Connect with us

10 Games to Play if You Love Westworld or Questioning Your Humanity

Features

10 Games to Play if You Love Westworld or Questioning Your Humanity

If Westworld’s season 4 premiere has left you wanting for video games that offer similar feelings, look no further than these releases.

Across its now four seasons, HBO’s Westworld has consistently discussed themes of artificial intelligence, what it means to be alive, and the nature of humanity through a critical, philosophical lens.

Concepts like these have been explored by numerous works of science fiction, and video games are certainly no exception. If you’re looking for games to play that feel like Westworld, read on.

SOMA

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

SOMA
Image Credit: Frictional Games

From the word go, Frictional Game’s SOMA sees the player working their way through a derelict, subaquatic research station packed to the brim with artificial intelligence that refuse to acknowledge the fact that they aren’t human. As the plot unfolds, the game deepens its themes in kind and frequently turns established plot developments on their heads, opening the door for the player to ask their own questions.

Despite its status as a horror game (it is made by the studio that brought us the Penumbra and Amnesia series after all), SOMA is an easy recommendation for all science fiction fans on the basis of story alone. What’s more, the game features a “Safe Mode” that allows players to experience the title without having to worry about any of the game’s eerie enemies attacking them. It’s available on PC, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Image Credit: Electronic Arts

The first three releases in this popular RPG series were developed by BioWare and published by its parent company Electronic Arts between 2007 and 2012. Outside of the general science fiction premise, the Mass Effect series’ Westworld relevancy is largely explored through the Geth, a mechanical race that operates with a hivemind. In the game’s backstory, they were created for labor and warfare but began to gain sentience, which prompted their creators to try and exterminate them completely.

While this moment in galactic history is touched on in the first Mass Effect, it comes into primary focus in Mass Effect 2. To speak on it more would be venturing deeper into spoiler territory, but fans of Westworld will very much appreciate this particular part of Mass Effect’s expansive lore.

It’s never been easier to play through the trilogy thanks to the recent Mass Effect Legendary Edition, so why not see if you should pick up the collection on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One?

System Shock 2

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

System Shock 2
Image Credit: Nightdive Studios

An undisputed classic of the immersive sim and survival horror genres, System Shock 2 was released in 1999 courtesy of Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios, with Electronic Arts taking up publishing duties. Throughout the course of this cyberpunk game, you explore the interior of a sprawling spaceship overrun with humans that have undergone genetic modifications.

If Westworld is an exploration of artificial intelligence in the early stages of gaining sentience, System Shock 2 is an exploration of AI sentience at a very late and twisted stage. The megalomaniacal AI SHODAN is an iconic antagonist for good reason, and her consistent taunting and belittling of humankind towards the player is reminiscent of a particular host’s view of humanity in Westworld.

System Shock 2 is available on both PC and Mac OS X, and it just might be the perfect title to prepare you for the upcoming remake of the first System Shock.

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
Image Credit: Nightdive Studios

In keeping with the theme of malevolent artificial intelligence, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is a point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Cyberdreams in 1995. It takes place in a far-flung future, where a supercomputer named AM has eliminated all of humanity except for five people, who he forcibly keeps alive and tortures indefinitely by exploiting the flaws in their personalities.

This game is an adaptation of the 1967 short sci-fi story by Harlan Ellison, and it has the interesting distinction of being written by him as well. In that way, the game is essentially supplemental material to the original story that further expands on the characters and narrative. It deals with some very mature themes and might be a bit cumbersome to play given that it’s almost thirty years old, but I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream was critically acclaimed by reviewers and is readily available to purchase and play on PC.

Binary Domain

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Binary Domain
Image Credit: Sega

This 2012 third-person shooter was a big departure for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the development team behind the Yakuza series. It’s one of the more overlooked games on this list, and also one that has some of the most direct analogues to Westworld.

Set in 2080 Tokyo after the world has been ravaged by mass flooding induced by global warming, the player takes control of protagonist Dan Marshall as his team investigates the sudden appearance of androids that are indistinguishable from humans. The kicker is that the androids don’t realize they’re anything other than flesh and blood, and when you combine that with a plot that heavily leans into corporate espionage, you get an experience that’s more than a little similar to elements of Westworld’s third season.

Despite the fact that Binary Domain was met with positive critical reception for its story and serviceable gameplay, its voice recognition system for issuing squad commands was panned and the game failed to sell well. Binary Domain often goes underappreciated, but it may be just what you’re looking for if you’re in the mood for a more action-oriented Westworld-esque experience on PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360.

Prey (2017)

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks

Developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, Prey is a first-person open-world science fiction game that sees protagonist Morgan Yu slowly working their way through a space station and contending with the Typhon, an adaptive alien species that can instantly change its shape and structure.

Though it bears little to no resemblance to the 2006 first-person shooter that gives its namesake, Prey was developed as a spiritual successor to System Shock 2. The intense atmosphere and exploration-heavy progression of the title is certainly indicative of that, and one of the earliest concepts in the game’s narrative brings to mind the age old question: “Have you ever questioned the nature of your own reality?”

Similarly to Binary Domain, Prey also features corporations duking it out with one another across the story, and is well worth your time if you’re looking for an experience with a bit of a slower pace and more elements derived from horror. It’s available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Cyberpunk 2077

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Cyberpunk 2077
Image Source: CD Projekt

This CD Projekt Red RPG didn’t launch in 2020 without its fair share of controversy, specifically with regard to its slew of technical issues on the previous generation of consoles and failure to match the expectations set by the game’s marketing. Still, Cyberpunk 2077 successfully transplants the player into a cyberpunk cityscape with plenty of content to play through and engaging characters to meet.

While there’s a pretty big difference in tone between Night City and the futuristic Los Angeles in Westworld Season 3, they both speculate on ways technological advancements could steer humanity within the next hundred years, with Cyberpunk 2077 taking place—shockingly—in 2077 and Westworld Season 3 taking place in 2053.

With both an expansion and a slickly stylish anime series on the way, now might be the perfect time to play Cyberpunk 2077 if you’re feeling an open world itch after the recent premiere of Westworld’s fourth season. You can play it on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Red Dead Redemption 2
Image Credit: Rockstar

A list of video games evocative of Westworld would be woefully incomplete without the inclusion of Rockstar Studio’s Red Dead Redemption 2 from 2018. This rootin’-tootin’ experience released to nigh universal acclaim (including a 5/5 from Twinfinite) for its staggering scale, immense level of detail, and realistic depiction of the waning years of the wild west.

It may not be filled with brainteasing twists and existential musings on the nature of artificial intelligence, but one would be hard-pressed to find a game that better parallels the concept of attending the Westworld park as a guest. More specifically, its vast open world allows the player to assume the role of a more experienced parkgoer, who isn’t afraid to venture off the beaten path and approach the fringes of the amusement park on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Image Credit: Techland

In stark contrast to the openness of Red Dead Redemption 2, this first-person shooter developed and published by Techland is an arcade-style western that rewards the player with points based on how well they take down enemies. One of the game’s best aspects, however, is its frame narrative. Silas Graves, a bounty hunter, is regaling the patrons of a saloon with tales of his bravery as you play through his story, with aspects of the gameplay changing as Silas remembers certain circumstances or corrects himself.

With plenty of action and the frame story of a grizzled bounty hunter telling a tall tale throughout its entirety, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger emulates the experience of a newer Westworld park guest that sticks closer to the linear, straightforward experiences offered by the hosts in town.

NieR: Automata

Games To Play if You Love Westworld

Image Credit: Square Enix

Developed by PlatinumGames and published by Square Enix in 2017, NieR: Automata is the release that propelled Yoko Taro’s singular creativity into the greater gaming zeitgeist. A sequel to the original NieR: Automata is an action RPG that received no small amount of praise for its fast-paced combat and unique design elements.

But being a sequel to Nier entails something else, as well: a storyline that explores unconventional themes in an unconventional way. Automata’s narrative centers on a race of androids whose express purpose is defeating the machine forces of an alien race determined to wipe out humanity.

Much like Westworld, the storyline is rife with twists and turns as the androids carry out their duties and begin to process information about the post-apocalyptic Earth around them in new ways. Moreover, the concept of free will factors heavily into the storyline, making it an easy recommendation for fans of Westworld.

It’s available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, with recent confirmation of a Switch port arriving later this year.

These ten games like Westworld are a great places to start if you’re looking to take your enjoyment of the series into the gaming sphere, and if you want to really test your knowledge of the show, check out Twinfinite’s Hardest Westworld Quiz You’ll Ever Take.

Featured Image Source: HBO

Related Posts
Comments
Continue Reading
To Top