I was watching a movie about a plane jacking the other day and towards the end, both pilots were shot and the plane begins tumbling down. Unfortunately, there is no one in the whole plane who can fly the darn thing. Well, except one. A gamer who has never flown a real plane but has played enough simulation games to land the plane. And that is how he becomes the hero of the story.
Why do I tell you this? Because it’s how I perceive these post-apocalyptic games. I see a day in the future when the world as we know it has ended and the only reason I am able to survive is the experience I have gained playing these sort of games. Crazy, I know but a man is allowed to dream right?
Many post-apocalyptic games have been developed within the course of time but not many live up to their reputation. Or they simply don’t paint the real picture of a true apocalypse. But then there are others you play and the experience is riveting. These are the games we will be highlighting. I give you the 5 best post-apocalyptic games you should definitely play this year.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Do you know how you can tell that a game is fire? When it seems to appear on just about any game review you see. Horizon Zero Dawn is a game that I have found myself reviewing so many times that I am losing count. Whether it’s in the best PS4 exclusive games or Best Open world games this games seems to fit everywhere.
It follows the story of an orphan named Aloy and is set several years after a cataclysmic event led to the apocalypse. Aloy has been living as an outcast with her stepdad but now that she is of age, she sets out on a path of self-discovery. Through her story, you will come to understand how the world came to an end and be a part of rebuilding a new civilization.
But Aloy’s journey is not a smooth one. She will have to battle both man and machine before completing her quest. Speaking of which these robotic monsters form a critical part in beautifying this game. Humans have gone back to the medieval age of living where they rely on crude weapons and seeing robot machines exist in this kind of environment is fascinating.
This is a game that shines on all fronts. Whether it’s the visuals, story, gameplay, characterization or even the combats. The robot creatures form excellent nemesis with each requiring a certain level of patience to be able to exploit its weaknesses and destroy it.
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Environment (SIE)
Release Date: February 2017
2. Metro Exodus
Metro is quite a popular FPS shooter series and anybody who has played the preceding two instalments has been eagerly anticipating this third edition. And if you are a first-time player then it’s about time you join the wagon. Fortunately, you won’t miss anything since the story in Exodus is self-sufficient.
Okay, maybe there is something you will miss. The underground tunnels in which the previous games are set. But what you get is better since this new instalment takes the action above ground.
The game is set in post-apocalyptic Russia that died after a nuclear war. In the game, you play as Artyom who together with his wife Ana and a crew of Spartan rangers are escaping the ash-ridden Moscow Metro aboard a train called Aurora. Their destination is the far east where they hope to find a new life.
The train will make several stops in the course of the journey to allow you to collect supplies and explore the open world but it is also in itself an important part of the game. It makes for some great bonding moments between the travellers. You will also love how much attention the game developers put into crafting each environment in the game. Unlike some other developers who have recently been focusing on creating a huge map but neglecting the quality of the environment.
The dynamic weather, atmosphere and environment give the game a certain kind of realness that is hard to miss.
Metro Exodus retains much of the combat style that is dominant in the Metro series. A lot of shooting and the occasional stealth mode approach. You will have the most fun upgrading your weapons to exert maximum damage to the mutated creatures and human enemies that you will be facing.
The new mutant types in the games called humanimals, I could have thought of a better name, pose a new challenge to the gamer as they attack furiously and come in packs.
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: February 2019
3. Mad Max
If you have not heard about Mad Max the video game then you have definitely heard about the movie franchise. So you already have an idea of what to expect. Although the game is not based entirely on the movie, it draws much of its inspiration from it. It is set in a post-apocalyptic desert where the player controls a weaponized vehicle to defeat enemies. You have to be prepared to drive a lot since more than half the gameplay happens in the vehicle.
It follows the story of Max Rockatansky in his quest to find the Plains of Silence where he hopes to find peace. But this is not one of those games that you play for the story. Most of the fun comes in building your vehicle, The Magnum Opus, through weapon and armour upgrades into the ultimate combat machine. Apart from weaponizing the vehicle, you can also customize the car’s engine, chassis, wheels, bodywork and the paint job.
When not on your wheels you will be free to roam the vast wasteland and the series of side missions makes for some entertaining gameplay. You can participate in races, time trials, conquering enemy camps and sabotaging enemy convoys.
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: September 2015
4. Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
The first Wasteland game was released in 1988. So that makes it slightly less than 30 years before the sequel was actualized. So why would someone want to make a game sequel 30 years after the original release? Well, that should be one of the reasons you are eager to try out this game.
It is set in a post-apocalyptic desert where a crew of army engineers set camp after the life-changing event. As expected, when civilization falls, there is always a new power waiting to rise. In Wasteland 2 a ragtag group of bandits rises to become the self-proclaimed law enforcers. The army engineers have now rebranded to be known as desert rangers and work to help protect the civilian communities.
The game has 4 predefined playable characters but they also let you create your own characters. You can also recruit up to 3 other players to complete a team of seven members. Each person comes with their own set of skills which means you have to take time selecting the right players so that you have a perfectly balanced team. This game is highly punishing and failure to plan your moves will see you fail miserably in the game.
Wasteland 2 uses a turn-based style in combat. This means you will be responsible for positioning your players in the most strategic places to give you an advantage over the enemies. And they are many. From the raiders and mutants to robots you will never fall short of challenges.
The other impressive thing about this game is how dynamic it is. It has hundreds of decision you can make in any particular instance and every decision will have a short or long term consequence in the game. For instance, when recruiting different rangers into your crew, a single decision will determine whether they become friends or foes.
This means that the overall game experience will vary with different players. It also means you can replay the game several times and the experience will always be new.
The initial Wasteland was released for PC only but they later released a Director’s cut that was compatible with both Xbox and PS4. This new version features enhanced graphics and expanded voice-over options.
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: September 2014
5. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
A nuclear war has destroyed the world. The release of the red plague coupled with the resulting radiation has killed almost the entire human population. And the few that remain have turned into mutants. In this game, you will be playing as three mutated heroes. A human, a mutated duck, and a mutated boar.
The three are tasked with finding their colleague Hammon. A technical genius who is critical in ensuring that the ark where the remaining population resides does not crumble.
This game uses the turn-based combat system that was popularized by the X-com series meaning that the success/failure of any combat largely depends on your planning. You have to analyze the scenario and come up with the best ambush strategy. And the level of satisfaction you get from completing an attack successfully is immeasurable. It also has a stealth mode that allows you to move past enemies undetected.
However, one of the biggest downside of this game I would say is the lack of diversity in its map. Once you are through with the main story, further exploration becomes repetitive since the camps are placed as before. Enemies will be at the same location they were previously. Nevertheless, there is the option to try the game in hard or permadeath modes.
This game does not hold your hand at all in its gameplay so if you are impatient then you will be disappointed.
Developer: Swedish Studio
Release Date: December 2018
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