Ever been in that situation where you're on the train, some youths are blasting out stupid music through their tinny mobile phone speakers and you just want to take an under-mounted chainsaw-gun to them? How about when you've been in the office all day and feel the need to dole out some justice by running around with a gigantic sword? Well thanks to video games we're able to do this without society collectively furrowing its brow. Video games are designed as escapism, and though some tread very tightly on the line of being very realistic, they can also have gripping stories or gameplay so fun you forget about the outside world. You forget about your wife, your kids, the need to eat, drink or sleep, and just let go in a firework display of gore, explosions, distant lands and other flashing coloured pyrotechnics. With that said, in no particular order, let's take a look at 10 games which are excellent stress relievers, whether it's through purely repetitive-yet-enjoyable gameplay, excellent sound design or a storyline so gripping everything else seems trivial.
9. God Of War Saga
When God of War made its debut in 2005 on Sony's Playstation 2, it was clear they had stumbled across something special; a new Crash Bandicoot, a mascot for the new Playstation Era. The game went on to spawn many sequels, moving over to the Playstation 3 and Sony's handheld systems the PSP and PS Vita. A Playstation 4 version is also hotly anticipated. God of War's gameplay is a combination of action, platforming and puzzles, all combined into one immensely gory, immensely satisfying game. What makes the series great for relieving stress are its pure escapist fantasy elements. There's no overly complicated story to get involved in, the controls aren't difficult to pick up and learn, and you can play in short bursts - it's hack n' slash style lends well to pure button-mashing, an act in itself often more therapeutic than a nice massage. With a few taps of the controller you can have Kratos swinging his swords, axes, or whatever horrifying weapon he has. Blood will flow in vast amounts and limbs will be severed, with the cinematic boss fights being some of the best the medium has to offer, plus there's something immensely satisfying about toppling one of the giant Gods. God of War may not be clever, it may not be smart, but you'll feel a damn sight better after playing it.
John loves everything to do with video games, television, movies and comic books. He currently writes for WhatCulture in between fighting crime as a masked vigila....I've said too much.
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