I'm sure you're familiar with the premise of this: you are stranded, alone, on a deserted island with only a handful of albums. Like that, but with games.
Here are my top four games that I could play forever. Or until I'm rescued, which shouldn't be too long actually, given that this desert island is somehow marvellously well equipped and has electricity and an internet connection.
The story and characters are what make the experience really special. The protagonist, Carl "CJ" Johnson, his philosophical friend, Big Smoke, and even corrupt cop, Frank Tenpenny, are all beautifully realised individuals with their own agendas. And who could forget the delightfully insane man known only as "The Truth"?
It's more gritty than the bright, neon world of Vice City but it doesn't ever feel grim. There are laughs aplenty from the host of colourful characters and an underlying feeling of hope as you help CJ escape gang life. Or maybe I'm reading too much into a game about high speed police chases.
With so much to see and do it's a must play for any Grand Theft Auto fan and definitely desert island material.
Mortal Kombat: Deception
Fighting games aren't generally known for their in-depth stories. You usually just attack people because you need to win a tournament, or because breast physics are a thing, or because they were standing in front of you.
Mortal Kombat is different. It has a rich backstory to delve into and no game is better to explore that back story than Deception.
Konquest mode puts you in the sandals of Earthrealm warrior Shujinko. Given a quest by Damashi, an ancient spirit, you must travel throughout the six realms searching for pieces of a powerful artifact. On his lifelong quest Shujinko will meet many of the game's iconic characters. Some will help, some will hinder, but all can be punched. If you didn't want to get punched, Sub-Zero, you shouldn't have been standing in front of me. Don't you know the rules?
The konquest mode is mainly exploration and talking to the various inhabitants of each realm, punctuated by the standard bouts of extreme violence that you would expect from a Mortal Kombat title.
Whilst the fighting now feels slow and clunky when compared to the most recent installments, the real fun is in wandering around the discrete landscapes and soaking up the deep lore.
Plus there's Chess Kombat. Yep, that's a thing.
Project Spark will be a breath of fresh air after the blood and gore of my previous choices but that's not why it makes the list. It's because of the wealth of stories that can be, and have been, told.
It may have its limits, whether they be the fairly strict animations, the steep learning curve or the lack of a proper step-by-step tutorial, but the only hard limit is your imagination. If you can think it up, you can create a passable simile of it.
The game lends itself better to certain styles - a Fable-esque RPG, for example, will be easier to create than a 2D fighting game - but with enough time and patience you could forge a stealth based first person shooter or a narrative driven story.
The main resources for budding creators seem to be either YouTube or the game itself, with many 'worlds' dedicated to helping others learn Kode and use the editor in ways they may not have considered.
Project Spark has received many updates since it first launched and now that Team Dakota have dropped the free-to-play model and given everyone access to all content I'm sure to find something to keep myself entertained, right? And if not, I can finish one of the many projects I started over a year ago. It's not like I have much else to do on this boring, high-tech island.
This may be an obvious choice. Those who have played it (i.e. everyone) will no doubt agree that it's one of Bethesda's best. It's a massive open world, that's absolutely packed with stuff. Just... so much stuff.
I find the missions incredibly hard to do because I get sidetracked. No matter where I am, or where I'm going, there's always a new location to discover or someone with a quest or yes, yes Preston, another settlement needs my help.
I haven't actually progressed that far into the story. I like to think I'm making my own story. It's part I Am Legend and part DIY show. Essentially it's a man and a dog on a never-ending quest for duct tape and wonderglue.
Occasionally I'll meet a new face and not launch junk at it. We'll start talking and I'll ask them about my son. It's then I realise that I've spent so much time looking for resources that he's probably an old man now. Maybe he has a base of his own, a couple of grandkids and a crazy friend who constantly badgers him for chems.
With all of the upcoming DLC and official mod support the game is only going to get bigger, better and weirder.
Since I'm stuck on this island for a while longer I might actually be able to get something done. What's that? Another settlement? Never a moment's peace in this post-nuclear apocalypse.
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