Published on December 18th, 2012 | by EDMEditor0
5 Great Games To Prepare You For The ApocalypsePlease note that this is not a “graded” or “best-to-worst” list. All the games featured here are worthy of the same attention, and should be regarded as such. Enjoy!
Ah, the apocalypse. For most people, even the slightest whisper of the word can bring recollections of horrific prophesies, frightening predictions, and even the occasional thought of a mediocre Uwe Boll film.
But for gamers – Oh, how we love that phrase.
Let’s be honest here, readers. What isn’t there to love about the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic setting in a game? For those of us familiar with the sub-genre, the apocalypse often brings us to think about ourselves as the sole bastions of humanity, helping the world usher in a new era of guns, adventure, and endeavors of the superhuman variety.
So in honor of those silly people who say that we’ll be doomed (don’t worry, Neil deGrasse Tyson has us covered on that one), This list is not for you. You’ll probably want to be busy packing your bug-out bags and bug-out accessories. But for those of us who would rather “game” into the sunset, the pleasure is ours.
5. Metro 2033 (2010, THQ)
Metro. To the world, this has long been considered to be THQ’s “flawed masterpiece”. To us, however, Metro 2033 serves as a stark reminder of how fragile the world is. Playing on the fears present in everyone’s mind during the cold war era, Metro shows us a horrifyingly familiar scene: The shadows of Moscow – once a great city – turned to ash and rubble, devastated by nuclear war. Somewhere along, however, the line is blurred between survival and death as the old metro of the once-great city gives way to mutations of creatures that survived the apocalypse. This game places you in the shoes of Artyom, a simple resident of the metro, bound to a difficult quest by your word. Along the way, we learn about the struggles and hardship of those who survived, including the emergence of the vile monsters and a new sub-species of humans. Although Metro 2033 takes you through several battles with these creatures, that’s not really why it was such a great game. No, it would be a dishonor to leave it at that. With its compelling storyline, jarring soundtrack, and clever blend of horror, religion, and good old-fashioned frontier action, Metro 2033 is a truly a tale to witness for yourself.
4. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007, THQ)
In 1986, terror, madness, and destruction met at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine (then part of the U.S.S.R.). The event, which culminated in a level seven nuclear meltdown and the near-destruction of the plant, resulted in catastrophic losses to the environment, the economy, and the health of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of people in Europe. Thankfully, the catastrophe was reduced and the possibility of a nuclear disaster far worse was prevented. So, the world continues, blissfully ignorant of the then-unprecedented incident.
In THQ’s open-world FPS however, we’re presented with a terrible thought. What could have happened if the Chernobyl disaster had repeated itself? What if – in an insane alternate universe where strange things happen – the plant had suffered two incidents? S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl decides to explore this possibility. While they were there, they also managed to add mutants, zombies, and a whole lot of epic. The shooter, which features RPG elements and a management system worthy of a simulator, this game delivers on all fronts of the “apocalypse experience”.
3. The Walking Dead: The Game (2012, Telltale Games)
I’ll admit it: When I first saw this game, my cynicism and general dislike towards video game adaptations of media screamed for me to avoid it. However, this game turned out to be one of the best purchases of my year.
The Walking Dead is different in the fact that it deviates from the norm in zombie games. Based on the popular AMC show of the same name, this story-driven point-and-click adventure offers us a brief look into the possibilities of a zombie apocalypse becoming a grim reality. During brief moments, this game serves as a life lesson; At other times, you’re shocked by the decisions you’re forced to make. By the end of the game – in itself five episodes long – the title leaves you with a very harsh lesson: Not everyone makes it out alive. With its episodic content, thrilling story, and creative gameplay, The Walking Dead is a must-have title for any true zombie hunter.
2. Gears of War (2006, Epic Games)
In today’s video game culture, the market isn’t dominated by who comes up with the most innovative idea – it’s about who does it the best. So here we are, once again retelling the tale of “alien vs. human” in a catastrophic battle to the death. This, of course, makes one remember that Gears of War is not simply retelling a tale – it is the dramatically new spin on a familiar story.
Meet Delta Squad. As a group of soldiers in the COG (Coalition of Ordered Governments), they’re tasked – under the command of the player – to help in the battle against the Locust Horde, a collective of subterranean humanoids whose sole purpose in the war is to eradicate the human species. This third-person over-the-shoulder shooter places you in the boots of Sergeant Marcus Fenix, renowned war hero who is broken out of a maximum-security prison to fight the Locust. In order to do so, you must battle your way through hordes upon hordes of frightening enemies, relying on cover and protection to survive the five-act onslaught of difficulty. The cover-based shooter featured a compelling story, refreshing gameplay, and a fun multiplayer mode, went on to earn several awards and is still one of the highest-selling Xbox 360 games of all time. If you’re a hardcore Xbox fan, look no further than Gears of War.
1. Fallout 3 (2008, Bethesda Softworks)
Here it is, readers. Post-apocalyptia at its finest. When most gamers think of Fallout 3, tales of questing in the ravaged wastelands of the capital of the United States immediately springs to mind. To a select group, however, the Fallout series invokes praise as the epitome of a post-apocalyptic role-playing game. Although the story is as in-depth as the player wants it to be, this story features the Lone Wanderer, a mysterious traveler whose sole purpose is to discover what really happened to his father. Along the way, we meet a plethora of quirky characters, as well as embarking on a series of tasks in the near-abandoned wastes of the D.C. area.
Surely, what’s not to love? The game features shooter elements, an extensive role-playing system, a magnificent story line, and what it lacks in graphical prowess, it makes up for with enough gameplay and terrain to keep us sucked in for months – all done in the traditional Bethesda style. Needless to say, this is a true apocalyptic classic, friends.
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