I really like the concept you mentioned toward the end of spaces that have clearly been repurposed over years. This is something that these From games do so well in an implicit way (just like much of the lore). This brings to mind the Fallout games and Horizon: ZD, which are much more explicit about it (I don’t mean to imply an eastern/western developer dichotomy here, but perhaps that’s worth exploring).
Fallout handles this much better, in my opinion, with believable settlements that co-opt older structures and places of gathering–for all its faults, Fallout 4 was at least notable to me because of Diamond City, built on the decaying superstructure of a baseball stadium. Horizon handled this a bit less deftly, in my opinion…I have a lot of issues with that game, not the least of which is the generic approach to building a verdant post-apocalypse.
I’ve mentioned this on some other thread, but I really would like to explore the palimpsests of video games at some point–not even just in setting/lore, but in actual physical space…I’m thinking repurposed arcade cabs or horribly burned in old CRTs.