10 games that took place in the past but still have futuristic technology
Many video games, even those in genres such as “medieval fantasy”, do not take place on planet Earth at any time in its history. Rather, they take place in a world that looks a lot like Earth, with a period of history approaching a similar period in our world. Many of the games that take place in our world take place in the future, where no one has a clear idea of how technology will progress.
However, some games take place in our real past, immersing the protagonist and the player in a real historical moment. Often times, these games will feature some sort of futuristic super-tech nonetheless, whether for gameplay or storytelling reasons.
ten Deathloop mixes 20th century aesthetics with time loops
Death loop is an odd case, apparently set in the 1960s – despite the unusual 1970s game aesthetics – but the 1960s went on for centuries due to the endless time loop that Black Reef Island sits in.
Any time in her very, very long 60s, Death loop has technology far beyond what is possible today, including technology that powers the game’s time loop itself. It also includes the in-game cannons, turrets and, more specifically, the “slabs” which grant powers to Colt and Julianna.
9 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a super-robotics
As is very clear with his music, settings, and even the name of the in-game mercenary group from a Bowie album, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain set in the 1980s. And in many ways the tech level reflects this, with most regular enemies using weapons and vehicles from this period.
In almost every other area, however, the technology far exceeds what is capable today, let alone forty years ago. Venom Snake has a working prosthetic arm that can be upgraded to shoot like a rocket and rain down lightning bolts. Teleportation technology is developed over the course of the game, and of course there is a giant robot made from radioactive material.
8 Call Of Duty: Zombies Explicitly Has Super Science
It is difficult to determine a date on which Call of DutyZombies’ long standing side story is set, given that time travel is a big part of the plot. Nonetheless, the “past” holds true for much of it, with events starting on the battlefields of WWII, moving into the Cold War and even into WWI.
At all points in its storyline, the gameplay and story are dominated by super-tech, most clearly “Wunderwaff” weapons, but also teleporters and a moon base. The game explains this by taking place in an alternate timeline where a miraculous substance known as Element 115 has been discovered, revolutionizing technology.
7 Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds Has Martians and Drilling Machines
In a strange chain of adaptation, the video game War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne is a video game version of the iconic rock opera based on the novel by HG Well War of the Worlds. Unlike many adaptations, the album and game retain the novel’s late Victorian setting, with artillery and battleships facing off against Martian combat machines.
The game, in order to offer a certain variety to the player, departs from a technological concept as strict as the album. While the Martians will always have futuristic technology, the human factions also have superior technology than the Victorians, with tanks, and modern ones, with hypermobile drilling machines.
6 Monkey Island pays homage to the 1700s
Monkey island is vague about when and where it takes place, but is firmly established as being in the real world of the Caribbean during the heyday of piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries. The historicity of the series does not go much further, with frequent anachronisms played out for a humorous effect.
Along with modern technologies like neon signs, vending machines and lights, there is also future technology, especially in the form of the Giant Monkey Robot driven by Guybrush Threepwood.
5 Team Fortress 2 has all kinds of weapons
For a game set in the 1960s, Team Fortress 2 historically makes placement almost impossible. Weapons used by the different classes range from modern flamethrowers and futuristic turrets to medieval swords and bows and arrows.
Even outside of the weapons on display, teleporters are a commonly used item in the game itself, and despite the game’s tuning in the past, the PvE side mode pits multiple players against a horde of bots.
4 Command & Conquer: Red Alert has tanks, jets, and time travel
Never a series known for its historical accuracy or seriousness, Command and conquer‘s Red alert The sub-series takes the questionable precision of the original game and places it in an alternate universe where time travel led the Allies and the Soviet Union to war against each other.
Along with relatively timely tanks, the game also features throws and, more blatantly, teleportation. Even the game’s explanation for it, that Albert Einstein removing Hitler from existence changed history, requires there to have been time travel in the 1940s.
3 Bioshock puts biological super-science in 1960
Bio-shock takes place in 1960. Its aesthetic pulls even earlier than that, with Rapture adopting a distinctly 1930s-1940s “Dieselpunk” look. Despite the setting, almost all of the technology is beyond what we have in real life.
This is most evident in the in-game plasmids, fantastic genetic modifications that grant supernatural powers to those imbued with them and are acquired and used with ease. Still, even the game’s setting is futuristic, with an underwater city surpassing current engineering.
2 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Has An Impossible Prosthesis
For the majority, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fairly faithful representation of the late Sengoku period in Japanese history. While the supernatural exists explicitly along Japanese Buddhist and Shinto lines, the technology, aesthetics, and politics of the era tend to be accurate, with the exception of minor variations like Sword Saint’s semi-automatic pistol. Isshin.
The only glaring difference is the “Shinobi prosthesis” worn by Sekiro himself. After losing his arm, Sekiro has it replaced with a functional and versatile prosthesis which, in addition to allowing him to wield his sword, also contains a grappling hook, shuriken gun, flamethrower, and alien tools like a spear and an armored umbrella. It’s even better than today’s prosthetic technology.
1 Assassin’s Creed II reveals Apple of Eden technology
The first one Assassin’s Creed game mixes the mythological with the technological. Desmond Miles uses technological means to look into the past of his ancestor, the legendary assassin Altair ibn-Ahad, but explicitly so that his captors can use his genetic memories to find the mythological and magical Apple of Eden.
Assassin’s Creed II takes the timeline forward three hundred years and includes technology far beyond that time, but not beyond what is currently possible, including a concealed pistol, tank, and flying machine. True futuristic technology comes, once again, from the Apple of Eden, which turned out to be a technological artifact of a precursor civilization, and far ahead of current technology – hence why the Templars and Assassins both seek her out.
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