Staff Picks is a series of roundups covering the gear used by our team of highly opinionated, overly enthusiastic product nerds.
The weekend is on the horizon, and thanks to COVID-19, you should probably be spending it inside. In order to try and stave off the cabin fever, a lot of us here at Gear Patrol have been getting back in touch with our gamer sides. Here’s what we’ve been playing, and what you might want to check out as well!
Quit your job, head to your grandfather’s farm and try and give purpose to your life. Doesn’t sound like the worst idea these days, right? Generally, think of Stardew Valley as a mix of Minecraft, Animal Crossing and Pokemon. Which is to say, it’s incredibly good at making the hours drift away. — Henry Phillips, Deputy Photo Editor
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
This game literally just came out last week and I love everything about it. It’s a beautiful, challenging platforming game with an epic soundtrack. It’s also a sequel so if you haven’t played the first game, go treat yourself to Ori and the Blind Forest first, and get a double dose of fun. — Tucker Bowe, Senior Staff Writer
I’m playing Bleak Sword now because my current gaming system is just my laptop with Apple Arcade. The game is lo-fi, easy to grasp, and challenging. — Joe Tornatzky, Creative Director
Far Cry 5
I was terrified of losing my mind in isolation, so I pounced on a great Xbox One S All-Digital deal and bought Far Cry 5 as well. It’s an open-world first-person shooter, so — not to go toooo dark – in case there is some sort of apocalyptic-cult scenario that goes down in the near future, let’s just say… I’ll be ready. — Nick Caruso, Coordinating Producer
Apex Legends is free to download, and is a whole lot of fun. It’s a pretty standard battle royale game, but the three person teams makes it great for playing with friends, and the 12 characters all have unique abilities that makes the meta really enjoyable. — Scott Ulrich, Editorial Associate
This is easily the most played game in my inventory. I own it on Steam, Xbox and Switch, and I’m not nearly good enough for how much I play which is why I play more and round and round we go. — Andrew Siceloff, Director of Video
Call of Duty: Warzone
COD is finally moving into the battle royale genre with Warzone, and it freaking rips! With 150 players and a stunning map bigger than anything I imagined was possible, I’m easily occupied for hours on end. If you told me 5 years ago that a game like this could exist, I would have told you to shut the hell up. — Chandler Bondurant, Staff Photographer
What better way to escape a bleak reality than to play a sci-fi exploration game about… the end of the world. Whoops! Despite the thematic relevance, Outer Wilds is a charming space exploration game from the lineage of Myst where you explore the secrets of a strange, alien solar system in 22-minute bursts as time loops around and around for a mysterious reason. I’ve had so much fun exploring dozens of unreal worlds to uncover the reason that the sun keeps exploding, and if you like puzzle-y games, you will too. Better yet, it is currently available on Xbox Game Pass, one of the best deals in gaming right now. — Eric Limer, Tech Editor
Our office has a lot of soccer fans in it, and with the English Premier League falling victim to a coronavirus postponement, FIFA 20 is our way of warding off no-sports-sadness and the ill effects of social distancing. We’re playing Pro Clubs mode at the moment, which limits each user control to a specific player on the field, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s pure chaos. — Will Price, Assistant Editor, Home & Design
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