Dystopian, Postapocalyptic Utopias

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about dystopias and apocalyptic worlds. These crazy creations have long been the source of entertainment for gamers and readers alike offering some of the most memorable and unique settings any of us can remember. With the new Mortal Engines film coming out this year I thought I’d look back on some of my favourite apocalyptic worlds…

Mortal Engines:

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic version of earth that was destroyed by the “Sixty Minute War”. Little is known about the war except that is caused massive geological upheaval. To escape the earthquakes, volcanoes, and other instabilities, the leader Nikola Quercus installed huge engines and wheels on London, creating the first Traction city which could drive around and capture other cities for resources. By the time of the first book Mortal Engines the planet has stabilised however except for Asia and parts of Africa Traction Cities still dominate the world. Much technological and scientific knowledge was lost during the war as a result Old Tech is highly prized and recovered by scavengers and archaeologists. Europe, some of Asia, North Africa, Antarctica, and the Arctic are dominated by Traction Cities, whereas North America was so ravaged by the war that it is often known as the dead continent. The rest of the world is the stronghold of the Anti-Traction League, which seeks to destroy the Traction Cities and prevent their intense consumption of the planet’s remaining resources.


The world of Mortal Engines is one of my favourite settings, a world of mobile cities, advanced technology and conflict. The world has become a vicious and dangerous place a “town eat town world” where only the strong survive.

Last of Us:

The Last of Us is one of my favourite zombie themed video games set in a rich world. In September 2013, an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, transforming its human hosts into cannibalistic monsters known as infected. The world that proceeds is one of danger and beauty as nature reclaims our cities and humans fight for survival and also for the  future of what remains of society. Do you follow the oppressive military remnants of the US government or the Fireflies who seek freedom and a cure to the Zombie infection?


Finally the last post apocalyptic word is perhaps the most iconic in gaming history, the world of Fallout. Set in a fictionalized United States in an alternate history scenario that diverged from our reality following World War II. From this alternate reality technology from robots to nuclear-powered cars, directed-energy weapons, and other futuristic technologies exist alongside 1950s-era computers and telephones.

More than a hundred years before the start of the series, an energy crisis caused by the depletion of petroleum reserves, led to the Resource Wars  a series of events which included a war between the European Commonwealth and the Middle East, the disbanding of the United Nations, the U.S. invasion of Mexico, as well as the annexation of Canada, and a Chinese invasion and subsequent military occupation of Alaska eventually ended in the Great War in the year 2077. The Great war was a two hour nuclear exchange which created the post-apocalyptic United States that the Fallout Series is based in.


The ravaged cities of the Fallout cities filled with ghouls and other dangerous mutant monsters is one of the most iconic video game settings. This beautiful setting portrays a bleak and lifeless version of our world where every day is a fight for survival. And where the normal rule of law and the countries we rely on are nowhere to be seen raiders rule and out side what few settlements remain the world is a vast wilderness filed with deathclaws.

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