Making Manhattan – Vidjagame Apocalypse 281

Spider-Man’s still on our minds this week, and its beautiful re-creation of Manhattan made us nostalgic about other open-world games that re-created New York City’s central island. Comics expert Chris Clow of Comics on Consoles joins as we talk about five of our favorites, and then we’ll talk even more about Spider-Man, Dragon Quest XI, and your ideal superhero personas.

Question of the Week:
What’s your favorite re-creation of a real city in a game?


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne. Break song is New York City by They Might Be Giants.

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6 thoughts on “Making Manhattan – Vidjagame Apocalypse 281

  1. I’ve long since forgotten what it’s like to be in Hong Kong, and I’ve never been to Seattle or LA, so I have to admit it’s New York City as portrayed in Grand Theft Auto IV. I’m a sucker for tv shows filmed in the city, and like what CBS location scouts do compared to say what I see on NBC or USA Network, and I love the French Connection (filmed right under my usual train line!). Yeah the game conflates all of South Brooklyn into one neighborhood, and you can drive directly to Park Slope/Brooklyn Heights in one fell swoop, but it manages to capture what it’s like going between boroughs and the huge sprawl of Manhattan all on the now-troubling PS3. I can’t think of many other Western games that recreate cities on this scale, especially with the same detail as the Yakuza series does so that’s my pick.

  2. QotW: My favorite (and IMO highly underrated series) is the re-creation of London for The Getaway. Sony did an absolutely AMAZING Job recreating the cityscape. If I remember correctly, they recreated about 40 – 60% of the city for the game, from shops to streets. I would just fuck around endlessly in the free roam road exploring London.

  3. QotW: I’d have to say Toronto from the Scott Pilgrim game based solely on the fact that there is a criminal lack of games taking place in Canada during the winter, all I can really think of is this and maybe some Tony Hawk games. Also want to give an honorable mention to Sleeping Dog’s Hong Kong I’m not a fan of big cities but oddly enough I love it when games use Hong Kong as a locale.

  4. I’m so happy you guys went back to the old format. It’s the only way i get news because i’m lazy.

    Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Only because I’m from Toronto so it was cool to see a game that takes place in this city for once. The TTC ( the buses) were a nice touch.

  5. QotW: Shibuya in The World Ends With You. Styalized and exaggerated, but you can still make out the real world analogues, including the massive cross-walk seen in many a movie and the Hatchiko statue. It’s an amazing game that managed to capture the energy of a ridiculously opulant, but vibrant part of Tokyo.

    Much looking forward to the Switch rerelease

    On the topic of Gotham and its origin, I can’t remember where I was reading this, but there’s an actual village called Gotham near Nottingham in the UK, made famous for a short story ‘The wise men of Gotham’ about the village being inhabited entirely by lunatics. So the reference for New York was likely

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