Best Depiction of your Town or Region in a Game


According to Wikipedia, there are only two games set in my home state of Kansas in all of games history. Fittingly, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is set in Abilene, which is kind of funny because one of my best friends is from there, and Dead Secret (the VR horror game from last year) is set on a farm house in the middle of nowhere. That’s probably a typical historical depiction of the state, either the old west or a secluded farm (in games like the Crew, the midwest is mostly depicted with farmland between St. Louis and Denver).

I grew up in a suburb without much to call its own, and I currently live in Lawrence, which is a college town. The most I’ve ever seen of Lawrence in a video game is in the old NCAA Football/Basketball games, the basketball stadium is sort of iconic so they tend to put care into picturing it right, and our football stadium has this big hill and bell tower on one end that’s not always rendered in the games. I think I might try that Call of Juarez game, it seems interesting and it might be neat to actually see my home state rendered in a game.


As far as I know, Infamous: Second Son is the only real attempt to recreate Seattle in video game form. The map isn’t even a little bit close to being geographically accurate (it’s more of a fantasy Seattle) but they do include the most important landmark of all: Downtown’s Pink Elephant Carwash sign.


It’s not depicting a real location but Sir, You Are Being Hunted managed to capture two types of UK landscape absolutely spot on atmospherically despite the kitchy nature of the setting.

If you’ve not played the game there are several biome types you can pick from for the land generation and of those the Fens and the Industrial really nail the mixture of nature and bleakness that make up a lot of Midland and Northern UK.


You’re in Vancouver for the beginning of Mass Effect 3! (It is immediately destroyed.)

It is kind of disappointing that Canadian cities aren’t depicted in many games, at least not many that come to mind. I recalled reading about a game being developed that was going to be based in a faithful recreation of Montreal, and with a little Google research discovered… that it’s been abandoned. Sigh.


You’re from Salinas? I’m from Monterey. First: Hi! Second: I’m so sorry. That place is terrible in a variety of both empirical and measurable ways.


I would say Alan Wake. I grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest (or is it Pacific Southwest if you’re Canadian?) and that’s the first game that came to me.


I have found out that Splatterhouse 3 is about a Wall Street big shot who owns a mansion in Connecticut that is an epicenter of pure evil, so yep, pretty accurate depiction of the region.


As far as I know, Vice City is the only video game that has ever taken inspiration from a Floridian city.

But Vice City is basically Miami, so… good job, Rockstar?


Right! I forgot about that!

It was kind of hard to believe that Canada Place was still standing that far in the future, but it is the most recognizable part of Vancouvers skyline so I get why they included it.


As someone living in Philadelphia, not a suburb but the city itself; Homefront: Revolution takes place in what might be the single most accurate depiction of any city in any game ever. Ever.


I loathed Homefront: The Revolution. I mean, I can talk about the story and some of the mechanics, but really the thing that ticked me off was their version of Philly. I live in Philadelphia, currently. I’ve lived here for the past 5 or 6 years. I was born in the Roxborough/Manyunk area, and moved out of it briefly for high school, before returning for college and now work.

I hated that game. I wrote a piece on it for a local magazine that goes into a lot of specifics, but the biggest thing was it didn’t feel like Philadelphia, and just felt like The City. It was like some weird haphazard amalgamation of just throwing together city streets and seeing what sticks. I don’t mean that the city felt too small or they condensed it, I mean it felt completely off and backwards.

What makes it all the more frustrating is seeing stuff like this:

There are specifics that feel so good and they knock it out of the park. Walking through their subway cars is just uncanny. The problem is it feels like going through a slideshow of Philadelphia landmarks, without actually making a point to figure out how they’re laid out or how this city is built. All you need to do is look at their map versus a map of Philadelphia proper to see what I mean.

There’s definitely flashes of neighborhoods I’ve been to, but it all just feels wrong and off.


To my knowledge there has never been an accurate representation of Atlanta in any video game, despite the size and importance of our city.


Undertale had an excellent depiction of the garbage dump


Gone Home is probably my favorite depiction of Portland.

Life is Strange captured Oregon coast small town life pretty well, too.


It wasn’t/isn’t my home town, but I’ve been to LA a number of times over the year, and GTA:V kinda blew me away. Perhaps it just nailed the parts of the town someone visiting will remember, but failed on overall structure?

I’m kinda surprised to see it go unmentioned to a degree that makes me curious if there just haven’t been LA people interested in talking about it/responding with it, or if it missed critical aspects of the city that I just missed. (Outside of being a relative ghost town.)

For my part, I think Alan Wake did a pretty good job of vaguely Pacific Northwest exterior/weather.


Love this thread topic.

Turned to Wikipedia to see if I could find a game that takes place in DC, but all I really got were some racing games. And remember The Conduit for Wii?


It would be such a dream to explore virtual, zombie ridden Salt Lake.


Kentucky Route Zero, as you might guess, is almost nothing like Kentucky, but I can see how one would have the idea for it exploring the back roads. The way the map represents the state is similar to the warped way The Crew represents the US. I can pick out where my house SHOULD be.

I have heard the devs are insistent that they know a lot about Kentucky and feel like the game really represents the state, but it really does seem like they did a few drive-throughs and some Googling. Either way, awesome experience.


Surprisingly, not a lot of bigger games have been set in Chicago.

Obviously there’s Watch Underscore Dogs, but that’s prob been picked apart already.

Stranglehold was the only other game that really comes to mind, and it was alright for the time. I only remember the Museum level and that it obviously was modeled after the Field Museum in all but name.

It’s kind of a bummer that it hasn’t been better utilized. Despite what people are told about it these days, it’s a great city that deserves so much more.


Fallout 3 was set there. It didn’t do a particularly good job with the city, but it was there.