Video games have tackled the concept of dystopia for years. Suffering, injustice, corruption, post-apocalyptic worlds, and totalitarian control are only a few marks that define a dystopian environment.
From the wastelands of the Fallout Series to the streets of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City, dystopian worlds can take on several forms and show many different sides of humanity’s worst potential futures.
Despite the uninviting scenarios, these dystopian worlds can be stunning in their own ways, captivating the player with rich lore and quests that will lead them to figure out what led to society’s collapse and how they are supposed to fix it.
In order to help prevent that collapse (or better prepare for it), The Debrief has put together the top 5 dystopian video games released in 2021.
Released on September 7th for PC, Encased is an isometric dystopian sci-fi RPG set before, during, and after an apocalypse in an alternative version of the 70s.
Dark Crystal Games and Prime Matter are the teams behind this game, where you’ll be playing the role of an employee overseeing the exploration and research of The Dome, a giant zone left behind by an unknown civilization known as The Forefathers. Your character creation choices will impact certain situations in the game, and when it comes to combat, you’ll be faced with a turn-based RPG, so be sure to work on your strategy.
If you enjoy the older installments of the Fallout classics, then you’ll appreciate this game.
Chernobyliteis a survival horror RPG set in a sci-fi dystopian, nuclear-irradiated, open world. In this game, you take the role of a former Chernobyl nuclear power plant employee who decides to venture back to Pripyat to find out what happened to his wife. This task is not easy, as the player is faced with stalkers, military forces, and mutated creatures.
The main goal of the game is survival, not just yours but of your team. Like the Fallout games, you must gather resources to build a base while fighting irradiated survivors to stay alive.
This game came out on July 28th and is available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.
Biomutant is an open-world, post-apocalyptic, dystopian RPG with a strong focus on martial arts. This game’s bright and lively visuals set it apart from other dystopian-world games that usually go for the more grim and harsh aesthetic.
The Biomutant world has been infected by a poisonous oil that is destroying The Tree of Life. You play the role of a mutated animal that’s forced to fight off this natural disaster. You can set up your character for gunplay, melee, or mutation powers when combat arises. There are a lot of different areas to explore and side-quests to discover.
This game was released on May 25th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Backbone is a post-noir RPG set in a retro-futuristic, dystopian version of Vancouver, inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. In the game, you play the role of a raccoon private investigator, Howard Lotor, undertaking various tasks and exploring the beautifully rendered pixel art world.
This grim and philosophical game may take you through twists and turns you wouldn’t expect from a point-and-click game. Plus, it might just be the most beautiful game you’ll see this year. This indie video game developed by EggNut came out in June and is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC.
The last few years have been pretty harsh for the human race, but if you can take anything from these video games, things could certainly be worse!
Dystopian video games offer realities that no one would want to visit, but they allow the player to escape their own for a while and become immersed in the rich stories and visuals they provide.
Raquel is a forensic geneticist turned freelance writer. She has a knack for technology and a passion for science. You can follow her at scitechcorner.com and on Twitter @theRaquelSantos.