Feature

Worst Video Game Places To Take A Vacation

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Summer is officially here, which means it's time to start planning a vacation. If you're thinking about taking some time off in a video game world, here's a list of places you'll want to avoid visiting.

Look, I get it; video game locations don't exist in the real world, so you can't really visit them. Just suspend your disbelief as I take you on a virtual tour of some of gaming's worst vacation spots, okay? Let's start with the obvious.

Circle of Lust (Dante's Inferno)
You'd have to be a real idiot to consider hell as a vacation destination, but if you're already going there, the circle of lust may seem like your best bet. Let me tell you, it ain't. The scantily-clad temptresses might remind you of Las Vegas – only these seductresses have scorpion tentacles shooting out of their crotches, which I'm pretty sure is outlawed by the state of Nevada.

Lust's main tourist location is Carnal Tower, a giant, phallic spire that serves as Cleopatra's throne. The tower is full of erotic statues and artwork, and making your way to the top of the tower will grant you a visit from the giant, topless pharaoh herself. So far so great – until Cleopatra's nipples turn into serpentine mouths and start puking out spider demon babies, who cut you to ribbons with their creepy scythe arms.

Plus, the temperature in hell totally sucks.

Tuchanka (Mass Effect Series)
The Mass Effect series is full of diverse, imaginative planets to explore, but if you're looking for a fun world for a vacation, don't go to Tuchanka. Wrex's homeworld is basically just a nuked desert, and the bloodthirsty krogan probably wouldn't be amused by your Hawaiian shirt collection or beach umbrella. Then there's Kalros, the universe's biggest thresher maw.

If that's not enough to turn you off to a visit to Tuchanka, check out this official warning from the Mass Effect codex: "TRAVEL ADVISORY: The ecology of Tuchanka is deadly. Nearly every native species engages in some predatory behavior; even the remaining vegetation is carnivorous. Travel beyond guarded areas is strongly discouraged."

Even the plants are deadly! Do yourself a favor and go to the planet that has those sexy blue aliens instead.

Pandora (Borderlands)
Another bad choice for an extraterrestrial vacation, Pandora is a godforsaken dustbowl full of demented creatures aiming to kill you. Sure, gun nuts might appreciate the opportunity to expand their firearm collections, but they'll have to contend with flaming psycho midgets, killer skags (which come in fire-breathing, acid-spewing, and electricity-shooting varieties), and about a dozen different boss monsters that look like vaginas.

Even Pandora's humans are all insane, like Moxxi, who's as homicidal as she is busty, and Dr. Ned, who unleashed a zombie plague upon the planet. The only character that might not kill you is Claptrap, and human/robot relations with him have been dicey ever since he started his robot revolution. You should probably cross Pandora off your list.

Up Next: Some towns and cities you'll want to avoid.

Arkham City (Batman: Arkham City)
First hell, now prison? Maybe it's time to pay a travel agent to help plan your next vacation. Arkham City has plenty of iconic locations that Batman fans would love to visit, and you might even see the Caped Crusader himself. But visiting this section of Gotham City would likely lead to disaster. After all, Bruce Wayne's parents got gunned down back when it was still an actual city – how do you think vacationing in a giant prison is going to turn out?

In fact, have things ever ended well when a government decides to wall up a city, fill it with prisoners, and let them fend for themselves? Even if the dilapidation and countless criminal gangs don't ruin your vacation, you'll have to endure a rogues gallery of psychotic villains who will be busy plotting new ways to screw you. At that point you might as well just visit D.C.

New Marais (Infamous 2)
While it was once a tourist destination, flooding and an outbreak of mutants have turned New Marais into one of the worst cities in video games. The power is constantly going out, half the city is still underwater, and a nutty militia has taken over. Again, the government put up giant walls to keep everyone in. Have we learned nothing?

Then you've got the mutants who are always running around and blowing stuff up – plus some guy who shoots electricity and ice balls at everybody and climbs up buildings like a big dumb jerk. Street performers will definitely want to avoid New Marais. One minute you're just minding your own business, playing your bucket drums, and then bam – you're toast.

Blighttown (Dark Souls)
Dark Souls is full of crappy cesspools you wouldn't want to visit, but the crappiest cesspool of them all is Blighttown. This charming community is comprised of a bunch of shanties built on the side of a cliff that overlooks a poisonous tar swamp. Blighttown is also located inside a giant cave, which means its residents live in perpetual darkness. Don't feel bad for them though, because they're all jackasses. They include poison-blowdart-shooting snipers, infested barbarians (in club-wielding and boulder-chucking varieties), and infested ghouls (know why everyone in Blighttown is infested? Because it's a sucky place to live!).

In terms of wildlife, Blighttown features flaming meat dogs; huge, fire-breathing spiders; and even huger mosquitoes, which have a fondness for spewing poisonous blood at you. Blighttown's swampy bottom also houses giant leeches, which honestly are the least of your problems. The massive parasitic wall hugger, on the other hand, is a concern.

Spelunking in Blighttown's cave system will gain you an audience with Quelaag, a half-woman/half-spider monstrosity that pukes lava on you. Yep, Blighttown isn't just a poorly named tourist destination. It's a real crap hole.

Up Next: Some deceptively bad vacation spots, plus Dan's dream location.

Pokéworld (Pokémon Series)
The world of Pokémon seems like the ideal video game location to visit, thanks to its amusing and kind-hearted residents, diverse geographical regions, and stunning wildlife variety. However, the world of Pokémon isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Take, for instance, the fact that you can't walk five feet without getting mauled by some horrific beast. Sure, Pokémon look cute, but rodents that can summon lightning bolts and fire-breathing lizards are just as deadly as any other monster. Unless you have your own Pokémon to defend you, they're going to tear you apart.

Not to mention the dark secret festering just beneath the surface of Pokéworld, which we all know is there but choose to ignore. I'm talking about the evil slave ring perpetrated by Pokémon "trainers," who force their captive pets to fight each other for their own sick amusement. It's just like dog fighting, which is universally hated, only I'm pretty sure every Pokémon is an endangered species. Don't be a complicit participant in this cruel practice by adding your tourist dollars to their economy.

Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
The northern region of Tamriel is another vacation disaster waiting to happen. Skyrim is one of the most beautiful video game worlds ever created, packed full of postcard-worthy vistas and historical landmarks. Have fun trying to visit them while being attacked by roaming packs of bandits, fire-breathing dragons, and the most deadly creature in all of Tamriel: the dreaded frost troll. Even the mud crabs are creepy, and more than capable of ruining a trip to the beach.

Even if you do make it to one of Skyrim's towns, every citizen you meet is in some stupid clique, like the thieves guild or the warriors guild – it's worse than high school. Not to mention you'll have to endure every guard's sob story about getting shot in the knee with an arrow. We get it, your life sucks. Get over it.

Silent Hill (Silent Hill Series)
Silent Hill is a town that exists solely to trick people into visiting Silent Hill so that it can screw with them. It's the quintessential tourist trap, and it's got creepy faceless nurses, inside-out demon dogs, and...do I even need a third example? Fine. How about the guy with the giant pyramid on his head who goes around sexually assaulting mannequins?

The town of Silent Hill changes to reflect the nightmares and the buried pasts of its visitors, so each tourist is tortured in their own personal way. I guess in a way it's kind of flattering that a sentient town would go through that much trouble to kill its unfortunate victims, instead of just throwing a bunch of generic zombies at them and calling it a day. Still, Silent Hill probably wouldn't make a good summer vacation destination.

Flatulent Swamps (Boogerman: A Pick And Flick Adventure)
A swamp would be a horrible place to take a vacation. This swamp in particular is named after farting. That makes Flatulent Swamps officially the worst place you could visit – unless you're Dan Ryckert. Dan would probably build a summer home there. Or book his honeymoon in a fart swamp. Dan would probably run to be the mayor of Flatulent Swamps, or petition the president to make Flatulent Swamps a national park.

I realize it sounds like I'm exaggerating how comically fond Dan is of farts. I assure you, it's no exaggeration.

Know of another video game location that would make a horrible vacation spot? Share it in the comments section below!