In the year 2087 the government shuts off borders to all major countries. Day by day people die to raiders taking over towns and using them as bases. Basically the whole world is a barren wasteland that fills most of the cities that are on future earth. You play in the barren waste land of New York. Half of the city has been blocked off because of a disease that infects and causes humans to have constant nightmares while they are awake. You must gather and collect materials to survive in the part of the city that still stands.
You may be able to drive cars, trucks or go on foot. Cities can be created for the PC version, maybe on console versions too. You may be able to download survival situations off the network (PSN, X-Box Live, the internet). You may craft items to help you if you want.
You can talk to people or turn against them, everything in the city is accessable.