Best Depiction of your Town or Region in a Game


I think this was discussed on the Podcast a few weeks ago but I’m interested to hear what others have to say.

Unfortunately for me the most recent and biggest budget depiction of Chicago is in Watch Dogs. While that games sins have been picked apart many times what annoys me the most is that there were clearly people on staff that knew the city very well. Every once and while there would be an intersection or L station that was very accurately detailed. The Soundtrack had great local bands like The Lawrence Arm or J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound on it. The weirdest detail the got right was the boat yards. Since the lake freezes over they have to move all the boats out of the marinas. So in industrial parts of the city they have yards with boats wrapped in tarps stacked in columns of three or fours on scaffolds. It such a bizarrely specific detail to get right in a game that put a goddamn mountain in the suburbs.


I used to commute 200km/day for work. There is a lot of poorly maintained roads, dirt roads, wide stretches of pine forests and desolation on that commute. Spintires is the game that most reminds me of here.


there’s a jrpg that’s named Tengai Makyou: Daishi no Mokushiroku The Apocalypse IV that takes place in america, but more importantly, has you visit portland, oregon at some point. from what little i read about the game it sounds like the city is full of townsfolk wearing cat ears, and they refuse to talk to you unless you’re wearing cat ears too. sounds accurate.


I honestly can’t imagine a game capturing Boston better than Fallout 4, which got at a lot of things right both in terms of photorealistic landmarks and just… feeling.

My favorite story is that I was exploring my pip boy menus close to the start of the game and discovered that

a) You could fav weapons, so I added a shotgun (which I had never used but figured it was a good idea), and
b) You could turn on music

So I turned on Diamond City radio and was walking down the street, doot doot doot, when I realized that Dogmeat wasn’t around anymore. And then I hear barking and a ton of commotion and Dogmeat starts running back trailing like… 5… feral ghouls? So I swap to my shotgun (which again, I have never used before) as I’m swarmed by zombies to this super upbeat swing music, and I start shooting and running in circles and flailing and irl hollering, and then I look up to a familiar kiosk and I realize… that I am doing all of this about maybe 30 yards from my normal brunch spot? And I stopped just long enough to realize, yep, that’s 100% the building where it would be, but instead of drinking OJ I’m hollering like a fool and trying very, very poorly to fight off the zombies that my dog found. To swing music. It was really one of the most perfect gaming moments I’ve ever had.

(Also, the accents on the raiders were perfect.)


I live in a rural area, so my home is never going to get the New York treatment, but when I was playing Euro Truck Simulator I had this one job that took me along part of the route that we would always take to go visit my grandparents. It felt nothing like the real version, except for this one water tower that I could have sworn was the one along the side of the road that we use as a landmark to know the turn’s coming up soon. It was a weird moment because there was this sense of the real in amongst the unreal.


GTA 4 recreation of NYC feel pretty close. As for where I live it get the general brick buildings right but not the right location as least how close things are. The place they get right are Navy yard and Grand army plaza.


Some of the area outside of my city in Wisconsin.


A Friday’s and Taco Bell in my hometown were rendered in a COD game. I don’t think modern-day Seattle’s represented at all in games. I only played a few hours of Shadowrun Returns but later found out it was set in my city. Not a great take except for a few names that were familiar.


The Watch Dogs map is hilarious.


Things in Watchdog’s Chicago that aren’t in Chicago:

  • Giant Estuaries
  • Curved Streets
  • Mountains


The post apocalyptic Salt Lake City in The Last of Us was decent. Seeing a city like Salt Lake depicted in a big game was enough to let the out of place building slide for me.


My hometown, Lincoln, Massachusetts was actually featured in The Last of Us. Lincoln was the first city you visited after leaving Boston. It’s a pretty loose depiction, though. There’s the surface level nitpicks (in real life, there’s no Lincoln High School or water tower), but just in terms of feel, it doesn’t really match the real world location. It’s much more rural in real life, and has a lot more colonial architecture. Still, it’s a tiny town, and seeing it depicted in any game was pretty wild.

I was hopeful that it would appear in Fallout 4. Hanscom Air Force Base is located in Lincoln, which felt like a natural inclusion for the game, but alas.


I really wish they would have let you explore SLC more, but I was happy with the generously beautiful landscape they gave us.


i dont live in pennsylvania but the depiction of middle america in night in the woods is spot on imo, it really captures the feeling of monotony and the way that things change without really feeling like they do.


Yes. And really any elevation that isn’t a bridge or a building. I think the steepest within the city I can think of is the intersection of Chicago and Halsted?


I don’t like Assassin’s Creed 2 very much but it does a beautiful job of depicting Venice.

It’s a shame that that’s probably the worst part of the game but man is it accurately built.


Believe it or not, Crackdown.

The area of the city that the Triad Gang was in was kind of like Vancouver Canada. The main similarity was a big ball shaped building that was (I think) a power plant in game and a science museum in real life.

Aside from that, not much else that I remember.


I’m not sure Scotland has ever been in a game.


Fallout 4 perfectly nails the look of wooded areas in suburban New England when leaves are off the trees.

The Division actually let’s you go in my current office building, although the look’s kinda off. The broader neighborhood is also pretty accurate, but Midtown doesn’t have a pronounced feel if you ask me.

Pittsburgh as depicted in The Last of us felt recognizable but slightly off, a bit more built up by the river than I remember.


I grew up in the rural-ish area of California, and I think the only game that came close to representing this was GTAV, but it never really showed that particular part of California (I don’t really remember seeing any farms in GTAV? Maybe I just forgot them.) And if it had tried, I don’t think it would have been quite right. They got southern California right in terms of look, but the “satirizing” got in the way of the feel a little bit.

Now if anyone ever makes a good East of Eden game, they will have gotten my hometown spot on.