Over the years, New York has become an incredibly popular destination for post-apocalyptic mayhem. Much like its role in Hollywood, the city has seen its fair share of zombie outbreaks, alien invasions, and natural disasters in video games. With Prototype 2 out now and Crysis 3 on the way, this popular trend of finding new and exciting ways to destroy the Big Apple doesn't look to be going away anytime soon. In case you were planning a virtual vacation to the Capital of the World, here are ten games to help you prepare for the trip.
For me, including the Duke in any discussion is a Herculean effort in itself. I despise him as a character and, to be totally honest, I've never been a fan of his games. I felt this way long before Forever released last year and successfully managed to lower the bar for the entire industry. Just because I'm not necessarily a fan doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a mention. The Duke made two outings into New York City in Manhattan Project and Zero Hour. While there, he did what the Duke does best: kick butt while chewing bubblegum and spewing chauvinistic one-liners.
Legendary was a pretty awful game, but its setting was actually quite interesting. We'd seen New York City get bombarded by aliens, the undead, and the Duke, but, until this game came along, it hadn't been invaded by creatures straight out of Greek mythology. If the characters weren't so unlikable or the world so unpolished, Legendary could've lived up to its name.
What do you get when you reunite the Ghostbusting gang two decades after their last adventure on the silver screen? You get a surprisingly fun game and a fantastic love letter to fans. It might not have completely lived up to the years of hype and expectations for a third film, but there's no denying just how nostalgic that rooftop battle with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was. If we should ever see a sequel—and I sincerely hope we do—I'd like some four-player co-op so I can vanquish ghosts with the help of my friends.
The Darkness surprised many of us with its engrossing story and, more specifically, the tragic relationship between Jackie and his girlfriend Jenny. When Jenny is brutally murdered, Jackie's only mission is to avenge her death, and the only way to do that is by using the Darkness that resides within him. The first game got the characters and story right, but flopped a bit when it came to reconstructing New York City. Its sequel managed to take everything it did well and improve upon it. Exploring the city's streets, cemeteries, and even a haunted house in The Darkness II felt like you were watching a graphic novel come to life.
Indigo Prophecy—the spiritual predecessor to Heavy Rain—was developer Quantic Dreams' first stab at taking a more cinematic approach to storytelling in their games. In it, New York City was plagued by a series of gruesome murders that followed a very specific pattern. Every single time, a person had completely lost it and had publicly murdered a total stranger. If that and the game's incredibly dark take on the familiar city aren't enough to make you want to stay away from it, I don't know what will.