloody Lemmings. What more do I need to say. Those levels get really tricky pretty fast. So if you have no problem with raging then this here is a puzzle game that you’ll likely hate by the time you realise it’s 6am 1st January. You’re welcome.
#4 GTA SAN ANDREAS
To be fair, any GTA will take you long enough to complete that it’ll be well past midnight. But I already chose Vice City for a previous list so naturally, I’m choosing San Andreas.
Somehow in a short window of development, Rockstar added so much more to this game than in Vice City. Like, a much bigger map, more music, the ability to grow fat or work out, probably the ability to take a shit… I dunno, it’s probably something no one has worked out yet.
I mean, this game has it all. And now it takes Rockstar years and years between release. And yes that’s definitely in part due to the online being so profitable. So you can only blame yourself.
Yep, that’s right I’m including Driver. As in the original PS1 game. Why? Because you’ll never get past the tutorial, thus making sure you definitely miss the new year celebrations. And if you do manage to get through that tutorial, there’s still a massive game ahead of you. So it’s a win win either way.
If nothing here takes your fancy and you have no idea what to play, then you may need to look at that backlog you must have.