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According to Video Games: 6 Ways The World Could End

Some of us were stockpiling tins of food, maps and flamethrower fuel in preparation for the Mayan prophecy that the world was to come to an end on the 21st December 2012. Others ignored the ancient prediction, and rightfully so it seem. However had the world come to end a month ago, how would it have happened? The apocalypse has been a source of inspiration for the video game industry for many years, with the end of the world coming in a range of forms. We look back over some of these games to discover what we can learn should the Mayan calendar be a few months off.

End of the World by…Alien Invasion

Whether aliens attack us from the skies or the seas, the X-COM (and the modern remake XCOM) games taught us that not all life forms from outer space are as friendly as ET. So what have we got to look forward to if aliens do land? Abductions, crash landing UFOs and terror ratings at an all-time high. Expect a slow end to the world as the aliens take control of the nations piece by piece, with plenty of gun fire and explosions to set the tone. Our hopes of survival lay with the major powers of the world joining forces to create a special army of alien killing Rambo’s. To give us a head start how about developing laser weapons and flying armour sooner rather than later.

XCOM Alien

Chance of abduction: Aside from rumours that the US government have been in contact with aliens and blurred videos on YouTube, there is no evidence of an imminent threat…but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there.

Odds Aliens Will Be Our End: 250/1

End of the World by…Nuclear War

During the Cold War the world was preparing for a barrage of nuclear weapons to fall across the globe as the two superpowers faced off. Since then the threat of weapons of mass destruction has sparked new panics, conflicts and excuses for warfare. It’s an emotional subject that’s been present in modern politics for over 50 years, as well as video games. The Fallout series tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic USA, while the Metro series takes the perspective of Russian’s end of days. Both titles are set in barren landscapes, with radiated water and mutated hostiles. In order to survive a nuclear war the message is clear: get underground with plenty of food. Be it a train station or a personal vault, either will do. So start digging.


Chance of explosion: The Cold War is still in living memory, and nuclear weapons are dotted across the planet. All it takes is the press of a button (or several buttons, a few switches and a turn of a couple of keys according to our Hollywood research).

Odds Nuclear Weapons Will Be Our End: 10/1

End of the World by…Zombie Virus

From ZombiU to Red Dead Redemption, zombies have been the end to many game worlds. Whether they’ll be the fast running undead of Left 4 Dead, or the stumbling hordes of the Walking Dead is yet to be seen. But what we do know is that a bite, scratch or even a little drop of blood falling into your eye (according to 28 Days Later) will turn you into one, so start ordering goggles with your body armour. A crowbar is just as good as a machine gun, or even a gravity gun if you have one handy.Spend some time on Dead Island and Dead Rising to find out how to turn a harmless household appliance into a zombie killing machine. But moving fast and quietly will do just as well. If the Walking Dead has taught us anything, it is that the living are just as dangerous as the dead (as are your fellow players in co-op if friendly fire is on).

ZombiU Zombie

Chance of infection: Bird Flu and SARS have caused a number of fatalities in recent years, but no zombie resurrections as of yet.

Odds Zombies Will Be Our End: 200/1

End of the World by…Natural Disaster

No super virus. No alien invasion. No detonations. But the incrediuble power of Mother Nature. Rage was set in a world recovering from an asteroid blast, while I Am Alive sets players in a city torn apart by earthquakes, and Binary Domain illustrated the dangers of global warming. There is no escaping it, just trying to survive it. Resources are just a precious as weapons, and beware of the greed of anyone you meet. Try Ubisoft’s From Dust to get acquainted with the powers of nature and an ever shifting world full of danger.

i am alive

Chance of Natural Disaster: Although not the most popular of video game settings, perhaps one of the most impending threats in real life. Global Warming continues to concern scientists, and with asteroid Apophis having a 2% chance to hit earth in 2029 it’s not looking good.

Odds Natural Disaster Will Be Our End: 4/1

End of the World by…Technology

As CES 2013 kicks off, it is clear technology is becoming a bigger part of our life every year. Surely the next logical step of a platoon of mini robots dancing to Gangnam Style, is a platoon of 8 foot robots policing our nations. However what happens when that technology goes against us. Binary Domain and the Portal series painted the picture of man against machine. 2013 will see Ubisoft Montreal’s Watch Dogs and how a reliance on technology leaves the world open to hackers and exploitation. And who knows, perhaps we were created by a race of Sentinel alien-robots that are farming our knowledge Mass Effect style. If that’s the case we better find some alien friends to help us soon.

Watch Dogs

Chance of Technology Error: Our laptops and iPods go wrong all the time and hacker groups have wreaked havoc on Sony Entertainment. As technology becomes a larger part of our life we are more and more reliant on computers for our food and energy. Although an army of Geth isn’t a realistic threat, Watch Dog’s image of hackers is something governments are already trying to crack down on. Although how serious that threat is, has yet to be realised.

Odds Technology Will Be Our End: 15/1

End of the World by…Dragons

Fire breathing beasts, with wings the size of football pitches, and teeth as big as a man. Treasure hungry angry fiends with the IQ of a Mensa member. Both Skyrim and The Witcher 2 have shown how difficult these monsters are to fight…and that’s with the help of magic and a couple of followers. What we’ll need is a Dragonborn or a Witcher, and a selection of potions. Until then stay off the roads, avoid ancient dragon burial sites, and don’t get caught trying to cross the border of Skyrim.

skyrim - dragon

Chance of Flaming Dragons: We think you’re safe on this one

Odds Dragons Will Be Our End: 1000/1

Although December 21st has passed, that doesn’t mean you’re safe. So load up the Walking Dead, bag Binary Domain and pre-order Watch Dogs to help prepare yourself for any all eventualities. But what are the games that help teach you survival skills? What games highlight impending doom best to you? And what threats have we missed out? Let us know in the comments section. For more on video games until the end of the world stay tuned to KokuGamer.com

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