Bored? Want to find something new to take up this month?
Sometimes it can feel like you’ve maxed out Netflix or you’re bored of heading to the cinema… that’s where gaming can offer plenty of entertainment during the warmer months.
If you’re stuck for ideas on what to take up, then help is at hand. Luciano Rahal, general manager of Nasr eSports gives us the lowdown on the top five most popular games in the UAE at the moment.
1. Fortnite Battle Royale
Think ‘The Hunger Games’, but with a lot more shooting. And forts. ‘Fortnite Battle Royale’ has exploded in popularity thanks to the game’s free-to-play model, and doubly thanks to its huge presence among popular online streamers.
Says Luciano: “With its global success, this game has been breaking all records around the world and is extremely popular with gamers everywhere – the UAE included.”
Each match features up to 100 players, in teams, duos, or ‘free-for-all’. Players parachute into a massive arena and must scavenge for weapons, armour, and resources while fending off enemies and staying within the arena’s shrinking safe zone. The last player or team standing in this third-person shooter wins.
Available on: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and iOS. An Android version is reportedly on the way.
2. FIFA 18
The latest game in a longstanding franchise, ‘FIFA 18’ simulates real-world football… and it’s absolutely beautiful to look at.
“‘FIFA 18’ is a title that everyone loves,” says Luciano. “Currently, it has the highest market share in the region and with the World Cup coming soon – and Ramadan happening right before – this game is extremely popular with hard core and casual gamers alike.”
Other than offering the standard multiplayer soccer fun, ‘FIFA 18’ brings back the story-based Journey mode from ‘FIFA 17’, where players take on the role of a customisable up-and-coming athlete named Hunter.
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
3. God of War
Sony’s lovable spartan, Kratos, returns. Not to be confused with the pre-PS4 trilogy or its spinoffs, this ‘God of War’ features a new over-the-shoulder camera and Dark Souls-like combat.
For Luciano, the game is “a new title that has taken the region by storm. Every gamer has probably already bought a copy.”
This time around, Kratos finds himself in the Norse realms rather than ancient Greece, and he isn’t alone. He has a boy named Atreus with him, and together they plan on scaling the highest mountain peak in the realms to scatter Atreus’s mother’s ashes. Along the way, they’ll square off with myriad mythological figures from the Norse sagas, and the results will no doubt be bloody.
Available on: PS4.
A popular long-running first-person-shooter, ‘Counter-Strike’ is still huge in competitive gaming circles.
“‘Counter Strike’ is a title that has been popular since 2001. Network cafes across the country is always filled with players playing this game,” explains Luciano.
Here, players take the role of either a ‘terrorist’ or a ‘counter-terrorist’. Terrorists attempt to plant and set off a bomb, or guard hostages to keep them from getting rescued. Counter-terrorists try to defuse the bomb or rescue the hostages. After each round, players receive in-game cash that they can spend on stronger weapons and more ammo.
The latest version of this game is known as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, built in Valve’s popular Source engine.
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux, and technically Xbox 360 and PS3.
5. MOBA Games – ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Dota 2’
And finally, we’re grouping together the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, a popular genre, dominated mainly by ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Dota 2’.
Luciano groups them, because “‘League of Legends’ and ‘Dota’ are equally popular.
“These two games have always been popular in the region and regardless the time of year, the games are being played at full capacity.”
Here, teams of players take on the roles of hero characters with special abilities. Two teams start on opposing ends of the map, and must destroy the other team’s ‘core’ (aka their home base) to win. Players earn experience and coins to level up and buy powerful items in order to defeat enemy minions, guard towers, ‘jungle’ monsters, and other heroes.
Available on: PC and Mac. ‘Dota 2’ can also be played on Linux.