IGN highlights the biggest bangs gaming has to offer:
The video game world is awash with the unthinkable scenario, the sum of all fears. And why not? Blowing up stuff in games is a lot of fun, and nothing blows things up quite like a good old nuclear detonation. Blowing up a nuke is not only an awe-inspiring moment, but it's also a bit cathartic. Have you been having problems with a certain opponent? Well, nothing puts him in his place than a nuke up his nose.
The Helghast were formidable enough with their glowing eyes and body armor, but once they acquired nukes, the threat to the ISA became much more magnified. As close as Sev and his squad came to crushing the threat of Emperor Visari, they couldn't stop his plan of fully enraging the Helghan empire's war machine to slaughter ISA troops.Threatening your enemies with nukes takes guts, but using them on your own people? That's certifiably insane – and ballsy.
If it didn't serve up the first nuclear explosions in a videogame, then Missile Command served up some of the most memorable. Designed when the Cold War was still smoldering and nuclear annihilation was a possibility, Missile Command had a depressing premise: no matter how hard you try to defend it, the nukes will destroy your cities in the end.
We can never forget the first time Gandhi threatened us with the ominous phrase "Our words are backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!" In Civ's race through history, there's perhaps no more urgent struggle than to develop and build nuclear weapons, because you know that if your rivals get them first, you're in big trouble. But if you do get there first, have fun.
Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations could be described as a real-time version of Civilization, and that just makes the race to the nukes even more frantic. And, rest assured, once nuclear capability has been achieved, it's very difficult not to press the button and let the missiles fly. It's always satisfying to drop a nuke on an enemy city or army. There's no better way to signal your arrival to superpower status.
Nuclear weapons were a selling point for Supreme Commander, but executing a nuclear attack in Supreme Commander is a really difficult thing. Not only is it laborous to build nuclear missiles, but you must neutralize enemy anti-missile defenses for your nukes to even work. But there's nothing quite more satisfying than landing a nuke in the enemy's base and then watching its structures and units disappear in a halo of destruction.
The subtitle of Mercenaries 2 is World in Flames, and sure enough you can set the world afire thanks to a nuclear bunker busting bomb that's good for a lot more than just busting bunkers. There are plenty of user videos out there of people popping a nuke off in the distance and then panning the camera to showcase their avatar posing, proudly, in front of the destruction.
The explosions aren't down and dirty in DEFCON, but they're about as chilling as you can get. Inspired, of course, by the famous nuclear war scenarios in the movie Wargames, DEFCON shows you just how the world could end, with its major cities wiped out within minutes. So, yes, now you too can finally play out the Turkish Heavy scenario.
Fallout 3 has a decidedly tongue-and-cheek approach to nuclear explosions. After all, just witness the Fat Boy man-portable nuclear catapult that blows things up real good, complete with tiny mushroom cloud. Yet, we must admit that blowing up Megaton in a glorious, cleansing nuclear detonation makes for a very pretty sight to see.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
So you're part of a US Marine assault group that's doing a bang-up job of invading a hostile Middle Eastern city when suddenly something goes horribly wrong. The nuclear explosion in Modern Warfare 2 is shocking, but it's the immediate aftermath that's unexpected and terrifying. This was easily one of the biggest narrative shocks in recent years.
World in Conflict
No game lavishes such attention and detail to nuclear explosions than World in Conflict. Sure, these are tactical nukes that we're dealing with, not the bigger, city-killing warheads. However, the execution is so perfect, from the initial blinding flash of light to the angry, billowing, mushrooming cloud rising high into the sky. This is a game where nukes fly back and forth during a single match, resulting in fireworks galore.