The Boroughs is the name that the ruins and ghettos surrounding Manhattan adopt after the socio-economic collapse of New York City in 1996. The collapse, which was a result of deep social tensions that consequently affected the overall economy of the city, would lead to a number of people losing their jobs and the majority of New York City left in what many referred to as the second Great Depression.

The Boroughs is made up of the majority of Queens and Brooklyn, with few parts of the Bronx. Manhattan continued to thrive and maintain dominance and wealth. Staten Island after the collapse was referred to as Liberty Island. It became a place where the wealthy from Brooklyn and Queens fled to.

Because of the severe scarcity of law enforcement, The Boroughs is very much a dystopia of its own. The crime rate is extremely high, being the top along the entire east coast border of the U.S. There are many factions that attempt to govern certain blocks and neighborhoods called "sectors". The factions are often at constant war with each other. There have been a select few factions, as well as some individuals, who have tried to dedicate themselves to the protection of their sector.