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02/23/2004

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Tablesaw

How video do you want the video games to be? If you expand to computer games, I'd point you to Lost New York, interactive fiction by Neil deMause

Tablesaw

How video do you want the video games to be? If you expand to computer games, I'd point you to Lost New York, interactive fiction by Neil deMause

Jim Munroe

GTA3, largely made by a Scottish development team, has always struck me as a game made by fans of the American urban aethetic... an amalgam of what they've picked up from rap videos, mob movies, and other assorted second-hand stuff. I get the feeling that they were fascinated and delighted by American culture but not reverential or invested in it.

The Getaway, set in London, was a similar game but its London-based development team painstakingly and famously recreated a big chunk of their city, and the game overall feels much more Serious.

Chris Norman

I wrote a bit about Russ Segal's classic "New York City: The Big Apple" here. Equal parts homage and satire, I still think it stands as one of the few games that truly captures the mood of NY despite restricted visuals.

Renzo

Deus Ex has a few scenes on Libery Island, and I assume other parts of New York, though I'm not sure. Developed in Austin, Texas.

klee

Hats off to Chris! You should check out New York City via emulator. I have very vague memories of playing it (on the C64 though, although the Atari 800 is a fine machine!), and there are some things in the game that you'll probably find really interesting.

The two things I remember the tow trucks that bash into cars, circle the block, and tow them away, as well as entering a bank and having to avoid the hail of bullets from a bank robber. (Synapse Software, ~1984.)

Some screenshots and a review.

Berklee

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is partially set in New York.

evilnie

BMX XXX, the 1st level is strongly influenced on NYC, eventhough its comic mischief the almost got everything right, from the blue NYP cars to the old red "2" train boxed cars. The only thing hard to believe in this game is that well its very hard to find peanut vender in the bronx

evilnie

BMX XXX, the 1st level is strongly influenced on NYC, eventhough its comic mischief the almost got everything right, from the blue NYP cars to the old red "2" train boxed cars. The only thing hard to believe in this game is that well its very hard to find peanut vender in the bronx

Chris Norman

Actually I had quite a bit of fun staring out at the cityscape in MGS2 when I first picked it up, trying to identify buildings.

Tony Hawk Underground has a level set in Manhattan that has some recognizable areas of the city (particularly downtown) compressed into a small space. It's possible to pick out some locations and buildings, and also interesting to see how they selectively rearranged the city to make for an engaging skating environment.

Klee, I loved playing NYC It was one of the few games that captured the essence of the city without feeling patronizing or pandering the whole experience was such an absurdist skewed view of the city that it worked well as both game and idolization.

klee

Another game you may want to check out (if you haven't already) is Mafia. The 1930s cityscape (which includes ethnic neighbourhoods and a central business district) is never explicitly referred to as New York, but it's pretty obvious that it is inspired by NYC and not, say, Chicago, considering the geography of the game's world (you drive over bridges and through tunnels... urban fixtures I immediately associate with NYC).

I mention Mafia because you have to spend a lot of time driving in the game, and I have read some complaints that the travel segments plod along, since you are driving 1930s automobiles that are s-l-o-w compared to the modern vehicles in GTA. However, I *never* found it a chore, the reason being it gave me plenty of opportunities to admire the skyline without worrying about slamming into a brick wall at 100mph. It was almost the "anti-GTA III" in that respect. In real life, I love visiting NYC just to look at the city from different perspectives, and those offered by Mafia, IMO, really made a connection (e.g. a distant skyline as you cross a bridge into the core, travelling down a main boulevard flanked by concrete, or running through back alleys).

It's my understanding that the game was made by European developers (were they Czech?... I can't remember), and perhaps that explains why the game version of the city seems to encompass everything that "foreign" eyes see when imagining NYC. It's a very romantic view. I guess that's why I found the game so good (I'm not from NYC either).


Also, there's NY Warriors. It's probably a little over 10 years old, and was released on the Amiga for sure, and perhaps for DOS. It's basically a cooperative two-player vertical shooter (a lot like Ikari Warriors from the arcades), that involves stuff like flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and if I'm not mistaken, women in bikinis(?) as hostages. This game really has nothing to do with New York; but the very fact that it was called "NY Warriors" surely says something about the developer's/publisher's perception of the city's reputation (decaying landscape, rampant crime, guns), and how accepting or nonchalant gamers would be of any association between the over-the-top carnage and the city's name. (If you heard of a game called Alambama Warriors, you'd probably picture an entirely different game.)

Jonathan Golub

Going way back, Ghostbusters for the Atari 800 - that was set in NYC, as was the movie. I also think there was a "Leisure Suit Larry" game set in NYC. A lot of 80s arcade games come to mind, like Robocop, Bad Dudes, NARC, APB, and Double Dragon, and one that was a BMX/fighting game with little kid characters, I can't remember the name. What about fighting games like Tekken - they almost always had a NYC background for one of the characters.

My most recent favorite is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which had a NY level that featured the "Brooklyn Banks" - actually the banks of the Bklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side - where I grew up skateboarding as a kid. It was really well done, and there was a special thrill in skating there virtually with Tony Hawk as my avatar.

Doctor X

Robocop isn't that great of a suggestion, as the movie and game take place in a near future version of Detroit.

chebwa

I'm sure you've already got Parasite Eve on your list...?

Mr. Falcon

Lets not forget Activision's Spiderman games. Lots of sky scrapers and sewage systems. Stan Lee is a New Yorker and I'm pretty sure Activion is in the United States somewhere.

Klee's post reminded me of an OLD C64 game called "Save New York", where aliens came down and took chunks out of the skyscrapers unless you shot them down in your jet fighter. If they took out chunks from the base of the buildings, the rest would collapse. And you could accidentally shoot the buildings with the jet and... well you can guess how I ended up playing that :)

Andrew

Yeah, Parasite Eve would probably be interesting because it's a distinctly different take on new york: science fiction and japanese. You may want to check out the novel that it's based on also.

ArC

Crazy Taxi 2 is based heavily on NYC style and landmarks, but with maps created for the game. It's made by a Japanese team. CT2's a cheerful and anarchic version of New York.

Futurama is theoretically set in New New York City, but I don't know how much of the game lets you explore any part of NNYC... I got bogged down by the second level (sewers) and gave up. The style of that game comes almost entirely from the show, which itself always felt (to this West Coast Canadian, so take it with a grain of salt) like a New York show despite being based out of LA.

I'm always a sucker for a game rendition of Grand Central Terminal.

James Reilly

SSX/2 Snowboarding has a "Metro" course that is vaguely NYC:ish. The Brooklyn bridge is
a recognizable feature, but the rest of the city is an amalgam of several U.S. cities?

Marek

The point-and-click adventure Runaway is set briefly in New York. The developer is based in Spain though, so their portrayal is way off. The same goes for the way San Fransisco is depicted in that game.

dzeroo

Try looking at the spatial architecture of NYC. Meaning, the grid that we're all so familiar with - Simcity (well, only the older versions cause I don't know the newer ones) follows the same idea of urban planning as NYC does - I don't recall there being any 'turns' in the road etc. Essentially what you were doing in the game was creating a cityscape with the same aesthetic as NYC.

I'm a student at Columbia, also looking at video games. Drop me a line if you want.

dzeroo

Try looking at the spatial architecture of NYC. Meaning, the grid that we're all so familiar with - Simcity (well, only the older versions cause I don't know the newer ones) follows the same idea of urban planning as NYC does - I don't recall there being any 'turns' in the road etc. Essentially what you were doing in the game was creating a cityscape with the same aesthetic as NYC.

I'm a student at Columbia, also looking at video games. Drop me a line if you want.

dzeroo

Try looking at the spatial architecture of NYC. Meaning, the grid that we're all so familiar with - Simcity (well, only the older versions cause I don't know the newer ones) follows the same idea of urban planning as NYC does - I don't recall there being any 'turns' in the road etc. Essentially what you were doing in the game was creating a cityscape with the same aesthetic as NYC.

I'm a student at Columbia, also looking at video games. Drop me a line if you want.

dzeroo

Try looking at the spatial architecture of NYC. Meaning, the grid that we're all so familiar with - Simcity (well, only the older versions cause I don't know the newer ones) follows the same idea of urban planning as NYC does - I don't recall there being any 'turns' in the road etc. Essentially what you were doing in the game was creating a cityscape with the same aesthetic as NYC.

I'm a student at Columbia, also looking at video games. Drop me a line if you want.

dzeroo

Try looking at the spatial architecture of NYC. Meaning, the grid that we're all so familiar with - Simcity (well, only the older versions cause I don't know the newer ones) follows the same idea of urban planning as NYC does - I don't recall there being any 'turns' in the road etc. Essentially what you were doing in the game was creating a cityscape with the same aesthetic as NYC.

I'm a student at Columbia, also looking at video games. Drop me a line if you want.

chris

I'd also recommend:

Manhunter: New York, for an atmospheric, dark future New York envisioned in the 1980's. A very uncharacteristic Sierra game, with the dispirited feel of Escape from New York.

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