10 Futures of Mankind As Depicted in Video Games

The end is nigh! Well, at least that’s what the doomsday movies say about it. Prophecies about the end of the world has riddled our history hundreds of times before. Nuclear wars, the Rapture, comet collisions, the end of the Mayan calendar, predictions of doom and destruction by Nostradamus – these events sound like they come from stories, movies or video games.

futuristic video game
(Image Source: Mass Effect 3)

In fact, some of the storylines that video games tell may even be worse, and today we are here to tell you 10 interesting video game stories that show us our alternative futures. To tell the stories, of course there will be some really cool game graphics showcased in.

So what is in store for mankind? What will be in our destiny? Nuclear warfare? Invading aliens? A mob of the walking dead? See the bleakness in our future on Earth as depicted in video games up ahead.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The peace we embrace today is perhaps an illusion if Modern Warfare had anything to say in our future. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a russian named Zakhaev has utilized his wealth to form the Ultranationalist Party with rebel soldiers from the Soviet Army, and what he wants is to reunite the Soviet Union.

burning down
(Image Source: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

Meanwhile, the president of a Middle Eastern country is executed on live TV by the local separatist leader called Khaled Al-Asad. And a war is sparked between the US, Middle East and Russia. All sorts of modern weaponry optimized to kill the enemy were released into the battlefield.

underwater
(Image Source: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)

Zakhaev was killed before he could use nuclear warheads to destroy the life of 41 million people, but that’s not the end of the story. One of his lieutenants named Makarov, decided to execute a fearful revenge by committing acts of terrorism for 5 years, and eventually igniting World War 3.

destruction
(Image Source: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)

Between the wars of the series, all kinds of weapons, from air to sea, from massive nuclear threats to biotechnology, have been used in the name of justice and terrorism. The game also featured some thoughtful scenes where the lives of the innocent became casualties of war.

2. Command and Conquer: Red Alert Series

Unlike the current world where World War 2 is already the past, the Red Alert series is a parallel world where the war is still happening; but humans in this series seem to enjoy the war a lot! The story started with Albert Einstein testing his Time Machine, which took him back to the past and he had a chat with Adolf Hitler.

It somehow prevented Hitler from turning into a crucial dictator, which in turn making the Soviet Union grow powerful without the threat from Germany.

tesla trooper

The Soviet Union then begins launching multiple attacks by massive forces including the infamous Kirov Airship and Apocalypse Tank later to capture the European countries and United States. The US was able to defend their homeland using their own teleportation technology and weather control machine, and fights back to protect the control power of the European Mainland.

yuri
(Image Source: CNET Reviews)

Soviet Union’s President Romanov then decided to deploy a psychic named Yuri, who can control the human mind. Yuri proceeded to destroy the nuclear weapon facilities in the US bu then harvested too much power that in the end he went rogue – he betrayed the Soviet Union, and attempted to become the dominator of the entire world.

king oni

And with this, we arrive at Red Alert, a world separated into 2 factions called the Allies and the Soviets, warring with each other and playing the tech race, in order to achieve world domination. Things never got better despite which faction took the victory, as in later years, a country named Empire of the Rising Sun (yep, you can call it Japan) rises and threatens to dominate the world with its gundam-inspired mecha. The war will never end in this world.

3. Fallout 3

What happens when we run out of oil or petroleum? Well, we’d go to war. That’s the premise of Fallout 3, which is set after this resource war, in the year 2277, when nuclear warfare has stripped the Earth of most of its resources, leaving nothing but a wasteland.

missile strike
(Image Source: Fallout)

The protagonist is born inside Vault 101, an underground structure designed to protect the remaining humans from the aftermath of the nuclear war. He was living peacefully inside the Vault, until he stumbles into the wasteland and finally witnessed the sad truth about what his ancestors had left for his generation.

fallout
(Image Source: Fallout)

When his father, James leaves the Vault, the protagonist is forced to search for his father in the wastelands. In his quest, he battles the many mutated species created from the nuclear waste, who are prone to attack anything they see.

retro style
(Image Source: Fallout)

What’s realistic and unique about this game is that the post-apocalyptic future resembels much of the 1950s, giving you a very, very retro future. Like what it is advertised, this is “America’s first choice in post nuclear simulation”.

4. Crysis

We are so keen on searching for aliens on Mars and faraway planets, that we forget about those that had been on Earth for millions of years. And of course, they are not friendly.

ice aliens
(Image Source: Crysis)

The story starts in 2020 when a team of American archaeologists discovered something that would change the world. A team consisings of troops wearing Nanosuits was then ordered to evacuate the archaeologists and secure the information. The moment the troops were about to step on the island, the group is ambushed by an unknown entity of alien origin named Ceph.

decimation
(Image Source: Crysis)

The Ceph have been in a dormant state for at least 2 million years before the Korean’s People Army activated one of their bases. As this kind of alien is armed with technology far more advanced than human beings, many places were destroyed as a result of the awakening of the beasts.

under fire
(Image Source: Crysis)

At the risk of sounding like sitting ducks, the humans in this dimension are (luckily) far from helpless. They have stolen alien technology and produced the Nanosuit (mentioned earlier) which grant them superhuman abilities to combat against their evil galaxy neighbors. It’s a good thing especially since the aliens wish to exterminate humans with its army and the Manhattan Virus. Who will come out top and excape extinction?

5. Armored Core 4

Like Fallout 3, Armored Core is a world where life resources like food and energy are dwindling in rapid speeds due to the exponential growth of the human population. The war for resources begins and prevails but this time, it’s a war between the giant mechas.

aaliya
(Image Source: espen86)

Fearful citizens living in hostile environments began betting their safety on six of the most powerful corporate conglomerates and on their own sets of rules and laws. In exchange for their offer of food, the citizens must wage wars with the old nations. This swept the old nations one by one, using advanced mecha technologies named Armored Core.

white glint

But war only worsened the condition of Earth. Due to the hazardous waste of the LYNX War, the remaining corporations from the new order Pax Economica formed a new group called “The League”. This group built airborne habitats called “Cradles” to house their people, abandoning the minority and continuing the war on the surface to find resource plants to feed the Cradles.

entrance
(Image Source: Armored Core: For Answer)

And that was how the mecha came to be the main theme of the future world. Apparently even with the aid of advanced technology, we still could not stop humans from drowning in petty conflicts, and once again humans find themselves at the brink of extinction.

6. Doom 3

Do you believe in demons? We can’t see them now, but I’m not too sure if we can still be this lucky after we develop technology for space teleportation. Doom 3 is set in 2145 and sees a military-industrial conglomerate building a scientific research facility to develop technologies like teleportation, biological research and advanced weapon design.

hell knight
(Image Source: Doom 3 BFG Edition)

The storyline took a turn when teleportation experiments screwed up and opened a gateway to what we called Hell in Holy Scriptures, resulting in a demonic invasion on Mars. Despite being demons, they can even attack you in physical form. Trappedon Mars, your only hope for survival is to clean up the mess by putting up a hellish fight and stopping the demons from invading Earth.

crawler
(Image Source: Doom 3 BFG Edition)

And to add to the terror, the people in the base you work in have turned into mindless zombies that want to rip your body apart at any second. A new discovery, a Martian artifact threatens to bring millions of flesh-craving demons to Mars before hitch-hiking on a one way journey to Earth and its destruction. Its not just your survival or the fate of the Earth at stake; it’s the fate of humanity itself.

7. Mass Effect

Currently our Mars rover Curiosity is doing its best to cover the landscapes on planet Mars, with little hope to find evidence of life. Well, in the Mass Effect timeline they probably may find advanced technology on Mars, built by the extinct race named Protheans.

begins
(Image Source: Mass Effect 2)

If a lost Martian species can build technology on their homeland, humans would hardly fall far behind with space travel technology and colonization. But like what scientists always say, space is not just for humans. The human race would later discover other kinds of aliens in space, some friendly, others preferring to to things the hard way. As if warring on Earth is not enough, on Mars, you go to war with aliens.

conflicts
(Image Source: Mass Effect 2)

Basically caught in the crossfire of interspecies war in space, in this dimension humans would see battle with the Asari, blue-skinned human females, the amphibian Salarian, raptor-like Turians, reptilian Krogan, four-eyed humanoid Batarians, etc. And let’s not forget, the greatest nemesis on the land, the Reapers.

commander shepard
(Image Source: Mass Effect 3)

The Reapers are a hyper-advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships that exist in the starless space between galaxies. They were in a dormant state, but now they make an epic comeback with the intention to purge the entire human race. Facing the Reapers who are ready to bring on the next apocalypse, humans must now gather every last possible hope to defeat them, and save humanity, again.

8. StarCraft

What is biotechnology to you? Is it about chip implants or cloning? Or is it a means to create supercriminals in the future? The StarCraft series is set in circa-21st century, around a decade after the Earth has been overpowered and over-inhabited by humans.

In this parallel dimension, the United Powers League was formed to purify the human race by imprisoning criminals like hackers, synthetic tech-pirates and the cybernetically enhanced outlaws, killing over 400 million people in the process.

terran
(Image Source: StarCraft 2)

Instead of overstuffing the prisons on Earth, the government had a better idea – put them into an experiment that saw 40,000 criminals placed in a planet known as Gantris VI. This experiment marks the birth of the Terran faction. The mission failed terribly, resulting in the spaceships carrying the criminals to land on the nearest planets in the Koprulu Sector.

war with zerg
(Image Source: StarCraft 2)

The criminals then start their own life anew in the planets, without knowing that in the future, they will face the nightmarish bug-like alien species called Zerg who hunt humans without mercy, and even turns them into zombies. The Zerg race also has another enemy, the Protoss, who in an early encounter, beamed the entire Chau Sara containing innocent Terran, as the planet is infested by the Zerg colony.

tassadar
(Image Source: StarCraft 2)

However, both of these alien species are not the ultimate threat for humanity, as an unknown species is attempting to destroy all three races and take overtheir worlds. Thanks to this ultimate enemy, the three races were able to ally with each other (temporarily) to defeat what was rumored as the creator, and the Gods of the Protoss and Zerg: the Xel’Naga.

9. Lost Planet

Earth cannot shelter humans forever, and this storyline became the backbone of the story of Lost Planet. The game begins the human legacy in a custom calendar year, T.C-80, when human technology is mature enough to enable galactical travel.

The humans in this dimension need a new home. In order to search for habitable planet, a company named NEVEC attempts to establish a colony on the planet E.D.N. III.

fighting akrid
(Image Source: Lost Planet 2 Wiki)

Any planet that could be our next home can be the target of other alien civilisations as well. After the arrival of the humans, the NEVEC discovered that the alien species, the Akrid, has dominated the planet. Both the Arkid and humans need thermal energy, T-ENG to function making it a war for resources and for the planet.

lost planet 2
(Image Source: Lost Planet 2 Wiki)

And while we play the role of the hunter in this one, aided by the mecha named Vital Suit, all is not well back at base. The fight for T-ENG became a fight to be the new world leader, sparking a civil war on top of the the war with the Arkids. Only the strongest will survive and claim the new planet as their next home.

10. Dead Space

Believe it or not, all you have seen in most video games with apocalyptic storyline are mere child’s play. Dead Space has taken the genre and the theme of alien invasion so well that it has reinvented the horror genre, even when there are no ghouls involve.

red marker
(Image Source: EA Games)

In the year 2414, the starship USG Ishimura sends out a distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC) while on a mining operation on the planet Aegis VII. Upon arrival, the CEC discovered that most of the ship crew were killed.

The protagonist, Issac Clarke was then ordered to repair the ship and solve the mystery behind the murders. They found out that the Ishimura crew discovered a relic of the Unitology religion called Red Marker, and were ordered to retrieve the Marker.

you have company
(Image Source: EA Games)

The arrival of the Marker at the mining ship Ishimura, triggered mass hysteria and violent hallucinations in the ship’s crew, resulting in mass murder. Further investigation revealed that an alien virus was encrypted onto the Marker, infecting any corpse and turning them into “Necromorphs”, alien zombie that could mutate and animate corpses to slaughter anything in its path and spread the virus.

dead space

The story is just like Resident Evil, set in space. The residents are infected by the alien virus and turned into cannibalistic zombies who have no purpose but to kill, devour and tear human bodies, limb by limb, part by part.

Reflection

So how do you feel about the future of the humanity now? Don’t be upset, it’s just a game, and the game storylines were crafted in such a way that the developers could implement and introduce more engaging game mechanics and elements into the actual gameplay.

However, we should be aware of the lessons that could be learned from all these games: our actions impact our future, and our next generation. The world is not going to end by itself soon, but at the rate that we are polluting its environment, who knows if our extinction could come knocking sooner than expected. The choices we make in the game will result in endings good or bad; it’s the same with our current state, where will your choices lie when it comes to protecting and preserving all precious life?

On a lighter note, do share your favorite game story in the comment section for everyone to enjoy, also we welcome any predictions of our humanity’s future!

Author:

Alvaris is a web designer, developer and staff writer for Hongkiat.com.

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