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  1. #1
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    Games with: Bleak/Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic Settings

    Greetings all. Wow has Real Life caught up to me in the wake of the Holiday season. Least I managed to finish a few good games prior to its nabbing me by the mostly non-existent collar and yanking back into focus.

    Which brings me to my purpose here today.

    I am seeking games with a Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Bleak setting. Sandbox or narrative doesn't matter. Something stark, kind of harsh. Something with atmosphere. Here is the trouble; I have played ALL of the following (to death):

    -Fallout 3
    -Fallout NV
    -Dishonored (which was very good)
    -Deus Ex: HR (which is a borderline All Time Great)
    -Rage
    -Metro 2033 (could have been better but amazing atmosphere)
    -Mark of the Ninja (very good)
    -Bastion (amazing)


    Its a short list. But given the things I am looking for, it seems to be THE list. Period. I was hoping the community might be aware of some atmosphere-dripping Dystopian concoctions I might have missed. Or perhaps some apocalyptic presentation of hopeless through which I can trudge for a time. The only criteria I am seeking are:

    -Reasonably modern. No 8-bit stuff
    -Atmosphere and immersion focused
    -No side-scrolling platformers (except Deadlight, which I have anyway)


    I have considered throwing myself wholly into either STALKER: COP or Skyrim. I know the former wins out in terms of both immersion and atmosphere hands down. I also wondered whether there might exist some mods amidst the thousands one can use to make Skyrim a darker, more dreadful place, or one that perhaps hates the player more than it loves him, and doesn't care if he triumphs or gets eaten by a Grue.

    Thanks either way!

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Stalke-

    Oh. Well there's the turn-based RPG The Age of Decadence. Inspired by the fall of Rome, factions compete amidst the bones of a once great civilization devastated by a magical war. Full game hasn't been released yet but there's a good demo out right now:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...ecadence-demo/

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Have you tried I Am Alive? I guess you've played it but I consider Far Cry 2 fairly bleak and atmospheric at times, too.

    If you have a PS3 too, Demon Souls is very atmospheric, moreso than Dark Souls, I'd say. Cryostasis too, that could work. Straying even further, but Shadow of the Colossus can be atmospheric, going round a canyon and seeing the first Colossus was quite the experience.
    Last edited by Sketch; 17-01-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Play the first Fallout, though that may not meet your age requirement.
    The Medallion of the Imperial Psychopath, a Napoleon: Total War AAR
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    You've probably already tried it and formed an opinion but... FarCry 2? It's definitely fits the bill for bleak.

    If you feel like something weird and bleak there is always The Void. I own it but have never played it, but I hear it's pretty bleak.

    And I guess Syndicate is too old for what you're looking for, as nothing else comes close when it comes to dystopia.

    I'll also throw in Sacrifice, which is pretty also pretty bleak and also post-apocalyptic at times.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    I wouldn't suggest STALKER:Cop if its your first,start with Shadow Of Chernobyl,hands down its exactly what you are looking for. I just started today COP and it just trows you in to the zone,trust me it really is not for first timers in stalker universe.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    STALKER obviously. All three work (even Clear Skies...).

    A less obvious choice might be EYE: Divine Cybermancy. Lots of (poorly translated) lore to read and it is a pretty bleak/dystopic setting. And the gameplay is fun as hell


    Another choice, if you don't mind console-land, is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Definitely set after-the-fall. Don't let the bright (downright beautiful) colors fool you. It is a VERY deep game that, depending on your own personal thoughts, may be pretty god damned bleak. And the two leads voice (and mo-cap) act the living hell out of the story. I honestly put that up there with Planescape, Silent hill 2, and Bastion as a game to replay every few years to see how it affects me.


    Also, Bastion is definitely post apocalyptic.
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  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node johnki's Avatar
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    Well, it's a bit obvious, but I'd recommend the first two Fallout games. They didn't age fantastically but they're aging better than FO3 is. And they're still fantastic.

    And if you can stand it (it's an old DOS game), Wasteland is an interesting journey.

    Visions of the Aftermath: Boomtown (another DOS game) also fits the description, but I can't remember if it's any good.

    Spec Ops could probably stand to be called "bleak" but it's very obvious it's set in modern times.

    The Last of Us is coming out on PS3 soon and looks fantastic.

    Gears of War is actually a pretty bleak/dystopian setting caused by war. My girlfriend and I loved those games. Not sure how much that fits compared to what you're looking for, though.

    EDIT: Also, the first Deus Ex game. It's great.

    EDIT2: You think Teleglitch would fit?
    Last edited by johnki; 17-01-2013 at 01:45 AM.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Darksiders 1!

    Post-apocalypse? Literally. You play after the apocalypse has happened and you play as one of the riders of it. Action-adventure title.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  10. #10
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    I'm gonna be bold here: You Are EMPTY

    You can actually get it, DRM-free in the current indie gala for as low as $0.01: http://www.indiegala.com/

    This game was panned by the gaming press but ask anyone that played it and they'll probably praise it, even if only a little. Personally I love it. It's set in Soviet Russia, after an experiment goes wrong and turns everyone into mutants (no points for originality here).
    The thing is, the shooting is great the and scenery/atmosphere is top-notch. It really conveys the feeling that I think you're looking for.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node johnki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundedbum View Post
    Have you tried I Am Alive?
    Going to second this, as well. It's impressively bleak.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    I'm quite surprised by how much I like Ravaged, even with the issues it has. It's purely multiplayer though.

  13. #13
    Network Hub Protoman's Avatar
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    Little Inferno fits perfectly.

  14. #14
    Activated Node xspork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    A less obvious choice might be EYE: Divine Cybermancy. Lots of (poorly translated) lore to read and it is a pretty bleak/dystopic setting. And the gameplay is fun as hell
    Just want to second this. EYE is a great game and definitely captures that bleak dystopian setting that I think you are looking for.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    STALKER, STALKER, and umm... STALKER. Dark Souls looks reasonably bleak too. And, yeah. Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden may also meet your requirements, as silly as it sounds.
    Art blog here.

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  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    Whenever "dystopian" is mentioned I get a hankering for Syndicate Wars. It is a great sadness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobtree View Post
    I'm quite surprised by how much I like Ravaged, even with the issues it has. It's purely multiplayer though.
    Are more than ten people playing yet?

  17. #17
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    Gemini Rue, of course.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node TailSwallower's Avatar
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    I second:
    Dark Souls (very bleak, though a fantasy setting, so that might not appeal)
    Fallout 1 & 2 (Just get the Restored Content & High-Res mods and you won't even care that they're 15 years old)
    Gemini Rue

    And add:
    Amnesia (extremely bleak and atmospheric)
    Lone Survivor (see above, and add surreal to the mix, but graphics might not appeal)

    And yeah, Age of Decadence and also Dead State are two games you might want to keep an eye on. Probably out later this year. Oh, and the obvious Wasteland 2, while we're talking about upcoming, isometric RPGs.

    Darksiders might technically be post-apocalyptic, but I wouldn't say it's bleak or atmospheric at all. Great game, but probably not what you're looking for.

    I would recommend the first two Syndicates, but they're old and don't have the same sort of mod support as the Fallouts, so you might not be able to get into them.
    weekendwarrio.rs - We've got more games than time...

  19. #19
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    Great suggestions all. I will look into I Am Alive. Heard good and bad, but it did seem like what I am looking for. Far Cry 2 was blea, but the respawn times and malaria attacks killed it for me. Which is too bad, it had great atmosphere.

    Stalker: SC was actually the one I tried. Got my acronyms confused. That is probably what I will go with. It did seem right up my alley. And I own that and Gemini Rue (from a bundle, that last one).

    Thanks again!

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    Dude. Walking Dead. Seriously.

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