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Best Games Set In The 2030s

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The Earth has seven years to go before 2030 dawns upon mankind. It’s a year of reckoning when all millennials will inevitably reach the ripe old age of 30+. By then, knees & lower backs might no longer function as intended but hopefully, some old gamers will have retained their fervor for video games.


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If not, then at least these video games set in the 2030s will give players a good chance to see what it’s like. Spoiler alert: 2030 in video games is worse than 2020 in real life. Viruses & cyber crimes are too rampant, & there’s also war at every corner. But at the very least, these video games let people enjoy 2030 before 2030 actually happens & further ruin expectations.

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8/8 The Last Of Us: Parts 1 & 2

the-last-of-us-part-1-joel-ellie

  • Release Year:
    2013 (first game)
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 3/4/5

The Last of Us & its sequels was on to something when they portrayed a downtrodden picture of Earth riddled with fungal rage zombies. That’s just the backdrop. The main highlight here was the heartfelt struggles of a father who lost his daughter & a girl who lost her family.

And unlike other zombie games, The Last of Us explores the human condition more dearly, made possible by the 2013 outbreak of Cordyceps fungus which turned human beings into ravenous zombies. The first game takes place around 2033 while the sequel happens five years later in the timeline.

7/8 Metro 2033 / Last Light / Exodus

Metro 2033

  • Release Year:
    2014 (first game)
  • Platforms:
    Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, OS X, Stadia

Metro 2033 & its sequels paint an even darker version of 2033 in its mythos. Instead of contending with a fungal zombie virus, humanity was forced to turn subway systems into makeshift bunkers after the 1980s Cold War exploded into a nuclear winter apocalypse.

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After that, all sorts of anomalies happened on the surface & mutant races even developed, turning urban legends into a reality. Meanwhile, the situation in the metro systems was no better as political tensions that ape Russia’s real-life politics wreak havoc on what’s left of humanity.

6/8 Arma 3

arma 3 screenshot

  • Release Year:
    2013
  • Platforms:
    Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS

Arma 3 also takes place in the mid-2030s but at least it doesn’t douse its setting in a bleak apocalypse. Instead, this mil-sim gives players a peek at what modern warfare could look like in the 2030s, which is honestly not much different than what most armies have today.

There’s not much of a story happening in Arma 3 as it’s mostly a s&box playground for players who prefer their shooters to be less arcade & more mature. But some missions do give players context as to why a particular isl& has smoke pillars or why they need to bomb those pretty Mediterranean towns.

5/8 Detroit: Become Human

Daniel in Detroit Become Human

  • Release Year:
    2018
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows

Detroit: Become Human paints the notorious city in a much more favorable light. It takes place in Detroit around 2038 during a time when robotics breakthroughs have given birth to the rise of sentient &roids. At its core, it’s a crime story — a buddy cop drama where a disillusioned veteran detective has to Advance to terms with working with a hopeful newbie.

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Except, the said newbie is an &roid & the veteran detective is heavily prejudiced against robots. The setting certainly affects the dynamics between the two protagonists in this buddy cop puzzle & story-driven video game as they try to solve a tricky murder case while overcoming their differences.

4/8 Dying Light 2

Image from Dying Light 2 showing a silhouette of the player stood on top of of gargoyle during sunset.

  • Release Year:
    2022
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & Series S, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Dying Light 2 takes a Enormous leap from its predecessor — 22 years, to be exact. This time around, it’s 2036 & the once-contained zombie virus in the city of Harran has spread worldwide. The game labels its own time period as the “Modern Dark Ages.” There’s no civil government & most people are just scrounging by for survival while avoiding getting turned into zombies or zombie food.

But thankfully, there are still numerous unfinished construction sites in the game, & the buildings have become dilapidated to the point where they make for perfect parkour spots. It’s certainly a recognizable zombie game, but it’s also one of the prettiest ones in the industry right now.

3/8 Far Weep: New Dawn

Far Cry-New Dawn Outpost Cropped

  • Release Year:
    2019
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna

Far Weep: New Dawn takes place after Far Weep 5‘s canon ending where a nuclear strike caused an apocalypse & ruined governments. Several years after that event, wild militant groups now roam around America, taking & killing as they please, similar to Dying Light 2‘s modern dark ages but without the zombies.

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What players will face instead is good, old-fashioned human tribalism. Turns out crudely armored & armed b&its can prove to be as dangerous as zombies. But unlike other apocalypse games, New Dawn prefers its wacky rendition of the end of the world where players can assemble weapons out of scraps & the color palette is the California edition of Mad Max.

2/8 Watch Dogs: Legion

characters in Watch Dogs Legion

  • Release Year:
    2020
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & Series S, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna

For those who are tired of apocalypses in their 2030 video games, then Watch Dogs: Legion offers a more grounded take. The game doesn’t explicitly say that it takes place in 2030, but the expansions have implied a time period of around the start of 2030.

The game is thus a near-future rendition of London where operating systems & computers take control of common mundane structural functions in society. This has caused concerns about privacy & freedom as the authorities are also using the said system as some kind of Orwellian surveillance, & it’s up to the anarchist players to tear down this capitalist dystopia.

1/8 Prey

prey-key-art-morgan-yu-spacesuit-shotgun

  • Release Year:
    2017
  • Platforms:
    PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Cloud Gaming

Prey is a horror sci-fi game that takes place around 2035 in a former Soviet space station that, unsurprisingly, was invaded by unconventional aliens. To help keep matters under wraps, the Soviet space station has opted to work with United States operatives to capture the said aliens.

That’s where the players Advance in. They’re practically preventing an all-out panic & invasion of Earth by containing the situation in the said space station which has since changed h&s to a corporation that wants to milk the aliens for profit. Players then have to clean up this capitalist mess. Quite a common theme for games set in 2030.

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