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Picture the barren wastelands of post-apocalyptia. The remains of mankind have pieced together a few settlements out of the rubble, but most of the irradiated landscape is lawless nothingness filled with scavengers fighting to survive.

There’s probably a fair few games that spring to mind, eh?

It looks like games aren’t leaving this kind of setting behind any time soon. But we’re yet to see a single game that’s really captured what I’d like to see out of this idea.

Survival is a big deal, and we’ve only really seen it attempted (mercifully in an optional form) in Fallout: New Vegas.

First of all, it would be nice to have a proper inventory system. Not the weird weight limits and twenty rifles all with different ammunition. Carrying one primary rifle with maintaining and modding it would be a lot better.

On that note, sleeping, eating and drinking should require serious scavenging but be handled in a less artificial “satisfy this meter” kind of way. There’s also no reason for you not to be able to carry a bedroll and a flask.

Relating to survival there’s something of this in the basic gameplay. Imagine you see strangers in the distance. You don’t know if they’re friend or foe. They aren’t just Raiders or some equally hostile uniform gang like in most of these games. They’re just people in the wasteland.

They could attack and kill you, you could attack and kill them. It’s up to you how you handle it – how you approach and if you approach. Always bearing in mind that long range is safer, but you can’t contact them peacefully without getting closer.

The big difference here would be the lack of law or order. If you were starving, would you kill an innocent man just to take what he has? Maybe that man could have given you information or provided you with something else of importance.

My initial reaction was that Bioware-style dialogue trees would be perfect. But raw, simplistic Team Ico-esque interaction could work equally well in this primitive world. Let your in-game body language and your rifle do the talking for you.

You’d definitely want a vehicle for driving through the wasteland. Which, much like your rifle, you would want to have maintenance and modification for. Far Cry 2’s minimal, essentially diegetic HUD and menus would help add to the immersion and atmosphere.

If nothing else, it would just be nice to see a game do something different with this setting.

Is there anything you’d like to see in your next visit to post-apocalyptic earth?

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