Millions of people have responded to a Facebook event that pledges to raid Area 51 on September 20 on the premise that “they can’t stop all of us.” Area 51, the ultra-secretive United States military base whose existence was just recently acknowledged by the government within the last decade, is rumored to hold aliens, experimental spacecraft, and more, so it’s no wonder people want to know exactly what’s inside.
The Internet’s plan to raid Area 51 revolves largely around meme characters, like “Kyles,” “Karens,” and “Naruto runners.” It’s unclear exactly how many of the millions of people in the Facebook group will actually show up, but those who want to experience what it may be like can do so from the safety of their couch by playing these 15 games that let players raid Area 51.
The very first game from The Behemoth, the studio perhaps best known for Castle Crashers, was the side-scrolling shooter Alien Hominid. The game became a cult classic at the time of its original release, but became much more well-known with the release of the HD version on Xbox 360 in 2007. In Alien Hominid, players take control of an alien, utilizing a variety of high-tech weaponry and gadgets to kill government agents. The third world in the game takes place in Area 51 itself, with players fighting enemies not just in the Nevada desert, but inside the military base proper.
There have been plenty of Area 51 raid memes these past couple of weeks, and quite a few of them actually make direct reference to 1995’s Area 51. The light-gun arcade game sees players fight aliens inside Area 51 either solo or with a co-op partner, with multiple alien types and different weapons to use.
As it turns out, the 1995 Area 51 arcade game was remade 10 years later, keeping its title but changing up the gameplay significantly. The 2005 Area 51 plays like a more traditional first-person shooter, and comes with a whole suite of improvements besides just the obvious graphical upgrade. The 2005 Area 51 game also boasts an all-star cast, with The X-Files‘ David Duchovny, Marilyn Manson, and Powers Boothe all lending their voices to the game. Like the original, it lets players kill aliens in Area 51, and it even ties in the legend of the Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash to make the story even more interesting.
2005’s Area 51 was followed up by BlackSite: Area 51 in 2007, though it’s not really a direct sequel. BlackSite is still a first-person shooter, but it puts a lot more emphasis on squad tactics and has more robust multiplayer offerings. The plot deals with Area 51 being taken over by aliens, forcing the Delta Force Echo Squad to raid the facility. BlackSite: Area 51 may not have earned the highest praise when it first launched, but the game is one of the few titles out there that have players literally raiding Area 51.
Call of Duty: Black Ops had some pretty wild Nazi Zombies maps, but perhaps the most creative was the Moon, released as part of the game’s Rezurrection DLC pack. The Moon, as its name suggests, sees players killing zombies while dealing with zero gravity sections and other hazards unique to the setting.
However, to actually travel to the moon, Black Ops players have to use a teleporter located inside Area 51. Does the real Area 51 have a teleporter to the moon? Is the moon really infested with zombies? Maybe we’ll find out on September 20 if the Karens, Kyles, and Naruto runners are successful in their mission.
The DC Universe is often terrorized by alien threats, with one of the most notable being Brainiac, one of Superman’s most powerful enemies. In the free-to-play MMO DC Universe Online, Brainiac sets his sights on Area 51, hoping to steal the kryptonite that’s being held there so that he can later use it against Superman. Players have to raid Area 51 to save it from Brainiac and his forces in an Alert mission that’s available to any character that’s at least level 9.
The satirical science-fiction game Destroy All Humans! doesn’t let players raid Area 51 itself, but rather, a parody version called Area 42. Crypto doesn’t just raid Area 42, though; he actually ends up destroying it with a nuclear bomb. This is all part of Crypto’s attempt to thwart the United States government, particularly the Men in Black-style organization Majestic, and stands as one of the game’s more notable missions.
Those who missed out on experiencing this over-the-top mission in the original Destroy All Humans! will luckily have a chance to try it out in the upcoming Destroy All Humans! remake, which features significant visual enhancements and a number of quality of life improvements.
Area 51 plays a key role in the groundbreaking action-RPG Deus Ex. In Deus Ex, Area 51 is home to incredibly advanced technology, which is what numerous conspiracy theorists believe is being housed at the facility in real life. The game’s plot, which also involves other conspiracy theory organizations like the Illuminati, deals directly with how the technology at Area 51 can be used to rule the world, so let’s hope that something similar isn’t truly at the real base.
The titular Duke Nukem has slaughtered all manner of aliens in his various video game adventures, but one of his games takes him straight to Area 51. In the Episode Four: The Birth part of Duke Nukem 3D, players explore Area 51, starting out in the desert right outside the base. If the John Cena-led Duke Nukem movie ever materializes, maybe we’ll even see Duke Nukem 3D‘s version of Area 51 in theaters.
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has long parodied American culture, including celebrities and famous locations. As a result, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas includes a parody version of Area 51 called Area 69 where players can find the jetpack. However, getting to Area 69 is no easy feat, and if players venture too close to the facility, they are immediately hit with a 5-star wanted level.
Anyone who decides to actually raid Area 51 on September 20 will likely be met with a similar reaction, as the real world Area 51 is highly guarded. In videos of people visiting Area 51, armed men in a white truck can often be seen observing them from a distance and making sure that no one actually steps through the gates.
One of the leading theories about Area 51 is that it has experimental United States Air Force technology and that it is so highly-guarded in order to protect its secrets from other countries. That theory can be seen in the Area 51 Hydro Thunder Hurricane level, with players able to glimpse all sorts of advanced spacecraft in action as they race around the waterways.
In the original Nintendo 64 Perfect Dark game, Joanna Dark is sent to Area 51 to rescue a Maian alien named Elvis, who plays a key role in the story. In Perfect Dark, Joanna successfully raids Area 51 and saves Elvis, but it’s unlikely that those who plan on raiding the base on September 20 will have similar success. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if the long-rumored new Perfect Dark game will see Joanna return to Area 51 or not.
Rampage 2: Universal Tour has players first rescuing Ralph, Lizzie, and George from captivity using a new trio of giant monsters. When that’s done, the monsters have to join forces to repel an alien invasion. This eventually leads them to Area 51, where they free the final monster – an alien named Myukus. Maybe if we get a sequel to the Rampage movie, Myukus can have its big screen debut.
In the original Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft attempts to raid Area 51 so that she can loot Element 115, which is being held inside of an alien spacecraft. Perhaps due to her lack of practice when it comes to Naruto running, Lara is captured in her first attempt to raid Area 51 in Tomb Raider 3: Adventures of Lara Croft. Even so, she manages to get into Area 51 later on and get what she needs. The Tomb Raider reboot series has so far avoided Area 51, but maybe Lara will return to it in a sequel.
The Twisted Metal games may be the more well-known car combat titles from the 90s, but Vigilante 8 holds its own. The game features its own Area 51 stage called the Secret Base, with players able to trigger Area 51-themed events to try to destroy enemy vehicles. It’s even possible to use an alien spacecraft in battle.