So I have recommended some webcomics, some books, and a specific author, now for my other big obsession: Video Games.
Going to go with a variety of choices here, the only real criteria being that I have played and enjoyed a given game. So here we go
Ghost of Tsushima
I am something of a Japanese history and culture nerd (thank Gaijin Goombah on YouTube for that) so a game that takes place during the Mongol invasion of Japan? YES PLEASE! You play as Jin Sakai, the young lord of the Sakai clan and nephew of the ruler of the island of Tsushima. After the first confrontation with the Mongols goes horrifically bad, most of the Samurai of the island are dead, with Jin being left for dead and only being saved when a female thief saves him. It is now your job to save your uncle and the island from the Mongols, but the strict way honor code your uncle taught you won’t work against this enemy, so Jin is forced to learn new strategies and make unsavory allies in order to save his home.
Gameplay wise the game is split into exploration, stealth, and combat. Most situations can be solved either by sneakily eliminating the enemy or charging in with sword drawn and a curse on your lips (although stealth is usually the better option most of the time, you can usually fall back on a brawl if things fall apart). Sometimes you are forced into stealth or combat (infiltration of a castle vs fighting on the front line of a siege) but you are fairly free to handle situations as you see fit. And all of this is not to mention that the game is drop dead gorgeous.
Monster Hunter: Rise
Want to hunt big monsters? Want to wield a giant sword while you do it? Or how about a lance that is also a gun? Or sour through the sky spinning a glaive at the monster’s unprotected back? Monster Hunter is all about it. The play loop is simple: Hunt monster, return to town, craft new weapons, armor, and items to help hunting bigger monsters, repeat. There is also a story in there, and a nice one too, plus a bunch of lore to justify hunting these monsters. But let’s be real, you aren’t here for the story, you are here for the mechanics. And Rise (like most Monster Hunter games) has a few unique mechanics to offer. Firstly is the wire bugs, allowing both for more mobility than in any other Monster Hunter game to date, and being a resource system for new big moves unique to each weapon. Speaking of weapon’s unique moves, the Switch Skills system allows you to swap out some of the moves on weapons to further customize your playstyle.
Rise is one of the most newbie friendly Monster Hunter games so far. That is not to say it isn’t hard to get into, Monster Hunter games are notorious for being hard to understand. But as long as you are willing to open a wiki or look up some guides on YouTube nothing is too arcane or shrouded in mystery that you cannot master it.
Elder Scrolls and Fallout
Just some good “comfort food” games. If you don’t know them yet… what rock have you been living under? These are more or less the base lines for modern open world games.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
This game is one part 2D side scrolling beat ’em up and one part shockingly accurate rice farming simulator, yes really. You are Sakuna, you are a Kami and as the daughter of a Kami of agriculture and a Kami of War you have inherited both of your parent’s affinities. As such, you gain power by bringing in a harvest of rice and you gain the resources to harvest that rice by going out and fighting demons. But you have to manage your time fighting because managing your rice field is a surprisingly demanding task and how well you do that determines how good your stats will be.
On the story end the game isn’t lacking either. Sakuna at the start of the story is a lazy, spoiled, arrogant, Kami. But after a chance encounter with a group of humans (a large cowardly man who is knowledgeable, but fails at most of his endeavors. An energetic, rebellious, boy and a shy, reserved girl. A baby. And a Western religious missionary.) Sakuna is forced to live on an island of Demons, tasked with subduing said demons. All the characters undergo a myriad of developments and the story intersects with the mechanics in surprising ways. And finally as with my first pick, it has a surprising amount of fairly accurate (if twisted for story purposes) references to real world things, mostly how the Japanese viewed the Kami, but also daily life and Western Missionaries.
I still have plenty of games to recommend, but this is enough for today.