There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead

Illustration for article titled There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead
Image: Marvel Entertainment

The month of May typically signals the beginning of the summer movie season. This year was set to be full of potential bangers from Fast and Furious 9 to Black Widow. Given that the many of films set to be released this summer have been postponed to either winter or next year, the summer is looking pretty vacant.

Fear not, though. If you find yourself craving some summertime spectacle, I got you. Here are some games to get you through the drought.

The Obvious Choice Here: Unchartered Series

Illustration for article titled There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead
Illustration: Sony

If you’re looking for the traditional summer blockbuster experience, look no further than the Uncharted series. The games follow treasure hunter Nathan Drake, his mentor Sully and on-again, off-again love interest Elena as they venture to far-off locales and search for ancient artifacts and lost cities. The games started as basically not-Indiana Jones but its growing focus on the interpersonal relationships between the characters allowed it to develop a unique identity of its own.

The games boast some of the most memorable set pieces in all of gaming. From shooting your way out of a burning mansion to scaling a train that’s derailed off a cliff to a wild motorcycle chase that stands as one of the most impressive set pieces this console generation, the games are jam packed with the kind of spectacle that only the best summer blockbusters deliver.

Both The Uncharted Collection, which features the first three games in the series, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End are $20 on the Playstation Store, meaning you can experience some of the most impressive adventures in all of gaming without breaking the bank.

For Those Who Need Their Marvel Fix: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Illustration for article titled There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead
Graphic: Sony

Marvel’s Spider-Man on the Playstation 4 is arguably the greatest superhero video game of all time. It certainly is a front-runner for one of the best games of this console generation. The game follows a completely original story and isn’t based on any particular movie or comic-book arc. This allows developer Insomniac Games to craft a wholly unique take on the Spider-Verse, one that feels entirely new yet distinctly familiar.

The combat is an acrobatic thrill, swinging through the beautifully rendered New York City is a joy and the set pieces in this thing go hard. Seriously, this game starts strong and never lets up. Filled with the humor, emotion and acrobatic action the webhead is known for, if you’re looking for a superhero fix you really can’t do much better than this.


That Dollar Theater Hype: Grand Theft Auto V

Illustration for article titled There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead
Graphic: Rockstar Games

We’re in a, uh, interesting time right now, and no one would blame you for not wanting to spend your coins. Luckily, if you have a PC, Grand Theft Auto V is free on the Epic Games Store. The amount of content on deck here between GTA Online and the base game’s story mode is a hell of a deal. If you’ve mained GTA Online without giving story mode a look, check it out.

The game’s story is basically just Rockstar doing their best Michael Mann impression but it’s a pretty damn good impression. You scout locations and pull off incredibly over-the-top heists. While the writing can be a little too try-hard at times, some of the moments Rockstar pulls off are still impressive seven years later. If you want to create your own adventures with your homies, GTA Online provides you with an impressive array of tools to do just that.


For Those Really Bummed About Fast 9: Just Cause 4

Illustration for article titled There Are No Summer Movies, So Play These Games Instead
Graphic: Square-Enix

Since I was a wee 8-year-old, the Fast movies have been a staple of the summer movie season. What started out as a story about folks racing for pink slips and stealing DVD players has evolved into a story about folks driving cars out of planes and defying all known laws of physics. The physics-based mayhem has made the Fast series one of my all time favorites. It’s also why the Just Cause series has been one of my B-tier favs for the past decade.

The latest entry in the series, Just Cause 4 will provide a similar level of thrills. The Just Cause games have you play as Rico Rodriguez, an operative for a group known only as “The Agency.” The story has you dropping into some exotic locale to liberate the people from a dictator by blowing literally everything up.


Which, ya know, is a pretty accurate depiction of U.S military intervention.

The story is honestly secondary to the gameplay which involves using a grapple hook, wingsuit and a litany of gadgets to destroy everything in your path. The game is literally a playground of destruction and the only thing really limiting you is your imagination.


Want to attach a bunch of balloons and rocket boosters to an oil tanker and turn it into a floating bomb? Do it.

Want to use your grappling hook to skyjack an airplane out of midair? Why not.

Want to weaponize the fucking weather? Sure dog, go for it.

If you’re looking for an experience that puts a premium on stretching physics to their known limits, the Just Cause series is for you.


You may not be able to go to the movies this summer but that doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of the spectacle that’s a staple of the season. If there are any games you would suggest that could fill the summer movie void, let me know in the comments!

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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Gaying Mantis Toboggan

These are all games that take a long time to complete because people have lots of spare time to kill.

I don’t know how they did it, but Just Cause 4 somehow has worse graphics than Just Cause 3 or even 2. JC2 is available with backwards compatibility with an Xbox. I didn’t finish any of them but I played all of them except the first one. The story is indeed irrelevant because the game play is so much fun. Shooting balloons onto a tank and lifting it into the air to drop onto enemies as a bomb is indeed hilarious fun.

If you’re looking for some science fiction filtered through a kitschy 50's lens Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4 are great, epic games with a unique panache that has been recently redone with The Outer Worlds, which was produced by the same company and some of the same people as Fallout New Vegas. Fallout 3 is set in nuclear devastated DC, Fallout New Vegas is obviously set in what was Las Vegas and Fallout 4 is set in Boston where you can literally walk the Liberty Trail. If you like old school isometric RPG’s Fallout 1 and 2 are superb. You can play any game without knowing the back history and literally have a blast.

If you’re want a more operatic science fiction romp the three part Mass Effect is superb. The third one had a scene so powerful and upsetting that I couldn’t play the game for a few months afterwards. Each game also improves on the game play. There’s also the much maligned Mass Effect: Andromeda, which I played, enjoyed but never finished.

Obviously, if you want a spaghetti western with a great critique of manifest destiny and race relations, there’s Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2. RDR 2 is especially fun with its random encounters like one where I came across two guys setting up a cross to burn. I pulled out my bow, used a flammable arrow and set the cross on fire as they were trying to put it in place. One of the guy gets splashed by the arrow and lets go of the cross once it’s on fire to try and put out his own flames, which causes the other guy to be crushed to death by the cross he’s not strong enough to support alone. After that the on fire loser runs around like a chicken with its head chopped off then dies. It was incredibly satisfying and was just a random encounter not a part of a the larger narrative like guarding a group of suffragettes, which is also something you can do.

For fans of Tolkien swords and sorcery mixed with political intrigue and race relations, The Witcher 2 & 3 are great. Extra bonus is that Netflix has made it into one of their star series so you can watch it and then play the game and little will be spoiled other than meeting the main characters. The Witcher 3 was the games first foray into a full sand box game while 2 had sand box zones that couldn’t be returned to once left.