Apocalypse? Don’t mind if I do.
Sometimes, we want to face the end of the world, and prevail. Perhaps it’s zombies, aliens or other people. There were a few excellent titles in the “Apocalypse” genre over the past couple of years. Bigger and smaller titles which might catch your attention. Perhaps you just want to try something different, or maybe you want to go mutant camping, without having to find real mutants yourself? Whichever the case, read on.
The Fallout Series – Rum and Nuka Cola
The first Fallout game was released back in 1997. Long Story short, a nuclear holocaust turns the world as we know it into a wasteland, but a new order springs up from the rubble. Among those who somehow managed to survive the radiation, destruction and chaos also appeared the Vault Dwellers. Before the bombs fell a series of Vaults, giant complexes where people could live for an indefinite amount of time, were built all over the U.S. of A. What most do not realise is that each Vault was designed as a Social experiment, where the Vault Dwellers were put through different experiments. For example, Vault 13, the Vault from which the protagonist originates from, was meant to remain closed for 200 years, to test the effects of isolation on people, while Vault 21 reinforced gambling, which in the end, became the main method of resolving differences and quarrels.
Each Fallout game has a different Plot, and often a slightly different design, possibly due to changes in developers since the first Fallout. Fallout 1, Fallout 2 and Fallout: Tactics are all excellent titles and classics of the RPG genre. They can be bought cheaply and their hardware requirements are minimal. In recent years two new Fallout titles emerged, which shaped how many new gamers perceive Fallout now. It still has some of the old components which made the original Fallout great, while adding a lot of new gameplay mechanics and ideas. Fallout 3 had an interesting idea. The main storyline was interesting, but the vastness of the world allowed you to focus on other things. Whether you wanted to perform a series of specific quests, or simply to explore the vast environment, the player had that choice.
Fallout: New Vegas is the newest installment of the series. Unlike in all of the previous games (save for Tactics) you are no longer a Vault Dweller, or a descendant of the Vault Dwellers, but a Courier. You get shot in the head and left for dead, while your package is “recovered” by the attackers. When you think it’s the end, you get rescued by the most unlikely of… things and after making a full recovery… and here once again, the choice is yours.
The most important part of all of the Fallout Games is choice. Meanwhile, all the “Apocalypse” elements are in place. Radiation, mutants, raiders, salvaging all manner of wacky weapons and odd equipment, searching for remnants of a world long gone. The Fallout series will not disappoint you, if you want an incredible Apocalypse experience.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series – Mini-Apocalypse
Imagine, if you will, that Chernobyl never got better. Imagine, that the wildlife went wonky, deadly anomalies appeared all around and mysterious priceless artifacts are now hunted by S.T.A.L.K.E.R.S. Bounty hunters, who want to get rich quickly and the best way to do that, is to go into the Zone. The Zone became a haven for mercenaries and bandits, while the Military is trying to keep everybody out. The Zone holds many mysteries, which have to be discovered. You, the hero of either of the games, have an almost free-hand to do as you wish. Unlike in Fallout, the world is not a Wild West, but close to it. It is dark, creepy, with mutants and bandits lurking around every corner. Each of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games grants a unique experience, with a touch of
Russian Ukrainian accent.
Metro 2033 – Living in the Russian Tube
If I were to call Metro 2033 something, I would say “Almost like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.”. The difference is that Metro happens in Russia underground, and is much more linear, lacking the sandbox element. In Metro, when you do go to the surface, you keep one eye on your watch and the other on the monstrosity that is running your way. You have a limited oxygen supply, your flashlight runs out, your ammo is precious. On one hand, the game offers a relaxing walk through the apocalypse, but on the other it can be highly challenging in a good way, as well as climatic. There are moments which will make you scream (just like in Alien) “They are coming through the walls!”, while also making you cackle, as you discharge your shotgun into some unfathomable monstrosity and then charge with your bayonet.
Due to lacking a sandbox, Metro makes up in story. It’s all very linear, but the effect is astonishing. Although some moments feel rushed and lacking, other times they are breath-taking. Metro 2033 has both action and horror elements, with a bit of economics. Whatever you do, do not turn off that flashlight.
Fallen Earth – Advanced Tech in the middle of nowhere
Fallen Earth is a Free-to-Play MMO, where you might not have a wide choice in classes or races but it is still a unique and intriguing experience. You are a Clone, waking up in a very hostile world. You at first realise that you and other clones are created as living organ bags, waiting to be harvested. Luckily for you, there is a bunch of different factions doing their best at that very moment to save you and end “Masters” who is the main Antagonist of the game. You sacrifice yourself to save the Dam (the centre of the entire plot) and the people who rescued you, only to wake up a few years after the event and learn that Masters damaged LifeNet, dooming you and all the other clones to a gradual genetic self-destruction. Your first mission? Find a way to restore yourself, so that you do not become some shapeless goo.
What makes Fallen Earth special? The world is huge and climatic. You get a mount very early on into the game, and I felt almost like a wasteland cowboy, riding among the mutated wildlife, with my trusted modified BB-Gun and spiked baseball bat on my back. There are plenty of skills you can specialize in. Creating your own guns, armour and later even your own “horses” feels a bit grindy when you want to reach higher levels, but it is overall very satisfactory and easy. Although you have the option to look from behind your character, you can fight in the First-Person-Perspective. This is useful when using firearms. Later on you get much better gear and even your own ATV or motorcycle (and I swear, I even saw a car) . My first thought was “This is just like Fallout, only an MMO”. It is easy to make such an assumption, but Fallen Earth is an entirely different setting. If I were to compare Fallen Earth to New Vegas I would say that both games offer separate interesting experiences. The major difference would be, Fallen Earth is free.
Bioshock Series – Big Daddies and Little Sisters
Bioshock 1 and 2 both take place in Rapture. A city built underwater where great thinkers and creators would not be obstructed by “petty morality”, governments… or anything else for that matter. The Utopia quickly turns into a dystopia, where all of Rapture’s inhabitants become Adam crazed maniacs, with superpowers. Depending on which game you choose, you are either a survivor of an unlucky plane crash, or a Big Daddy, a modified human, stuck inside a suit of heavy armor with the task of protecting Little Sisters. Who or what are Little Sisters? Imagine that you took all the little girls about, infected them with a slug/parasite which allowed them to collect Adam from the dead and then set them off into the chaos raging city.
Bioshock is unique, not only because of the interesting setting, but also because of the combat system. Wide selection of weapons, powers and upgrades allows you to plan your favourite tactics the way you want them. While you prowl through Rapture, you discover how the city fell into chaos, unearthing the darkest secrets of its inhabitants.
Left4Dead Series – Grabbin’ Pills
Want zombies in your Apocalypse? Want a game to share with your friends? Look no further. Left4Dead is an excellent zombie game where you and three other survivors, move through a world which has been utterly destroyed by the undead. Not a realistic zombie simulator, but an action packed FPS experience, Left4Dead is a perfect game to play in a group of four. In Left4Dead 2 you will have many more multiplayer options, more special infected and more weapons. When playing alone, the game is also enjoyable and the entire world has been very well designed. As you move from safehouse to safehouse you discover notes and scenes of human struggle. Recommend whole heartedly. Not only for the intense action, but also an interesting story. Below, a teaser of the last “campaign” for the heroes from L4D 1 (which can be played in L4D 2).
Project Zomboid – No happy ending
My personal star on the Indie Game market. Project Zomboid is a zombie Apocalypse with plenty of realism and challenges no other game offers. Although it lacks Skyrim quality graphics the game is grisly when it wants to be. Very interesting music, which sets the mood depending on the situation and recent updates only add more and more carefully balanced content. Click this link for Project Zomboid related articles.
Is this it?
There are numerous different video games focused on an Apocalypse. They come in different shapes and sizes, with different foes and dangers. The games mentioned here are only a few out of many, but all of them bring something new to the Apocalypse “genre”. If you are searching for a specific Apocalypse related game, why not post a comment below and I will see what I can find?
Aleksander “WriterX” Bielski