Gaming Drought? Time for another playthough

Gaming drought, when everything goes into a lull and your left staring off into space undecided on what to play. Through there has been recent AAA releases like Mortal Kombat 11 and Rage 2 that have given some gamers relief. Not all of us have had the thirst quenched by these releases and I am sadly one such gamer.

So without something new that sucks up my time. Loading up my PC has become a test of resolve. As I stare at my game library and contemplate what I should play. I end up losing this battle of resolve as I waste time trying to figure out what to play. Normally I would jump into Division 2 or Destiny 2, so I could grind out some gear just so I could grind. Division 2 has lost it’s charm as the end game grind has worn on. While Destiny 2’s current grind has left me with no motivation to reach 700 power. Leaving me to wait for the new content, which includes a raid, a week out. So I’m left sitting at my desk trying to decipher what I want to play.

One of the best uses for this down time would be to go through my pile of shame. Let’s be honest, I’m not going to do that. Simply because the pile is too big for me to pick one thing out of it. Luckily there is a solution “Why not just go back and play something you love.”, GENIUS!! utter genius.

So I’ve put together the games I think are worth a look. If you haven’t played before or if you have then they are most certainly worth the second playthrough. This is all my own opinion, so if you’ve got a different opinion on the games listed or different choices. Let me know in the comments what you’d go back to play during your gaming drought.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

PS4, XBox One and PC

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshot of environment with Geralt in centre frame
Screenshot of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Let’s start strong with one of the best action RPG’s out there. The Witcher series is one of my favourites and Wild Hunt is the pinnacle of the series. Not only does it deliver one of the best narrative in video games. It also delivers some fantastic combat so there is something for everyone.

The story follows Geralt of Rivia who is a Witcher, a type of magical monster hunter. As he tries to hunt down his lover Yennefer and adoptive daughter Ciri. Both of whom are being hunted down by the Wild Hunt, a group of spectre raiders from another world. Their quest for Ciri and her power puts them in the cross hairs of Geralt. Who will do anything to protect those he cares about.

This is just a taste of Wild Hunt’s story. The world is filled with so many other stories to follow it is easy to miss on your first playthough. The game was already big when it launched back in 2015 but has seen two expansions added. The two expansions Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine are well worth the time to enjoy as well. Not only do they each have their own unique main story to follow. But also include a variety of side quests and monsters to fight.

The best part of all this is Wild Hunt has new game+, so you can take all your precious gear and abilities into another playthough. You could even try the a harder difficulty to test whether or not you deserve the title of Witcher. The developers behind The Witcher series, CD PROJEKT RED, have made something special and with them currently developing Cyberpunk 2077, now is the prefect time to go back and explore some of their other work.

Persona 5

PS4

Persona 5 Cover art
Persona 5 cover art

Persona 5 is the benchmark for all modern JRPG’s, as it takes the tried and true formula of turn based gameplay and makes it enjoyable. I got burnt out on turn based gameplay after Final Fantasy XIII, so when Persona 5 came along I wasn’t sure if I would make it though it. Luckily my love for the series got me to pick it up and I haven’t looked back.

Somehow Persona 5 makes it’s turn based gameplay feel snappy. While it’s use of battle music makes you want to find enemies to battle just so you can listen to it again. Add to that the interesting characters wrapped up in a story that has some of the best set pieces and you can see why this niche JRPG scored so well on release. Why pick it up? Well it is an all consuming void of time, there is always something to do, which keeps stuff interesting. I just recently started up my new game+, which brings over some stats and items from your first playthough. This gives you a bit more freedom with your time and a chance to just explore what you might have missed on your first play through.

So if your looking for something that will take up some of that time between your next big release Persona 5 is the game for you. If you like it then you might want to check out Persona 5 R when it releases some time early 2020. Persona 5 R will have some expand upon what was delivered with the original, so now is definitely the time to come back or pick it up for cheap to prepare for next year.

Mass Effect Trilogy

PS3, XBox 360 and PC

Screenshot from Mass Effect 2, with Thane and Shepard up against a mech.
Mass Effect 2 Screenshot

Time to jump back to a classic trilogy that set out to tell a space opera like no other. That is the core of Mass effect, get rid of the shooting and words themselves become the weapon of choice. It was what made the games so engaging, being able to talk your way out of a situation or more preferably into one *wink*. Not to mention all the story threads to follow and their consequences. Some of which you didn’t even see the ramifications till Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect 2 is where the series really came into it’s own for me, everything about it just felt better and it marked the series coming to PlayStation consoles. The biggest change was that the shooting felt good and was now on level with all the games other fantastic RPG elements. This improvement would cascade to Mass Effect 3 which would continue to refine it’s gameplay.

Now while a trilogy may look daunting the Mass Effect games are well worth it. Though if Sci-Fi isn’t your thing then you could always look to pick up Dragon Age, another Bioware game, set in an incredible fantasy world. Personally though I feel like you just need to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third game in the series. While the other games are fine, the story of each on follows a different character and only certain story beats from previous games make their way into Inquisition. Bioware even added Dragon Age Keep so you can create your own world state for Inquisition, if you don’t like playing the previous games.

Your most likely going to have a hard time finding a copy of the Mass Effect series on PS3 or XBox 360, without already owning it. Origin keeps it alive on PC, where you can get the collection or the games individually. Maybe one day down the line we will get a remake or reboot, for now though the best Sci-Fi opera ever deserves your time for a playthrough.

Borderlands 2

PS3, PS4, XBox 360, XBox One and PC

Borderlands 2 Cover art
Borderlands 2 Cover art

Borderlands 2 is a seven year old game and is still one of the best looter shooter experiences out there. Gearbox took what they built in the first game and dialed it up to 11. Borderlands 2 saw some fantastic improvements but the biggest was its story.

While the main enjoyment of a looter shooter is it’s loot. Borderlands 2 decided to add the perfect cherry on top, with its story. While some didn’t like it’s meme-esque characters and one liners, I personal loved it. The character at the centre stage is Handsome Jack. Who to this day is one of my favourite villains. He has an objective and is confident enough to pull it off. Everything else in between is colour full banter and really needs to be experienced fresh. This isn’t even talking about the four story DLC that added their own campaigns and the smaller holiday DLC that added some smaller story scenarios.

All of this just adds to the replay-ability along with the progressive difficulty modes available with each completion of the main story. PC players also have access to some fantastic mods made by the community. Some of which have brought new life to the game like the Reborn mod. So for those that have played the game and are on PC I highly recommend having a look at what the community has made. The community is also at its peak since the announcement of Borderlands 3, meaning now’s the time to hope in and make new friends or just have a chill session with some randoms.

If you want to hop into Borderlands 2 and prepare yourself for the Borderlands 3 (which I covered in my Gameplay Reveal) release coming September 13 this year. I recommend picking up the Handsome Collection, it comes with both Borderlands 2, the Pre-Sequel and all their DLC.

Final thoughts

So that Covers it for my top choices for games to help though gaming drought. As you can see they are all long playtime type games but I also enjoy a good roguelike that has a solid gameplay loop. These games are massive time consumers. so when you might need to wait months for your next expected title. These are the games I think will help you make it though the wait. If you have games that help you though gaming droughts or think deserve a second playthough let me know in the comments below.

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