Maybe it's a sign of the current social and political zeitgeist, maybe it's just people trying to cash in on the success of TV shows like The Walking Dead or films like Mad Max: Thunder Road. Whatever the reason, an awful lot of games at E3 2018 deal with the end of the world (or other worlds).
Sometimes it's zombies, other times hordes of people infected with some horrible disease that makes them suspiciously zombie-like. If not the undead, then rioting mutants or roving gangs of wasteland toughs. In almost every case, the aesthetic style is filled with the muted browns and greys of collapsed buildings, or the green of creeping vines and vegetation taking back our ruined cities.
Whatever the style, it's all part of the current craze for apocalyptic chic, where the only foregone conclusion game developers (and many TV and film producers) seem to be able to agree on is that humankind is toast.
Highlights this year at E3 include the online-only Fallout 76 (nuclear war); Rage 2 (rogue asteroid); and The Last of Us Part II (zombie-like virus). If it sounds like there's a lot of overlap between all this post-apocalyptica, you're right. That's why I've put together this handy scorecard to keep track of your favorite end-of-the-world games.
I'll update this during E3 as we see and hear about more games, and if you know of one we've missed, let us know in the comments below.
E3 2018 post-apocalyptic game tracker
|Game||Publisher||Platforms||Zombies (or zombie-like) main antagonists||Takes place on Earth||Only or mostly online|
|Resident Evil 2||Capcom||PC/PS4/Xbox||Yes||Yes||No|
|The Walking Dead||505 Games||PC/PS4/Xbox||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dying Light 2||Techland||PC/PS4/Xbox||Yes||Yes||No|
|The Division 2||Ubisoft||PC/PS4/Xbox||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Gears of War 5||Microsoft||Xbox/PC||No||No||No|
|Metro Exodus||Deep Silver||PC/PS4/Xbox||No||Yes||No|
|The Last of Us Part II||Sony||PS4||Yes||Yes||No|
Biggest games of E3 2018See all photos
[Originally published June 11, and updated with additional games.]
E3 2018: Everything you need to know
E3 2018 coverage at CNET: All of our E3 2018 coverage in one place.
E3 2018 coverage at GameSpot: Wall-to-wall coverage of the show from our sister site, GameSpot.
E3 2018 coverage at Giant Bomb: Still more commentary and news from E3, from our colleagues at Giant Bomb.