Adapted from author Hugh Howey’s series of books, showrunner Graham Yost’s Silo wrapped up an impressive first season on Apple TV+. The Rebecca Ferguson-led sci-fi thriller brought to screen a captivating world filled with tantalizing mysteries, but there are plenty of video games for fans to get more of their dystopian fix.
These kinds of worlds and stories are ripe for immersion and deeply layered worldbuilding, as many talented developer studios have made their mark on the dystopian sci-fi subgenre. From Bethesda Game Studios’ iconic Fallout series to 2K’s (now Irrational Games) groundbreaking BioShock, these titles all have elements that fans of Apple TV+’s Silo should enjoy.
Bethesda Game Studios is well known as a triple-A juggernaut when it comes to Western RPGs, and Fallout 3 was among the finest of its genre in the late ’00s. A massive departure from the more classical CRPG conventions of Black Isle Studios’ Fallout 2, this third mainline installment has players assume the role of a Vault 101 inhabitant.
They play through a prologue of their life in the Vault before leaving the nuclear bunker as an adult to uncover the mystery behind their father’s disappearance. With the backdrop of nuclear catastrophe and conspiracies like Silo‘s; bolstered by real-time combat; and a wealth of storytelling opportunities, Fallout 3 is a classic worth revisiting — partly thanks to its community mod support.
Fallout 3 is available on modern hardware through Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles through PS Plus Premium streaming, and PC.
Obsidian Entertainment has been gradually throwing its weight around the RPG space in gaming since the fan-favorite Fallout: New Vegas. And while it didn’t hit the same highs as the studio’s latter effort, The Outer Worlds was an admirable shot at a fresh IP.
The Outer Worlds clearly takes some gameplay and stylistic cues from the Fallout series, from its first-person combat and dystopian elements. It’s not as gritty as the likes of Silo, but it features the themes of humanity’s folly and collective greed ruining the quality of life of everyday people. The game does so from a darkly comedic lens, with the story and character writing being other highlights.
While Bethesda’s Fallout 3 earned its stripes as one of the best RPGs of its time, Obsidian’s New Vegas has achieved retroactive praise as the best game in the series. A spin-off of the mainline games, Fallout: New Vegas takes place four years after 3 but features a standalone story.
The game was admittedly a buggy mess at launch back in 2010, but thanks to some patching and — most importantly — dedicated mod support from the player base in the years since its release, New Vegas holds up well today. The game has been lauded for its deeper role-playing mechanics in character customization and dialogue choices to shape its stories, as well as refined combat gameplay.
Fallout: New Vegas is available now on Xbox, PlayStation through PS Plus Premium streaming, and PC.
One of the best examples of the video game medium flexing its strengths as an art form is Irrational Games’ BioShock. The 2007 game follows the protagonist Jack in an alternate 1960 as he investigates the underwater city of Rapture and how the supposed utopia collapsed under the weight of its ambitions.
It blends elements of first-person shooting, action, and survival horror to become one of the most unforgettable and thematically rich gaming experiences. Fans of Silo‘s cryptic, intriguing mysteries and backstory will feel right at home with BioShock, as the game adopts a grim “biopunk” subgenre and aesthetic for some scathing and poignant social commentary on the dangers of corporate evil.
BioShock is available on PC, as well as PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch consoles as part of The Collection remastered compilation.
The latest mainline entry in the long-running series, Fallout 4 released in the early years of the PS4 and Xbox One generation of consoles. Once again developed by Bethesda Game Studios, the game earned strong critical reception, even if it didn’t earn the same level of affection from fans as 3 and New Vegas did.
The main culprit for this was the game’s overly-simplified RPG mechanics, but there’s still plenty to enjoy here for longtime fans and newcomers alike. It’s the most accessible given how comparatively new it is, with Fallout 4 earning praise for the depth in its open-world content and overall design, as well as a compelling new story. This installment offers a new level of creative freedom while traversing through its nuclear wasteland.
Fallout 4 is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s set to receive a next-gen update for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S sometime this year.
An adaptation of Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky’s books, 4A Games created a trilogy of Metro games with 2033, Last Light, and Exodus. The series tastefully combines first-person shooting and survival horror in a grueling world where surviving soldiers living in the Moscow Metro fight off opposing factions and radiation-ridden monsters.
These games are certainly a departure from the exclusively human murder mystery of Silo. However, the Metro trilogy has a consistently gripping story, post-nuclear-war premise, and harrowing atmosphere that’s tonally fitting.
Remastered versions of Metro 2033 and Last Light are available as part of the Redux collection for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Exodus is available on last- and current-gen PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, and PC.
The first season of Silo is available to stream on Apple TV+.
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