Taking breaks is something that a lot of people don’t discuss enough. We have this odd and detrimental belief that you have to push through the pain and clear signs of burnout in order to get somewhere. I thought of this a lot when I took my break from streaming recently. I thought about what worked for me and what were some things I had been bullheaded about that may actually have been holding my brand back.

While I was gone from Twitch I played a lot of games and it felt great to wholly get pulled into a game alone. Working on clearing out that backlog was a ton of fun and I have shared some of those great games, I finally caught up on, below. To truly save some money I recommend the console versions of some of these games.

The Evil Within 2 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

The only way I would have experienced The Evil Within 2 is because of Xbox Games Pass. It continues to be one of the best consumer deals on the market. I was able to get it on PC, which is my preferred way to play, and grind out achievements. What made this even more fun was that a ton of in-game cheats are available that do not effect achievements. You can even play on the hardest difficulty with most of them enabled. The only one that doesn’t work is the invincibility one.

The basic story for The Evil Within 2 is that Sebastian is once again going inside stem, but this time to get his long-lost daughter. Kidman brings him on board after finding him drunk and passed out in a bar. He was still convinced his daughter was dead, so it was easy to coax him into the machine. From there he meets a hipster with a murder camera, a rip-off of the dude from Candyman, and a host of nightmare characters to fight.

This time around the game is semi-open world and while that seemed really annoying when I first heard it, it worked pretty well. Grab the game on Games Pass or it is currently available for ten bucks at Game Stop. I also see it occasionally pop up for about five dollars at Walmart. Steam, unfortunately, lists it as $40 dollars still so wait for a sale on that one.

Quantum Break (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

Also costing way less on console than its pc counterpart comes Quantum Break. Made by the same studio as Alan Wake and Control, Quantum Break sees protagonist Jack Joyce accidentally disrupt the timeline after flying out to meet a friend and helping him with an experiment. That is just the bare description of the story there is so much more here and the gameplay is incredibly satisfying. It mixes time-based powers with gunplay in a great way.

Not to mention the choices made feel solidly impactful and the results may not be seen immediately giving a true sense of ripple in the world. It feels like a combination of 24 meets Alan Wake. The live actions sections (while sometimes a little long for my taste) were incredibly interesting and kept my attention. It was great to see that mix of real-world acting and games that didn’t feel like a gimmick.

Quantum break will run you about twenty dollars at most retailers. GameStop currently has physical copies for about five dollars. Unfortunately, if you are playing on PC and don’t have Games Pass it will run about forty dollars.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (PS3, PS4)

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception takes Drake to the middle of the deserts of Yemen furthering his search for Sir Francis Drake’s potential fortune. It is a tale of letting go and taking stock of what truly matters to a person. Throughout the game, the theme that Drake is abusing the love of his father figure Sully by constantly taking him on all these chases and dead ends in the search for his ancestor’s fortune is ever-present. It forces Drake to step back and evaluate himself during this journey.

There were only a few real issues I had while playing. Sometimes the game would glitch in a number of ways, all pretty harmless. The climbing mechanics didn’t feel as reigned in as they usually do. Nathan Drake would sometimes refuse to jump to a ledge for a bit. Overall though those things happened so rarely that they don’t really matter.

The trademark humor and grandiose set pieces are still here. The combat and shooting mechanics feel even better than they did previously. There is still an over-the-top plot this time centering on a cult with ties to major events and dark magic. It is a fantastic and fun adventure that won’t break your bank. The PS3 version can be found for as low as five dollars. I recommend the PS4 version as it comes with the previous two games in a bundle and that will only run about twenty dollars new.

 

Pick of The Month: Halo 2 (Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC)

It may come as a shock to some people but until about a week ago I had never played Halo 2. I never had the original Xbox growing up so until the third installment came out I had never played a Halo game. I’m so glad that Halo 2 was a notable improvement from the original. While I didn’t outright hate the original upon completing it I still found it incredibly bland to play. I kept putting off playing it after starting because I never felt really engaged with it. There were two or three really stand-out levels but even those were just okay to me. If I were rating every Halo game I would stick it somewhere in the middle of the pile. It is nowhere near as good as Reach was, nowhere near as bad as Halo 4.

The sequel shook up a lot of the formula. Dual-wielding, more enemies, a more engaging story that was split between Arbiter levels as well as The Master Chief. See the two stories become more and more entwined as the Covenant conspiracy and treachery was unveiled was amazing. Try to stop the next Halo from killing off the galaxy to contain the flood was engaging and kept me wanting to play. It exceeded my expectations and before I knew it I had rolled credits in one sitting. The game runs great on Steam and newer Xboxes as part of The Master Chief Collection. The best part is that the collection can be bought individually on Steam, each game running ten dollars or less. It can also be played entirely on Xbox Games Pass. Every single game, right now. You can also purchase the whole bundle at retailers for thirty to forty dollars. That is a ton of content for a great price point.

The Summer games drought is almost over! The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword just launched on Nintendo Switch and it feels like a harbinger of great things to come in game releases. I know I am excited to play it, hopefully getting it for Christmas, fingers are crossed Satan pulls through on that. Tell me down below what you have been playing to push back that Summer time game drought.