You may want to consider a one-way ticket
Summer's nearly here, and you're no doubt wanting to take a break from the humdrum tedium of your daily routine. What you need is a vacation. Maybe you're dreaming of a sun-soaked beach that lulls you into a state of blissful relaxation with its swaying palm trees and churning waves. Or perhaps you're picturing a mountain retreat; a quiet, serene place to unplug and enjoy some self-reflection. Video games can offer these kinds of exotic getaways, you know - but they usually turn out to be a lot less tranquil than you might hope.
Virtual vacation spots seem prone to becoming the epicenter of some harrowing catastrophe, ruining all those plans for leisure activities in the process. So whatever you do, don't book a flight to one of these resorts if you cherish your summer vacation. Or hey, maybe you like to live a little bit dangerously - in which case, these perilous retreats will ensure that you spend every minute of your time off really appreciating the value of life itself.
Isle Delfino (Super Mario Sunshine)
This dolphin-shaped tropical paradise has it all: friendly natives, gorgeous beaches, and local agriculture that produces fruit the size of your head. But even when it's not being terrorized by a translucent vandal and his giant paintbrush, or running rampant with ink-infested wildlife, Isle Delfino would still be a questionable vacation spot. For starters, there's Corona Mountain, a live volcano that could ostensibly bury the entire island under a blanket of molten lava at any time. And Hotel Delfino, which is pretty much the only tourist lodging in town, is lousy with the hostile spirits of the dead. You're also very likely to get sprayed by an Italian plumber's back-mounted hose for absolutely no reason, which is a guaranteed day-ruiner.
If you're thinking of a one day becoming a wealthy tycoon who turns an entire planet into one gigantic luxury resort, Stygia is the perfect example of what not to do. For instance, don't start building in a biosphere that's riddled with radioactive gamma storms. Avoid supplementing your workforce with convicted felons, who've all been exposed to copious amounts of toxic waste and could stage a revolt at any moment. Try not to landscape with the kind of plant life that could photosynthesize into man-eating monstrosities if left in the sun for too long. And for the love of all that is holy, don't bring along enough heavy artillery to arm every last soon-to-be-mutated tourist with lethal force. If Bulletstorm's any indication, that'll all end very, very badly.
Lakeview Hotel (Silent Hill 2)
Checking in to the Lakeview Hotel seems like the start to a quiet, relaxing stay in the foggy little town of Silent Hill. You've got a gorgeous view of the scenic Toluca Lake, with Maine's majestic forests in one direction and a short walk to the Lakeside Amusement Park in the other. But if you leave your room to refill the ice bucket in the middle of the night, you might encounter some rather psyche-scarring scenes. Interiors covered in rust and grime; guests who look like walking piles of skin moaning as they shamble through the halls. Maybe you should've paid attention to all those TripAdvisor reviews that complained about otherworldly horrors and the guilt-induced revelations that come with them.
Rook Islands (Far Cry 3)
Are you an affluent caucasian who some might label as a 'grade-A douchebag'? Do you enjoy flying like paper and getting high like planes? Then you should never, ever visit the Rook Islands, because you will almost assuredly end up as the ransomed captive of some deranged modern-day pirates. I know it's tempting, what with the jet ski rentals, scuba diving through picturesque reefs, hang gliding lessons, and the ultimate finale: skydiving from 12,500 feet, with a full view of the gorgeous archipelago. But I assure you that the hard landing isn't worth it, because you'll probably get picked up by the guy who tortured McLovin to death. Also, he's definitely going to confiscate your phone.
Horrorland (Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland)
Theme parks always heat up during the summer, when school's out and the sun is shining. But Horrorland seems to be trapped in a state of perpetual night, looking a bit like Universal Studio's Wizarding World of Harry Potter if it revolved around R.L. Stine's brand of kid-friendly creepiness. Attractions include Werewolf Village, where children are constantly getting trapped in meat lockers, and a 'Coffin Cruise' through the moat of a castle lorded over celebrity vampires: Jeff Goldblum and Blue Velvet's Isabella Rossellini. Best of all, the price of a single admission effectively becomes a lifetime pass, since Horrorland has the power to magically warp you back onto its haunted fairgrounds should you ever escape.
Costa del Sol (Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7)
Golden sand, crystal blue skies, fluffy white clouds. Zach Fair isn't able to appreciate any of these idyllics sights on the beach of Costa del Sol, because he's too busy fending off hordes of overgrown sea worms. What should be some much-deserved R&R for this elite SOLDIER operative always seems to break out into a battle on the coast - though Zach doesn't mind, seeing as it's a reprieve from the relative boredom of his chaperoned holiday. And because Shinra's exclusive resort wasn't built with combat in mind, Zach's forced to use a retracted sun umbrella as a sword. If anyone's genuinely enjoying themselves on this trip, it's those gamers who swoon at the rare sight of Zach's shirtless six-pack.
Bright Falls (Alan Wake)
The road to a terrible vacation is typically paved with good intentions. Alan Wake's a best-selling author who's stuck in an unproductive rut, and his wife Alice thinks a trip to the remote mountain town of Bright Falls will help him break through his writer's block. Clearly, Alice has never seen The Shining or Secret Window. Within an hour of arriving at Bird Leg Cabin on Cauldron Lake, the couple's trip descends into shadowy madness, with Alice getting mysteriously abducted and Alan slowly losing his mind on account of a Dark Presence. All that being said, Alan did finally sit down and write that novel he was thinking about, so... mission accomplished!
Banoi (Dead Island)
At face value, this verdant island off the coast of Papua New Guinea seems to be the destination that'll live up to your most luxurious vacation fantasies. Imagine: sunbathing at the five-star Royal Palms Resort during the day, and enjoying the expletive-riddled rapping of star performer Sam B. at night. Of course, you'll need to turn a blind eye to the crime and gang violence that runs rampant in the nearby city of Moresby, and the fact that there's an Alcatraz-style prison island (surrounded by live mines) not too far up the coast. Also, the indigenous tribes have been practicing endocannibalism for generations, which eventually leads to one of those pesky zombie outbreaks that plunges all of Banoi into bedlam. There's nothing like being at zombie ground zero to put a damper on your paid time off.
Black Lake Lodge (Condemned 2: Bloodshot)
Welcome, welcome! Let me show you to your room; don't mind the cultist messages scrawled in the walls. And here we arrrrrrRRRROH MY GOD A BEAR! IT'S EATING ME! IT'S EATING ME ALIVE!