The end of 2020 is finally upon us! This year has been rough to say the least. Beyond the national headlines, we all have been dealing with something in our personal lives and sometimes it felt like 2020 was delivering some bad news weekly, if not daily. We have all earned a moment of rest and celebration before we dive into whatever 2021 has in store for us.
For many, the night will be filled with scaled back celebrations with those closed to us because of the ongoing pandemic. However, the need to be careful during the pandemic won’t stop me from celebrating the end of this particular orbit of the Earth. For those of us, who can’t celebrate with many or any people this year, why not take a trip down memory lane and celebrate with some of these games? Here is a list of games with their own celebrations of every size and shape to help match whatever you may be feeling with the coming new year.
Portal: Short, Sweet, Maybe Delicious?
The real party features a cake at the end of the game but luckily for you, Portal can be completed in a couple of hours. If you are getting off work late on New Year’s, Portal may be your best bet. Aperture Science offers an intriguing obstacle course for you to flounder your way through as Glados bullies you from off screen.
The first Portal is really easy to get through and the ending is one of the most iconic in video game history. A great way to make this play through even more special would be to try and bake the cake while you play through the game. Here is the recipe that you can attempt. This same recipe can be found throughout the game on various monitor screens, so this is completely canon. Maybe you can out bake Glados, too?
Fallout 3: Define Your 2021
If you haven’t played Fallout 3 in a while and are ready to leave 2020 behind, Fallout 3 might be the perfect game to play on New Year’s Eve. The plot starts out with you being born and soon throws you into your 10th Birthday party. It won’t take long to get to the formal celebration and it’s kind of lame. You know how 10 year old parties can be, right? However, the after party is one of the best in this list, so take a moment to bask in the care free world of being a child once more because Fallout 3 is ready to throw you to the rad roaches in only a few moments.
It may seem a little dark but I think Fallout is a great way to metaphorically build that new life you always wanted in the Capital Wasteland. Take the time to explore the wastes and see what post apocalyptic D.C has to offer. From iconic quest lines to outrageous character encounters, Fallout 3 has a lot to uncover. I guarantee there is more to do in the remnants of D.C. than there is right now in quarantined D.C. So grab some whiskey from the cellar and pour yourself some Nuka-Cola because the nuclear winter is only beginning.
Arkham Asylum: A Firework Sendoff
Arkham Aslyum might be on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to party invites. The big surprise party is not until the end of the game but in reality the entire night spent in Arkham Asylum is kind of one big party anyways. The main event just isn’t until the end of the game. Joker is a great host and master of ceremonies. He will ensure that you are having a laughing good time and you will have an opportunity to thank him at the party’s conclusion.
The game can be completed in 5-10 hours depending on how familiar you are with it. The satisfaction of getting to the party at 11:50 with the fireworks going off and henchmen clapping your arrival would be great fun. Just make sure you don’t lose the final fight going into the new year. That seems like it would be a bad omen.
Bioshock: A Two Year Ongoing Afterparty
I get it though, you don’t think there is much to celebrate from the past year. Why go on pretending that 2021 will be any different than 2020? Well, if that is your outlook why not return to Bioshock’s city of Rapture? The city’s downfall began on New Year’s Eve 1958 and you (in the shoes of Jack) arrive in 1960 and after getting off public transit arrive at the Welcome Center where the remaining evidence of the 1958 New Year’s Eve party is located.
The rest of the time is dealing with the surviving party guests and maybe saving the city at the same time. Bioshock isn’t the happiest game on this list but it can take you away to a different place under the sea and for a moment experience a world that is potentially worse than the one that you are currently in. A little bleak but potentially cathartic.
Minecraft: Become the M.C.
This may be a cop-out but I think Minecraft may be the best and worst game in the list for your celebration. On the one hand, the game offers the player freedom to create their own party and invite whoever they may want. Whether that be the local villagers and mobs or whoever may be on your friends list. You could build up an entire skyscraper with a dance hall if you wanted to for your guests.
However, that means you have to be the host and that brings with it all sorts of complications and expectations. You’ll need to make a list of guests and find activities and food that they will be interested in. How are you going to keep the skeletons and the villagers from causing a ruckus? It can be so much work but rewarding as well, if you are willing to put in the time to do so. Your friends might really appreciate it, too.
In Conclusion: Have a Happy New Year
I hope some of these single player “party” games gave you some ideas for how you might spend New Year’s or any solitary night really. There isn’t a bad game in the bunch only different genres and tones. Choose the one that best matches how you are feeling right now and party like it’s any year other than 2020.
No matter how you choose to celebrate New Year’s this year just do it safely. That means drinking plenty of water, social distancing when appropriate, and checking in with your friends, whether you are all hanging out or not. There are few times of the year where the words of those we care about can make all the difference in the world. As you are playing through one of the games I recommended or playing one of your own favorites, please remember to acknowledge those you care about. Covid doesn’t prevent texts, phone calls, or Face-Times. Ring in the New Year, right.