Pixelitis Picks: Gaming’s worst vacation destinations


The worlds we explore in videogames are incredibly volatile, if you think about it.

Granted, that makes a lot of action-packed games that much more exciting, but sometimes it’s easy to forget how awful and dangerous these sort of situations are for the characters we control. We may get a thrill out of exploring the haunted mansions in Resident Evil or darting through war-torn homelands in Gears of War, but imagine if these places actually existed, and we were put smack dab in the middle of them. 

So, in a complete 180 from our best vacation destinations from last week, we’d like to talk to you about those in-game environments that would absolutely suck to be in.

I’d hate to be in the Body of The Many from System Shock 2.

One of the last locations the unnamed soldier in System Shock 2 has to go through is a gigantic, icky biomass comprised of “The Many:” a living bio-organic alien communion.

It should come to no surprise that this is the vilest place in the game. Filled with loads of hard-hitting rumblers and reavers, fleshy maze-like tunnels and an endless abyss of underground water caves, it’s clearly the stuff of nightmares. And let’s not forget the harrowing voice of The Many, who continue to call out to you in deep tones as you make your way through their squishy membranes. It gives me the willies just thinking about it.

The voice logs of a curious scientist who tried braving through the biomass before you are your only reminder that there’s still a world out there and that not all hope is lost. Even so, this particular segment of System Shock 2 wasn’t all that fun to progress through given its creepiness and sheer difficulty, but I can only imagine how much worse it’d be if such a place actually existed out there in some distant galaxy.

And if it does exist, I’m glad I exist in a realm that’s far, far away from it.

- Patrick Kulikowski

I’d hate to be in the metro system from Metro 2033.

Imagine hearing a nuclear siren go off. What do you do?

Well, in Moscow, they were partially prepared to house thousands of residents within the metro lines. The only problem is that once you’re in there, how are you going to procure your everyday necessities? Food and water are not readily available underground, and even much less so when the world above gets nuked to oblivion.

Let a few years pass after the aftermath and the metro begins to look a lot like a closed-off human ant farm. You either stay within your station and hope that everyone has enough firepower to defend against the rising mutant attacks or you die a gruesome death. And when old beliefs such as communism and Nazism begin to spread throughout the stations, you suddenly find yourself fighting not just all kind of grotesqueries, but fellow survivors as well.

Even if everyone in the Metro has no future to look forward to and no dreams or hopes, they still hold on to everyday life. Survival at any price is the number one rule in the metro.

And even if you’re physically safe for even the shortest time, your mind is never safe from the madness-inducing Dark Ones.

- Allain Richard

I’d hate to be in Rapture from Bioshock.

It’s gorgeous underwater, what with the Bathysphere guiding you towards a wondrous world free from the restraints of the landlubbers up above. But despite the grandeur, the technology and the fun ragtime music–Andrew Ryan and his creepy splicers, both spider and non-spider-like have torn Rapture apart.

And that, my friends, is what makes Rapture a creepy place full of wonder and downright terror. Music echoes down the marble halls as you hear your lonely feet climb down into the Bathysphere. I remember the first time I played the game, filled with purpose and excited to search the underwater tunnels. That excitement was quickly drowned by fear (I will admit, misplaced fear) as I made it down to my destination only to get surprised by a spider splicer. His creepy demeanor combined with mutant reflexes made me jump off my couch and shut off the game (I did end up finishing the game–but with my friend Dean beside me).

Rapture is beautiful, with little brooks and lush trees in the small area of Arcadia. The neon signs breathe nostalgia and longing into the air. And then there’s the Big Daddies lumbering around every other corner ready for action. It’s Ryan’s splicers and the deranged bosses that instill fear into your core.

For every thing that takes your breath away, there is something equally sinister right around the corner. Rapture is creepy, beautiful, ivy-filled and rusty–but I wouldn’t go near it with a ten-foot pole.

Thanks for all the nightmares Ken Levine!

- Karen Rivera


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Author: Pixelitis Staff View all posts by

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