Sometimes it's fun to revisit some old last gen titles that may have been forgotten. This list consists of a few that I still enjoy today.
5 Video Game Worlds Where You Would Never Want to Live
Most could agree that one of the key ideas in video games is the world in which the game is set. Aside from the characters, the ability for a developer to make a world that seems alive and real is one of the key things that draws the player in to the story of the game. The Mushroom Kingdom, Hyrule, Midgard, or Raccoon City; each of these strikes a particular chord with gamers and have shown them hours of wonder and excitement. But damn…not many of these worlds seem like nice places to live! I mean, being a civilian in many of these worlds equates to a very painful death and, in many cases, undeath. The chance of being murdered/transformed/mutilated in a video game is unreasonably high. In this post, we are going to look at several that really just take the world “inhospitable” to a new level, and maybe offer some suggestions as to which worlds you should look at instead.
1. The Earth of Resident Evil
Let’s face it, to be born into the Earth of Resident Evil would be just awful. You have bio-terrorists who seem to strike with majorly coordinated attacks to large populated areas with amazing regularity, and the result is an entire region of people transformed into mindless killing machines and hordes of zombies. The law enforcement agencies, as well, seem to be pretty terrible at working to prevent these attacks as well, as it in the later games, they don’t even notice there is an outbreak until an entire region of a country has been infected (i.e. The Backwoods area of Spain that the Plagas had infected in Resident Evil 4). Once they do notice these infections, the agents to these groups are usually killed off pretty quickly, and only succeed by the skin of their teeth with one or two surviving agents.
And what about the poor civilians in these worlds? Oh they are, at best, turned into zombies like this…
Or, if you are not lucky, you are further mutated into some terrible monster. Liiiiiiiike…
Or this cute guy…
So basically, you have a world where bio-terrorists are well funded groups that have a limitless resources and the power to reanimate and mutate the dead in vast numbers, coupled with an inability of law enforcement to do anything to stop them until horrible damage has already been done. PLUS, in most cases, the governments and corporations of the world seem to be content with just covering everything up.
Where I’d Recommend Instead
If you have to live in a survival horror game, try the Clock Tower series instead, where it only seems you are in danger if you are a teenager or an orphan girl. Plus, running from one midget with a pair of giant scissors seems much less scary than a horde of zombie/mutants. At least the scissors-midget doesn’t mess with your undeath.
Picturesque right? Oh man, Sera seems a world that would suck even in peace-time (and there isn’t much of that). The humans are ruled by the COG, which is really more of a military dictatorship/oligarchy, and anybody who chooses to live outside the confines of this government are basically homeless vagrants. The large urban areas have either been horribly sacked by the Locust (subterranean lizard people who brutally kill or torture anyone they capture), sunk into the ground (to be covered in a second), or completely flooded. One of the cities has been so horribly decimated by heavy weapons that it has been reduced to ash! By the third game, humanity is literally living a meagre nomadic existence on a fleet of boats. Oh yeah, and did we mention the world’s main energy source, Imulsion, is actually a living parasite that can mutate anyone who has had prolonged exposure to it?
Lovely. Okay, say there wasn’t even a war going on, the Locust never existed, and the “oil” of the planet wasn’t out to get you? Well Sera is still a pretty horrible place. For one, better take cover if there’s a rainy day, because you have that chance that the rain will turn into Razor Hail. Yup, on Sera, good old fashioned precipitation wasn’t enough, so they had to spice it up by making it rain razor sharp shards of glass down upon you. Oh yeah, and I hope you don’t live in the big cities, because lord knows those big subterranean worms like to burrow underneath them and cause them to sink into the ground! Nothing like a nice catastrophe to make your day! Finally, if you live on Sera, you better get used to an early curfew, since at night the Krill come out. Yup, the Krill are bat like creatures who can only live in the darkness, but if you happen to stray into the darkness at night, will literally rip you to pieces like a swarm of piranha. Sera is, let’s face it, a horrible hell-hole no matter how you slice it. Plus, if your last name is Carmine, you most likely are going to die.
On the bright side…
If you are a guy in the Gears of War universe, you probably don’t need to worry about ever being scrawny or out of shape, since every man pretty much looks like a walking talking beef cake.
3. The World of Dragon Age
Ever have a group project in school, but none of your group members ever seem to want to do anything unless you are willing to help them every step of the way, and NONE of them like each other either? Basically think of that on a much larger scale for the world of Dragon Age, also known as the continent of Ferelden (or the Free Marches for the sequel). This world is run by a feudal society that seems to be built around a bunch of snobs, selfish aristocrats, and racists; it almost pays to be have no ethics or morals if you want to live here. Humans and Dwarves have an intense political and social life, with back-stabbings, assassinations, greed and graft being the norm, while if you are an elf, prepare to be made to live in the forest or kept in ghettos away from the general population. Everyone is literally out to get you in this world for their own selfish ends. Even if there is a crisis, and there are plenty, expect to have to look out for yourself. A blight of Darkspawn (basically orcs), bearing down on your village? Hope you bribed the local lord. Crazy blood mages and demons subverting your village? Hope you can convince the Templar Commander or the nobles that you have something in their best interests.
Even if you decide to get away from the main cities, you really can’t take a stroll in the countryside without being attacked by giant spiders, a group of marauders, or, even worse, the militaristic Qunari (a society of Viking like people who basically want to invade and conquer everywhere). And if there is a Blight of Darkspawn, you better hope that all these different societies can band together to help one another. Really to be a civilian in this world means that you are going to be either possessed by an evil spirit, put to the sword by some lord, or just eaten and killed by a bunch of Dark Spawn. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Dragons!
On the bright side…
You get to have a ton of promiscuous sex! And I hope you like to swing every which way, because Dragon Age likes to get all sorts of freaky!
4. Dark Souls/Demon Souls
So what would be worse than living in a place where death is certain? How about living in a place where you are forced to exist in a cycle of death and rebirth, meaning that your death is only one in a series of painful deaths? That is the world(s) of Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls, where if you die, your soul is locked for eternity and you are continually revived until you finish your quest. You get the idea, playing these games, that the world has existed in this state for quite some time, as most of the Undead whose souls have been trapped have been there so long that they have lost their minds and been driven insane. And boy will you die a bunch. Both worlds are populated with a crazy amount of traps, demons, enemies, and massive bosses, all who are willing to destroy you over and over again (and you are just an ordinary human; no crazy super powers for you!). Your existence in this world is a lonely one, as well. There are very few friendly faces throughout these worlds, and those people who aren’t undead will have no qualms with trying to “invade” your world in order to kill you and steal the souls that you have collected. As well, the history of the world is incredibly obscure, so you will most likely never know what you are trapped in this crazy existence surrounded by bloodthirsty monsters.
If you live in the Dark Souls universe, you might run into this pair…
They will account for a majority of your deaths.
5. The year 200X…or 20XX for that matter
Apparently the worst thing that ever happened to humanity was the invention of robots, because the future of Mega Man and Mega Man X is pretty darn awful. I mean, have you noticed that there seems to be no humans aside from a scant few in either of these game series? I mean, I guess that’s what happens when both games focus on the perpetual war between good androids and evil machines. The only humans both game series seems to be just Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, who if you notice, are rather old, while everyone else who looks remotely human seems to be an android. Could Dr. Light and Dr. Wily be the only two humans left, and they are just fighting over supremacy over this robotic nightmare (and there’s Dr. Cossack…but I think he just does his own thing)? Okay well say you are a human who is somehow still alive, what sort of existence can you look forward to? Well I hope you aren’t looking for any basic amenities, since Dr. Wily seems to have taken any municipal robot used for such things as wetlands reclamation, power conducting, or even just an excavation robot, to use for his private army of Robot Masters. Plus, most cities have now become the battlegrounds for Dr. Wily’s mad robots to run amok in, so you better hope that you don’t mind living in a constant war-zone. As well, apparently the justice system is absolutely horrible, as Wily seems to just get a slap on the wrist as he shows up once again for the next game (this has happened like, what, 10 times now?).
I mean, even if you are lucky enough to be an android or a sentient robot, the most you can hope for is to be a pawn in the ongoing chess game between Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, which will usually end with you as a pile of scrap metal, because I don’t think Mega Man leaves many survivors…
What about the future? Surely things will be better by the time Mega Man X is around? Well…no…I don’t think you see a single human this entire series (they are all surely dead), and now without any real masters, all of the robots are turning on each other! The world is in an even more serious state of disrepair (everything is always in ruins or pieces), and Sigma is much more of a threat than Dr. Wily ever was! Not only does he contain a virus which can infect most any robot, but he seems to enjoy trying to destroy the world rather than just ruling it. And have you seen his Sigma Space Station? It is so creepy looking!
On the bright side
At least you aren’t Mega Man himself, a child soldier who is forced to destroy his own kind at the behest of his master. And who knows, maybe you can be a Metool; those guys are adorable!
I could choose another five examples off the top of my head of video game worlds that I would not want to live in (I am looking at you Dunwall, World of Warcraft, and Midgard) off the top of my head, and it goes to show you that even though we have a ton of fun horsing around in these worlds, most of them would not be fun places to live. That’s why I give credit to our Marios and our Links for putting up with this chicanery day in and day out, and living in environments that are truly meant just to kill you. And let’s face it, if these environments were just peaceful and calm and not utter hell-holes, then would we really have fun traipsing through them for hours at a time?