There are many games that have been set in the past, and some of them got the past so very wrong, but a bright and shining few got everything perfect. These are the five games that I believe have captured their era so well that it is almost like looking through a time portal as you play them.
5) Metal Gear Solid 3
I was about ten years old when the Cold War officially ended, but I do remember growing up during some of the fear that came with that war. Metal Gear Solid 3 takes place at the beginning of the Cold War in the late 1960’s, and shows gamers just how dangerous that time period was. The opening cut scene between Big Boss and Snake really pulled these old memories out and I got goose flesh because of it. A majority of this game takes place in the jungle, but it is that over-reaching fear that really makes me think of it as a period piece. One wrong move from Snake and the world could possibly be thrust into another world war. His three missions are all an attempt to stop Armageddon. He must kidnap a Russian scientist, kill his former boss and sabotage a new super weapon. I’m sure that 80 percent of what Snake accomplished happened in real life, we’re just yet to learn about it yet. Maybe Vault 7 will key us into some darker Cold War facts from the CIA.
4) Assassin’s Creed III
I am a huge fan of history and I love the Revolutionary War era and all that it entails. I love reading about how our great nation was founded and all the sacrifices that our Founding Fathers went through to give birth to our Republic. Ubisoft nailed colonial America in this game, I know that the other Assassin’s Creed games were in historical periods as well, but III‘s time period is the one I was interested in. The character models of George Washington, Ben Franklin and others was amazing, and Connor’s interaction with them was seamless and thrilling. Another huge boon to this title is the fact that I was able to explore colonial Boston and Philadelphia as Connor and I loved how drawn into the time period I was. I know that I will never truly know what it was like to be in that time period, but I do know that this game got me as close as I’ll ever be.
3) Grand Theft Auto Vice City
I was born the last year of 1970 and have some scattered and fond memories of the 80’s. I was just a child during that decade, but I remember the toys, the fashion, the cartoons and mostly the music. When Vice City came out it was on the heels of GTA III and my buddies and I couldn’t have been more excited. This game nailed the campiness that was the 80’s. The music was spot on, the colors (which were a nice pastel) perfected the overall feel of the 80’s in game. Some of my favorite parts of this game was just wandering around 1980’s “Miami.” I still remember completing a mission using a samurai sword whilst in a Hawaiian shirt, nothing sums up the 80’s more than that to me.
2) Red Dead Redemption
My father loves Western Americana everything, he’s fascinated with Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the like and much of that knowledge and interest rubbed off onto me. Now I’ll admit I’m not as knowledgeable as my father is, but I can run a few laps around some history teachers I had to deal with in college. When Red Dead Redemption was announced even my father got excited for the game, constantly asking me if I had purchased it yet. The release date came and I grabbed the game and started playing, both my father and I were mesmerized by how well Rockstar digitized the American West. They did take plenty of liberties with the time period, but man the towns, the music, the supporting characters all bled Wild West. The only drawback to the game was the constant horse riding, this became such an issue to a point where my father called the game the Riding Simulator. Needless to say we are both looking forward to the sequel.
1) L.A. Noire
It is pretty well known that the 1940’s are probably my most favorite decade in American history. This is when we came together as a people to wipe evil off the face of the Earth, and undertook many sacrifices to do so. An amazing era, one that we will never see again, that’s why I’m so in love with L.A. Noire. This game takes place just after World War II in 1947, you play as a soldier who has come back from the Pacific arena and is now a police officer. You start as a beat cop and move your way up the police ladder as you solve crimes that are based on real crimes. Los Angeles is your playground as you search for clues and interrogate suspects and witnesses. What made this game unique for its time was the fact that actors were motion capped into the game with certain “tells” that would key you into when they were lying. The combination of sleuthing and running around in the late 1940’s really makes this game unique and just a joy to time-travel with.
Did I miss any? Are there better time period games that I may not have played? Please let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SuperJerry13.