Video games like Spec Ops: The Line shows the hard truth about wars (Image via Spec Ops The Line)

5 video games that portray the horrors of war

Video games have a wide variety of topics and themes when it comes to all the titles that have been produced over the years. As games have become more realistic, they often take upon concepts closely related to human life.

One of the most important topics that has often been used as a subject in video games is wars. Some video games emphasize the shooter elements and are geared towards providing action to the players.


The next five games, however, walk a different path. Be it directly or indirectly. These five titles show the hazards and ugly sides of wars. Some do it as part of a particular mission, while others portray it throughout the game's entirety.

Whichever case it might be, these five video games perfectly narrate the negative fallout of wars.

Top five video games that show the damage and destruction caused by wars

5) Wolfenstein: The New Order


Wolfenstein video games have always focussed on providing action and enjoyment over depicting the accuracies of a war. The main universe itself is set in an alternate Nazi history.

Yet, The New Order stands out among the other titles while still sticking to the core that makes the series famous. Players play as BJ Blazkowicz, as they have to fight with many soldiers to fulfill their objectives.

What truly depicts the horrors of war are the prisons in the game. It's a known fact that the future isn't kind to those captured as prisoners of war. In the game, several prisoners are made to wear helmets through which light can't pass.

There are also sequences of scenes that represent a concentration camp quite closely. The New Order perfectly showcases the abilities of a great shooter, but it also showcases the realities of war, especially for those who can't live to tell the tale.


4) Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus isn't typically a game that showcases a war in a complete sense. The game is the third and final in the line of the Metro series, which are based on novels of the same name. The two earlier games showed the hardships of surviving underground and the dangers in the corners.

Metro Exodus takes Artyom and the players to the surface, and for the first time, players can see what the bombs have done. As the Russian winter and its blankets of snow cover the land, players have to go through the carnage caused by the war.


As players traverse through cities, they can find decayed bodies that lie everywhere. From hospitals to schools, nothing was spared from destruction and damage.

The immediate danger is provided by the cannibals and the mutated beasts, which the players will have to get rid of. However, when one takes a backseat, the decay of the world and its cities are quite easy to notice.

3) Fallout 4

Every Fallout game could be included here, but based on execution and the closeness to the war, Fallout 4 makes here on the list. Like Metro Exodus, Fallout 4 doesn't openly show the war but its effects. As the game begins, players are quickly made to rush to the nearest Fallout shelter as the danger of the nuclear war beckons.

As the world explodes, the player and other characters are taken to the safety of the vault. While in stasis, the player's character notices that his son has been kidnapped, and upon waking up, they leave the vault in search of his son.

As the player searches for answers, what lies ahead is a vast world destroyed by the bombs. Some areas have become wholly radiated, while others have somewhat recovered from its effects.


The wastelands also aren't void of danger as the radiation has created mutated beasts and other horrors. Metro Exodus shows the horror of a nuclear war in the form of death, but Fallout 4 shows what happens when one survives the radiation.

2) Spec Ops: The Line

When players get into the boots of Martin Walker, the game will look very close to games like Call of Duty. The basic task is quite simple as players search for John Konrad, the leader of a rebel platoon.

The task also involves the player and his squad of 2 more soldiers discovering what happened to the civilian rescue as they head towards a sandstorm in Dubai. The true horrors start coming out as Walker gradually shifts from being a hero to a villain.

As players progress in the video game, many of Walker's decisions are wrong. While the character keeps justifying his actions with analogies related to military heroism, one can easily understand that's not the case. The pinnacle of the moment comes on a mission when Walker orders his squadmate to fire white phosphorus.


Despite being told that he has a choice not to do so, Walker presses on and instead ends up killing civilians who are being rescued. While he apologizes towards the end of the game, Spec Ops: The Line shows what war can do to the minds of any human.

1) This War of Mine

This War of Mine is the only video game on this list where players have no military experience or shooting skills. Instead, they control the fate of some characters stuck for survival in a dilapidated building.

None of these characters have experience fighting or surviving, making the tasks even harder. Based on real-life incidents, the characters controlled by the players have the arduous task of going at night to find the necessary supplies for survival.

These are primarily tasks that expose the conditions of the city created by the war. As resources are scarce, players will have to make desperate decisions to survive another night. This will often involve making some morally corrupt decisions about where the beauty of the video game lies.

This War of Mine isn't a game that allows players to magically be the hero and do everything. It's a game that preaches players to survive at all costs, even if it makes them a villain.

Edited by
Yasho Amonkar
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