Long distance relationships have their benefits and challenges. On one hand, you get to know someone on an entirely different level by talking and sharing everything with your partner, but sometimes just talking isn’t enough. You want to share experiences with your loved one, but financial restrictions sometimes prevent couples from being able to drive or fly out to see them on a romantic getaway. Video game are an excellent way to help connect and build experience points with your loved one without spending an exorbitant amount of money. The next generation of consoles are out, and there are plenty of older multiplayer co-op games you can snag at a discounted rate.
Instead of ringing him or her over the phone, why not boot up your PC or game console and connect with your sweetheart in a game? Psychologists say that games where you can communicate over chat and have a frustrating or exciting experience together gives couples a shared moment to bond over and talk about. These experiences can help strengthen you’re connection and help beat down the separation blues.
Here are a few games that you and your long distance significant other can bond over.
Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Mac)
This first-person shooter is a fun romp for couples. It takes place in a colorful world called Pandora. The planet is filled with an array of environments to traverse and a wacky cast of characters, whom couples will have a good laugh over.
Boss battles provide opportunities to strategize attack plans with your significant other and relish after your hard-fought victory or skulk over your epic defeat. This game provides over 60 hours of side quests and main story missions to entertain (and that’s not even including the DLC.) For the price and entertainment value you’ll get out of it, Borderlands 2 is well worth a try.
Gears of War series (Xbox 360)
If both of you are more hardcore and don’t mind getting up close and personal with the ugly face of the Locust horde with a chainsaw, then Gears of War 3 – or any game in the Gears series — will be a fine choice. Humanity is on its last leg and the Cog soldiers are making one last push to help prevent the genocide of the human race. They need to infiltrate the hive by destroying the Locusts that have rested underground for centuries.
The game has rare moments of deep introspection, but the Gears of War franchise is hardly known for its powerful narrative. Most of the time, you know someone is going to die if they’re wearing a helmet. The series is well-known for its fast-paced, paint ball style of cover-and-shoot gameplay mechanics. It’s a fun series, but each game packs around than 10 hours of gameplay.
Diablo 3 (PC/Mac/PS3/Xbox 360)
If you’re not keen on first-person shooters but still want to battle against plenty of monsters, then Diablo 3′s top-down style may be a little more your speed. This action role-playing game allows you to select your own character from a roster of classes and build them up as you progress through the game.
The story involves Deckard Cain, an old man who’s investigating a mysterious prophecy, but a star falls from the sky and he disappears. It’s your job to investigate, but the story has never quite been the centerpiece in the Diablo franchise. The series is mostly known for its dungeon-crawling loot system; players battling through underground structures to get bigger and better treasures and wares; and leveling up. This game may cost quite a bit, but its value is not to be underestimated as you could spend over 100 hours playing and not finish everything the game had to offer.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (Xbox 360/PC/PS3)
This game has puzzles, platforming, and top-down shooting. Lara Croft and an ancient Mayan warrior named Totec have to stop the evil spirit Xolotl from covering the world in darkness. It’s a top-down shooter that requires quite a bit of talk, especially if you want to solve many of the main story and extra puzzles the game throws at you. The game can be both frustrating and fun when navigating the world’s many puzzles at times, and there’s plenty of fun weapon and stat upgrades that will keep gameplay interesting.
The main story takes about 8 hours to complete, but if you’re going for solving every side-temple puzzle, the game may run closer to 15 hours.
Portal 2 (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
If you abhor violence entirely, then Portal 2 will be more your speed. Hug your way through these 3D puzzles to get out of each stage. Play as either Atlus or P-body — two robots who are tasked by the AI overlord GLaDOS to run through some puzzle tests. Together you and your partner will have to navigate five stages to reach the end. The cooperative campaign does tie into the single-player story, but it’s not necessary to play one before the other.
The cooperative stages do add an extra challenge as each of you can only shoot one portal (in single player you have the option to shoot two.) It’s a fun and silly romp that will surely have couples giggling over the phone.