Everyone’s a cook now, is that it? A few weeks in lockdown and you’re all suddenly artisan bakers and Bon Appétit Kitchen presenters? Sorry, I don’t buy it. Put the chickpeas down, Jeff. We all know what happens when you let things “simmer”. However, there is a world in which your cooking really does impress. Where it comes out of the pot scrumptious and hot and more flavourful than a generous bite from a big round onion. That world is videogames. Did you think I was going to say something else? I never say anything else. It’s videogames. Here are the 9 most delicious dinners in videogames.
Burley Bean Bowl – Final Fantasy XV
It’s basically a chilli con chocobo. Chocobean, I mean. Excuse my slip. I don’t put chocobo meat in my bean bowl. Who would do that? Anyway, bespectacled chef and walking thoughtful-face emoji, Ignis, is the man who keeps the party well-fed on this JRPG road trip across Eos. And there is a frankly concerning amount of meals to be eaten on this journey (when you’re not lazily scoffing Cup Noodles™). The menu is generous. Consider the “krazy kebab”. Marvel at this meat pie. Salivate like a toad over this battered fish. But the big ol’ bean bowl is one you want. Simple, filling, wholesome, spicy. Definitely no tenderised chocobo thigh in there.
Platter – Monster Hunter: World
Look at this fish. The sausage. The baked spuds, my god, the spuds. The cheese and the salami and the big mug of beer and, what is this, soup? A pie? I don’t know, but I want it in my belly. This is the food of feudal royalty. This is bone-throwing food. This is the raucous cholesterol party of a person without shame, guilt, or preconceptions of culinary equilibrium. Eat this platter as a baby eats the world. Chaotically picking at each new morsel with oily hands and an insatiable maw. Do not stop eating, even for one instant. Do not pause to consider the hygienic sustainability of employing a large cat to do all your cooking. Those thoughts are for another time. Now, there is only the platter. The platter forgives. The platter is all.
Rotten flesh – Minecraft
An acquired taste.
Burritos – Overcooked
When my cat, who is terrible, bites or otherwise seeks to harm my wife, my wife will pick up the nearest cloth blanket, wait for the cat to pounce, and wrap her snugly like a swaddled babe, holding her gently until the feline fury subsides. We call this process “getting burrito-ed” and it is only half as stressful as creating an actual burrito together in Overcooked, a co-op game about making simple recipes unnecessarily complicated. Rice, tortilla, chicken or beef. What is difficult about this delectable formula? Nothing. There is no reason you should burn the rice. There is no reason you would throw five slabs of beef on the floor. Please, why must manufacturing tasty food be more difficult than subduing a vicious animal? This is not right.
Sushi feast – Yakuza 0
There is a veritable hurricane of food available to the discerning visitor in Kamurocho. And if you were to spend all your time with Tokyo’s most lovable mark just punching gangsters and chasing mystery, you would miss out on some good-looking feeds. I picked the sushi feast only because I looked at that list of meals and forgot I wasn’t actually sitting in a restaurant. I craved it. “I’ll have the sushi,” I said aloud to the computer screen, as in some demented timeline in which things such as instantaneous salmon generation were possible. I sit here now, saturated with lockdown sorrow, knowing that my sushi will never arrive, drooling onto my keyboard, hopeless and stupid.
Paharac – Temtem
Gamey, but good.
Radscorpion egg omelette – Fallout 4
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know that because a nice group of marketing executives from the 1950s told me so. So what better way to get an overwhelming blast of calories than to eat an omelette made from the eggs of a radioactively gigantisied arthropod? Yes, there are lots of alternatives. You could go for some nutritious Sugar Bombs, or a mug of refreshing vodka. But that won’t keep you going long. Ever seen that old Ready Brek advertisement? Where the kids glow all day? That’s what a good Radscorpion egg omelette does. Also it cures cannibalism.
Spicy eel – Stardew Valley
Again, there is a massive selection of dishes in everybody’s favourite gentrification ‘em up. I considered going with the triple-tiered chocolate cake, but decided against it on the grounds that it too closely resembles the smiling poo emoji. The spicy eel, on the other hand, is a superfood. I’m told it heals, it gives you energy to stay awake, it makes you lucky, and helps you run faster. It is a dish that can be battered out of dungeon-dwelling enemies, and it probably tastes phenomenal if the saucy unagi nigiri that, yes, I am still attempting to will into existence, is anything to go by.
Headcrab – Half-life: Alyx
At one point in this VR pissabout, you open a fridge and find a headcrab, vacuum-packed in a way that resembles a whole supermarket chicken. And if that doesn’t make you weirdly hungry, I honestly don’t know.
One Off The List from… characters who refuse to die
Last week we had videogame antagonists rolling in their graves, and then rolling out of them, for a list of the 9 characters who refuse to die. But one of them, you argued, ought to finally be put to rest. It’s… the orcs from Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor.
“Orcs off the list,” says loyal listworth “TheAngriestHobo”, bringing their full disdain to bear upon orckind. “Because more often than not they just end up running away or getting off with a mild humiliation. They’re secretly pushing a shadowy pacifist agenda and should be recognized as the great big phonies that they are.”
Savage. All right, list buds, see you next week. Same list time. Same list website.