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WHS in Video Games

Author Parsons
#1 | Posted: 19 Mar 2018 01:11 
I am probably revealing a significant demographic disparity between myself and many of the active users of this site, but visiting real life locations within video games is a combination of my two favourite hobbies. A great travel memory of mine was visiting Venice shortly after playing Assassin's Creed II, set in Renaissance Italy, and recognising St Mark's Cathedral and the Doge's Palace from the game. As there are connections for WHS appearing in various film or book series, I thought it might be interesting to have a connection for WHS appearing within video games.

I would suggest only including examples of 'realistic' portrayals of WHS, in the sense that the locations are recognisable with some attempt at authentic portrayal. This excludes both examples of games naming unrepresentative locations after WHS (such as Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine being a generic cave level in Nioh) as well as fictionalised locations inspired by real places (like Unnamed Obviously-Kathmandu City in Uncharted 2). This leaves some degree of ambiguity, but seems better than a torrent of vaguely-European settings being listed as representing Rome, for example. I would also limit it to commercially released products, rather than free browser games or similar. Again, this leaves potential ambiguity. Basically, I am thinking of examples where the player can visit a reasonably accurate or representative depiction of a WHS, rather than just using it as a cursory background or something.

This category, unsurprisingly, is dominated by the Assassin's Creed franchise, which is the only game series I can think of that explicitly covets this form of 'virtual historical tourism'. If people think this is a worthwhile connection, I've come up with a list from things that I have played. I tried to mention specific individual elements of the WHS where possible. There are probably more from the realistic driving sim genre, at least.

JerusalemAssassin's Creed – Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, Church of the Holy Sepulchre
AcreAssassin's Creed – Hospitaller Fortress
DamascusAssassin's Creed - Ummayad Mosque
FlorenceAssassin's Creed II – Duomo, Ponte Vecchio
VeniceAssassin's Creed II – St Mark's Cathedral, St Mark's Square
Vatican CityAssassin's Creed II – Sistine Chapel
San GimignanoAssassin's Creed II
RomeAssassin's Creed Brotherhood – Colosseum, Castel Santangelo
IstanbulAssassin's Creed Revelations – Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace
ParisAssassin's Creed Unity – Notre Dame Cathedral
VersaillesAssassin's Creed Unity
Routes of Santiago de CompostelaAssassin's Creed Unity – Tour St Jacques (with historical church still attached)
Palace of Westminster Assassin's Creed Syndicate – Parliament, Westminster Abbey
Tower of LondonAssassin's Creed Syndicate
Old HavanaAssassin's Creed IV – Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, Havana Cathedral
Itsukushima ShrineNioh
Islamic CairoSerious Sam 3 – Mosque of Ibn Tulun
MemphisSerious Sam 3 – Sphinx, Giza Pyramids
Assassin's Creed Origins – Sphinz, Giza, Bent Pyramid
Nubian MonumentsSerious Sam 3 – Abu Simbel, Philae
ThebesSerious Sam HD – Temple of Hatshepsut

Author elsslots
#2 | Posted: 19 Mar 2018 01:47 
Sure it is appreciated, Parsons! I will add the connection.
They do tend to cover a number of obvious WHS, don't they? Waiting for the Pile Dwellings to show up....

Author kintante
#3 | Posted: 19 Mar 2018 02:28 
Assassin's Creed Origin has a discovery mode that was developed for schools. You can check it out on YouTube. It's an interactive tour of the pyramids back in the days, with background information. I would love to see that for places like the Foro Romano in Rome.

Author joelonroad
#4 | Posted: 19 Mar 2018 17:47 
Assassin's Creed has long been one of my favourite game series, for exactly this reason!

There's also a lot of World Heritage sites showing up as Wonders in the Civilization series as well. Before I started collecting WH sites in earnest, I used to joke with my brother about visiting Wonders from Civ. I think I texted him the day I visited Borobudur to tell him I was now generating +5 faith per turn and had three free missionaries!

The Anno series also has a strong historical bent, and though specific historic sites don't really show up, you can definitely see influences of sites like Notre Dame, Amsterdam canals etc.

Author Zoe
#5 | Posted: 20 Mar 2018 23:52 
In GTA IV you can go to, sort of, the Statue of Liberty ;) I suppose there are many other games that feature the statue in better and non-Starbucks form though.

Also I remember God of War 2 starts in Rhodes but I can't speak for accuracy of the citadel.

There is an adventure game called China: The Forbidden City.
The same developer also released a game about Versailles (sometimes referred to as Versailles 1685) and the Aztec Ruins (Aztec: The Curse in the Heart of the City of Gold).

Author meltwaterfalls
#6 | Posted: 21 Mar 2018 04:46 
Nice thread, always useful to have knowledge, especially when it is something I don't have much experince of myself.

I remember that Ben Pastor's review of the Tower of London mentions its depiction in Traitors Gate, not sure of the quality of the game but it seems to depict the Tower of London thoroughly.

Author Kbecq
#7 | Posted: 21 Mar 2018 10:18 
In Deus Ex there is a level involving the Statue of Liberty & Wheelman is located in Barcelona with a.o. the Sagrada Familia.

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