It starts with an earthquake
So here we are in the post-apocalypse, the day after the Mayan's apparently predicted the world's end. Enjoying the wreckage? Honestly, it all seems pretty similar to the pre-apocalypse world, so we got off easy compared to other doomsday scenarios. But even if things had gone poorly, games have shown us you can sometimes find happiness in the rubble of a doomed planet.
In case you wish yesterdays end of our world had been a little more dramatic, here are 10 post-apocalyptic wastelands from gaming history that have something fun to offer survivors. If we had to choose a shattered world to rebuild, it would be one of these.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
In the middle of a massive war that threatens Earth's population, a hail of meteors did the job for the warring armies by killing the majority of civilization. Ash filled the skies, but it wasn't long before those armies regrouped to fight over the few resources left among the debris. That may sound like a bleak commentary on mans propensity to kill one another, but guess what that means if you survived? A job!
So many apocalypses ruin the job market, with the few people left scrounging for food, but in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin you can join (or likely be forced into) the army. Youll have food, a place to sleep, and even a promotion. We'll admit this reality is hampered by a plague that causes people to swiftly die and then sprout flowers from their corpses, but at least you get some pretty flowers out of the deal.
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 3 made the post-apocalypse seem pretty bleak. You're constantly searching for enough bottle caps to buy non-poisonous water, violent mutants roam the world, and when you least expect it, someone might just explode a nuke in your town. But spin-off Fallout: New Vegas showed there was something more to that world; specifically electricity and gambling.
New Vegas was such a progressive area compared to what we saw out in Washington D.C. that wed be fine with moving there right now from this reality. The world might be finished, but we can tell you that gambling is the perfect way to distract yourself from things like mounting debt or genocide. Additionally, the many glitched people and buildings of New Vegas will always be good for a laugh when youre feeling blue.
Probably the worst thing about the world-ending impact of an asteroid is having to live through the immediate destruction. But if we were the lead character in Rage, wed just wake up in a space station and land on Earth after a significant era of rebuilding had already happened. Youd get all the benefits of humanitys last stand ending with none of the hassle.
Then again, when you finally land on Earth, the new status quo will be pretty confusing, and youll be lost without a guide. Good thing Rage gives you the best guide imaginable, John Goodman! Fine, technically its John Goodman playing a character named Dan Hagar, but who cares? All we know is were rolling with Walter from The Big Lebowski, and theres no one wed rather spend the end of the world with.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Whether in games, movies, or books, the post-apocalypse always looks so gross and dirty. Torn up streets and shattered buildings as far as the eye can see, and the air must be so full of dust youd choke on it immediately. Thats why wed much rather go with the green alternative to humanitys end as seen in Enslaved: Odyssey of the West.
Enslaved has one of the most gorgeously realized worlds of this generation, showing cities that were long ago reclaimed by nature. Its got to make for a great nature hike, plus all that growth implies clean water and vegetation are abundant, which takes a lot of the hassle out of searching for supplies. There is the issue of the killer robots that are mysteriously kidnapping people, but if we had to choose between those and zombies, well take our chances with the androids.
Yes, Primal Rage, the bloody fighting game that pitted dinosaurs against giant apes actually took place in a post-apocalyptic landscape. After the fall, animals grew to humongous size as a new Stone Age began. Homo Sapiens are still around, but are now reduced to their primordial selves, basically becoming cavemen in the style of the Flintstones.
Looking on the bright side, humanity still exists, so were already doing good compared to some potential doomsday scenarios. Its too bad that humans have fallen on such hard times, including the loss of every piece of technology, but TV has been replaced with live dinosaur fights. If the cost for seeing that is the end of society and the possibility of being stepped on by thunder lizards, were ready to pay that price.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
The Mortal Kombat tournaments started modestly enough as a grisly competition that would decide the fate of Earth and the invading Outworld. But each new contest became more chaotic, filling up with more powerful Kombatants (their term) that were pounding the stuffing out of one another constantly. By Mortal: Kombat Armageddon the huge roster threatened to shatter the fabric of all reality, and the games villain is actually trying to kill all the Kombatants in the hopes of saving the universe.
This apocalypse is taking things up a notch by threatening not just the world but all of creation, so you have to give it credit for that. Plus, we appreciate the added excitement of the end coming via Kung Fu instead of some lame asteroid. But once the fighting is done, whats left for the survivors? Well, Raiden ultimately tries to prevent this battle by altering the timeline, which resulted in the awesome Mortal Kombat reboot of 2011, a post-apocalyptic world wed love to live in.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
As many post-apocalyptic games have proven, your greatest enemy in the new status quo is often humanity. Those are the people that will stab you in the face for the last can of Spam or force you into a life of servitude. Wed much prefer the loneliness of that classic Twilight Zone episode. It might get depressing, but at least there arent roving bands of cannibals to deal with. And thats basically the post-human scenario of Fragile Dreams: Farewell to Ruins of the Moon.
Equipped with a flashlight and a few other trinkets, wed be searching the remains of Tokyo for any other survivors, but rarely finding any apart from a couple of enigmatic teens every now and then. And were just big enough to overpower them should they try to steal any of our food. Plus, the empty world of Fragile Dreams is so wistful that we could comfort ourselves by thinking this is all just one long nightmare and eventually wed wake up. Youve got to find hope somewhere.
Following most apocalypses, cars are one of the first things to go thanks to gas quickly running out. And even if you have a working car, you can barely drive it anywhere thanks to the highways and city streets being choked with abandoned vehicles. Thats why the aggressively silly Blood Drive gives us hope for a wasteland where cars not only matter, but are integral to a popular blood sport.
Decades after your standard zombie apocalypse scenario, humanity has pulled itself back together to create a new form of entertainment: a demolition derby with an undead twist. In Blood Drive, cars are outfitted with guns and spikes, tasked with destroying one another while running over as many stray zombies as they can. Its a great job if you can get it, and the sport is popular enough to be televised, which also means theres still TV, so this future cant be all that bad.
Wheres your post-apocalyptic paradise?
See a flaw in our logic? Have a better gaming wasteland in mind? Tell us all in the comments!
Need more Mayan doomsday? Check out our the perfect video game team for beating the apocalypse and the top 7 most embarrassing apocalypses in gaming.