The future can be a strange and terrifying place. In the past, creative minds like Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell have all given us glimpses of how society can descend into anarchy. Now video games are carrying on their legacy by showing us lots of different worlds that have each gone to hell in their own unique way.
All of the titles collected here present their own take on dystopia, be it resulting from environmental degradation, mass consumerism, extreme concentration of wealth, or plain old nuclear weapons proliferation. A lot of the scenarios present situations that we, as a society, have confronted at some point in the past (or will be forced to confront soon). But since, in this case, it’s all in the name of fun and games, some of the writers and developers took it upon themselves to create some pretty insane civilizations of the future. Here are 12 of the craziest video game dystopias we’ve ever seen.
12. Half-Life 2
Following the events of the first game, Half-Life 2 presents a dystopian Earth where all planetary resources, including the human race itself, are being harvested by a vicious interdimensional empire known as the Combine. All of humanity lives under a brutal police state where citizens are kept in line by an army of Overwatch soldiers made up of biologically assimilated humans. Only by rallying around protagonist Gordon Freeman do the downtrodden inhabitants of City 17 stand a chance of overthrowing their monstrous oppressors.