The WHO approves. (Really!) So now you have a convenient COVID-19 excuse: “Gotta play Grand Theft Auto, protect myself from the virus.” Just try not to lose track of the days.
Yeah, yeah, we know. A lot of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. But not all. And they remain in place in dozens of other countries. Hence the reason we will power through with the Vietnam video games edition of coronavirus entertainment.
Don’t just take our word for it either. Even the WHO is endorsing that practice and supporting the #PlayApartTogether initiative launched by some of the gaming industry’s majors.
Beyond killing boredom, video games can keep you socially active and connect you with the outside world, whether it’s friends, family or complete strangers.
In these trying times, we have come up with a list of great video games to play (or replay) that will keep you busy and entertained. Most of these games are available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. And they are all available online from the comfort of your sofa. So no excuse, just pick up your controller and have a blast. Game on!
Released in 2015, the last opus of Rockstar Games’s legendary licence is still a reference for open-world video games. Even now, few other titles can pretend to offer more freedom, immersion and quality storytelling as GTA V. Once you’ve finished the solo storyline and the various side missions, you still have loads of activities to do in the GTA Online mode.
Get ready to blow sh*t up, plan heists and join epic gunfights with thousands of other trigger-happy players.
See also. Metal Gear Solid V
Prequel to the multi-award-winning Red Dead Redemption, RDR II immerses you in a Wild West atmosphere synonymous with vast wilderness, infamous cities and revolver gunfights. The story takes place in 1899, before the first Red Dead Redemption, at a time when Arthur Morgan (that’s you) escapes with his gang after a failed robbery.
Graphically, the game is a real gem, with beautiful landscapes, changing weather and very realistic model animations. To this date, it’s safe to say this game is unrivaled when it comes to the level of quality and detail of its environment. You will really feel like you’re evolving in a 19th-century version of America. To make things even more worth your while, RDR 2 boasts an engaging storyline, complex characters, visceral gameplay and a top-notch soundtrack.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to mount your saddle and ride into the sunset.
See also: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
If you have hundreds of hours to kill and have missed this masterpiece of a game, you should definitely play The Witcher 3, my all-time personal favorite. Set in the dark-fantasy universe of polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, you get to explore an immense and beautiful world through the eyes of monster slayer Geralt of Rivia.
The gameplay is energetic and the storyline is amazingly written, which makes for a very immersive experience that will take your breath away. Many consider this game as one of the best of the decade — and you’re about to discover why.
See also: Dark Souls III
Playing only one character throughout a game can get old after a while. So how about building your own civilization from scratch? Depending on the choices you make regarding culture, economics and politics, you will shape the society of your dreams, where safety and humanist values prevail…or a totalitarian regime reigns based on control and repression. Wannabe tyrants, anyone?
The possibilities are endless and that’s what makes Civilization VI a brilliant strategy game.
See also: Total War — Three Kingdoms
This is the remake of 1998’s cult Resident Evil 2, which puts you in the shoes of police officer Leon S. Kennedy and student Claire Redfield during the infamous Raccoon City outbreak. When you start the story, you quickly realize that hell has broken loose already. People have been turned into mindless zombies by the mysterious T-Virus (remind you of anything?) and you need to escape.
The story is quite short to finish (somewhere between 7 and 12 hours) but packed with intensity and a decent amount of chills along the way. In this survival game, every bullet counts, so you constantly have to gauge between saving ammo or blasting that nasty creature throwing itself at your throat, to tear you apart. Finally, it’s great to revisit this title with completely upgraded graphics and a more comfortable gameplay pad-in-hand.
One piece of advice, though. If you are faint-hearted, especially in these times of anxiety and uncertainty, you might want to avoid these stress-inducing games. For the rest of you, don’t hesitate one more second and plunge into the horror.
See also: The Last of Us
Competing directly with the two hugely popular Battle Royale games Fortnite and Apex Legends, Activision launched in March 2020 its own 150-player battle royale set in the world of Call of Duty.
In less than two weeks, the free-to-play game had already recorded 30 millions players. Once you have chosen your gaming mode (Battle Royale or Plunder), you start at the back of a plane with your fireteam (up to two teammates), waiting to get parachuted onto the massive map of Verdansk. You can land basically anywhere, then you have to rely only on yourselves to survive by looting weapons, advancing cautiously toward objectives without getting killed.
Over time, a circle of gas is closing in on you, slowly but surely restricting the playable area of the map. It’s survival of the fittest and only the best of the best will battle their way to the top. Word to the wise : lone wolves don’t last long in Warzone, so we strongly advise you to stick with your squad if you don’t want to be easy prey.
See also: Fortnite
Even after 15 years of existence, World of Warcraft remains the indisputed champion of online roleplaying games. I spent literally thousands of hours on that game during my teenage years and it’s amazing to see it still alive and kicking.
Whether you’re an old player or a complete newbie, you have to live the WoW experience at least once. The last expansion Battle for Azeroth has brought a lot of new content and stories that will keep you entertained for hours. Side with the Alliance or the Horde, create your character and plunge into an epic battle for the control of Azeroth.
See also: Final Fantasy XIV online
FIFA 20 is the last title in the FIFA series, the reference in football (or soccer, if you’re American) games for two decades.
The biggest novelty of this title is the return of the Volta mode formerly called FIFA Street, which is quite refreshing if you get tired of playing football the traditional way.
Of course, you can also count on the flagship mode of the licence to make its grand return — the Ultimate Team mode, with brand new content, objectives and rewards. If you’re confined with friends or family, you should definitely set up a tournament and play matches from two to four players offline.
And this almost certainly has to be on anyone’s Vietnam video games list, considering the country’s love for football.
See also: Madden NFL 20
This is certainly the best open-world game you can experience on Nintendo’s last console.
You play the legendary Link in his endless quest for saving the Princess Zelda. And to achieve that, you will have to roam the large kingdom of Hyrule, slay countless beasts and solve baffling puzzles. The great feature of this episode is the non-linearity and complete freedom you have to evolve towards the end of the game. All in all, Breath of the Wild is an absolute must-have for owners of the Switch.
See also: Animal Crossing
Particularly popular among Vietnamese younguns, this Android version of PUBG allows you to join an epic battleground with 99 other players.
Brace yourself and plunge into the vast island of Erangel. Across the four available maps, you will find plenty of gear, weapons and vehicles to scavenge… and a whole lot of merciless enemies. Do you have what it takes to survive?
See also: League of Legends Mobile
Culture of Vietnam video games
A booming culture of Vietnam video games has emerged and it continues to grow at blazing speed. In the last 15 years, the landscape of the video game industry has indeed gone through tremendous changes.
The rise of the Internet and high-speed network coverage have allowed online video games to gain a lot of traction here, especially mobile games, thanks to the high smartphone penetration rate in Vietnam. PUBG Mobile, League of Legends and DOTA2 are hugely popular, for instance. And from a personal observation, as a western expat, it’s been quite interesting to see so many Vietnamese youngsters, male and female alike, playing those mobile games on a daily basis.
It’s also not uncommon to see them going at it on their smartphones during gatherings and parties. And don’t get me started on all those cyber-cafes packed 24/7 with kids playing competitive online games.
All in all, it’s safe to say that the gaming culture in Vietnam is here to stay, and the coronavirus can’t keep it down.