Sunday 7: Worst Apocalyptic Worlds


Video game worlds have had it rough.  They’ve been nuked to oblivion, infested with zombie viruses, overrun with aliens, ravished by gods, hit by asteroids, and still always have survivors to tell the tale.  Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated summer release, The Last of Us, is set to be yet another venture into a world without hope, where infected, mindless beings want nothing more than to take a bite out of you.  To prep for the dark days ahead of us in this upcoming blockbuster title, here’s a look at the seven worst apocalyptic worlds in video games.

7. Tokyo Jungle

What exactly is Tokyo Jungle?  I have no freakin’ clue, apart from the fact that you can play as a Pomeranian and roam a deserted Tokyo.  It’s been critically praised for the offbeat ingenious, but that doesn’t necessarily speak much about the setting.  In a world in which all human life has disappeared, animals have taken back the planet as a natural habitat.  And by ‘natural habitat,’ I mean that they kill and eat each other for no valid reason, other than the fact that they’re animals.  Sweeeeeeeet.

6. Gears of War

Although it doesn’t happen specifically on Earth, Judgment Day (also known as ‘Emergence Day’) in no less threatening on the planet Sera.  The hulking, repugnant Locusts emerge from the ground and throw the world into chaos, effectively turning the entire color palette of the series into grays and browns.  What’s slightly unsettling, though, is that these aliens aren’t really aliens per se; in fact, we sort of invaded their planet, and they’re just trying to protect it, which means…

Well, it means we’re total dicks.

5. Half-Life

The plot of Half-Life is pretty complex, so let’s just dumb it down for now.  Basically, a bunch of science stuff happens, and now aliens known as Xen are attacking Earth.  Gordon Freeman, legendary hero of teh interwebz, is humanity’s best answer.  None of that really matters, though.  The real reason that nobody would ever want to live here is that the game Portal takes place in the same universe.  Yes, if you lived in this apocalyptic world, you’d also have to deal with GLaDOS.

4. Darksiders

After the foreshadowed apocalypse is prematurely kickstarted, one of the Four Horsemen, War, is accused of the heinous crime (in all fairness, his name is rather incriminating).  In the chaos that ensues over the next century, the entire human race is virtually wiped off the face of the planet and angels and demons have a constant struggle for power, making the majority of Earth literally a living hell.  Which, I imagine, would look something similar to Tim Burton’s bedroom.

3. Fallout

There’s two things that North Korea’s nuclear bomb threat over the last few months has taught us: 1) If you ignore an unruly dictator long enough, people will eventually stop caring about what he says and 2) Nuclear bombs are still really terrifying things.  In the amazing Fallout series, the player gets to experience firsthand what living in this environment would be like.

It’s as creepy as you’d expect.  Walking around ghost towns, finding remnants of a destroyed civilization, trying to survive at all costs – it’s a harsh experience.  Not to mention, most people have been turned into radiated freaks; those mother *bleep* centaurs probably took at least seven years off my life.

2. Metro


‘Post-nuclear war Russia’ may be the most off-putting four-word phrase ever conceived.  And it’s the setting of Metro, a series of books and video games that has a pretty big cult following.  While humans have been confined to the underground, the mutants that have resulted from the fallout on the surface – known as The Dark Ones – are a little disturbing; these creatures have incredible telepathic abilities.  So not only has society deteriorated to an atrocious level, but there’s also thousands of Professor X’s crowding Russia.  That’s not a world worth living in, anyway.

1. The Walking Dead Game

Just by taking place during a zombie apocalypse, the people of Walking Dead already have a few things going against them  There’s a deathly plague, flesh-craving zombies, a dangerously low amount of food and supplies, and almost everyone they’ve ever known is dead; together, those would all be rather inconvenient.

Telltale Games, however, found a way to make that environment so much darker.  Based off Robert Kirkman’s comic book apocalypse, it’s clear that the real enemies in this world aren’t the demonic creatures that walk the earth.  No, Walking Dead focuses primarily on the pure inhumanity of man.  Slow, shambling zombies are easy to avoid, but cannibals, murderous vagrants, bandits, and moronic teenagers are a bit harder to deal with.  The scariest thing about this world isn’t what lurks behind every corner, but what lurks underneath every survivor’s skin.

Like the list?  Have a favorite apocalyptic world that didn’t make the cut?  Tell us more in the comments below!