Thursday, February 12, 2009

Games set in Canada: Where the heck are they?

Okay, so I decided to write something today anyways. Been meaning to post this for a while, so here ya go... And stuff.

As most of you know (Or should know, due to the personal information in the sidebar), I'm Canadian. I've lived here my whole life, and like any patriotic citizen of any other country, I love it. I suppose it's understandable, then, that's I'm somewhat upset at the incredible lack of games that take place here. Aside from some hockey and baseball video games featuring Canadian venues, there really aren't many examples of a game really happening in Canada. Aside from the Canada tracks in Excite Truck (Which are entirely fictional in design) and the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, I can't think of a single, official, professionally-published game that's taken place in the Great White North.

I have, in my entire life, come across only game that both takes place in a real Canadian location and isn't sports-centric. Thing is, this game is merely a student-made project called City 7: Toronto Conflict. Even worse, the website hasn't been updated once in over a year. So, that's it. One game. Sure, it was well-made, interesting, and based on several real-world locations all over Toronto, but it's all I've been able to find.

You may ask "Why don't sports games count?" It's quite simple: Every single hockey rink, baseball diamond, football field, basketball court and soccer pitch is exactly the same as any other. Sure, structurally they may differ, but the field size and dimensions are kept the same by the associated sports commission. Playing a game in Wrigley Field is exactly the same as playing one in the Rogers Centre. Even the Olympics are all generally the same in the way regardless of location, aside from the obvious difference of variations in the mountains (Not to say I won't be picking up Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games anyways. I mean, Mario in Canada? Hell yes.).

Now, I wouldn't be suggesting having a game set in Canada unless I felt it could truly be something great because of it. I think an amazing sandbox-style video game could be made out of the Greater Toronto Area, which, ironically, is GTA for short. There's an incredible amount of environmental variation within this city, from a scenic valley to urban canyons to an amusement park on an island. With many twisting roadways, a major highway, an extensive subway system and several fantastically unique examples of architecture, Toronto is a perfect fit for a Grand Theft Auto-style game.

Future site of Grand Theft Auto: Great White North?

Another franchise that would do well to take things Northward would definitely have to be Fallout. In the series' fictional timeline, a worldwide lack of resources and moral order led to China taking over the entire state of Alaska. Of course, the United States couldn't just sit back and let this happen, so they began a military offensive against the invaders. Eventually even the military superpower of the United States began to be affected by the lack of resources, leading to the country annexing Canada for supplies*. And then, shortly after that, the bombs fell, destroying what little order remained. What I want to know, though, is what happened to Canada after all this?

*This is incredibly condensed, mind you. For the full details, please see this page on the Fallout Wiki.

So far, not a single shred of official information has been released about the condition of my country after the war, despite it technically being part of the United States in this fictional story. How about we take a trip up North in Fallout 4, or in an upcoming expansion for Fallout 3? I'm quite interested to see the condition of the CN Tower after a nuclear blast (My money's on half of it being in the lake), and the thought of what has happen to those isolated on Vancouver Island is certainly worth pursuing. In fact, I'm even just curious to hear if there's anyone left in Canada at all! Vaults were only built in the United States, so what did we up here do to survive the blast? Did all of Toronto attempt cramming into the Rogers Centre, under its solid concrete roof, and manage to stave off most radiation? Could the same have happened in Calgary's Saddle Dome and Montreal's Olympic Stadium? I'm just dying to know!

There's crazy amounts of potential lying within a game placed in Canada, whether it be a Grand Theft Auto, a Fallout title, or even some other type of game I never even considered. Maybe Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will open the necessary channels to make this happen? ...okay, probably not, but dammit, I'll hold onto any hope!

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Rawful said...

That's true! I don't ever recall playing a Canada-based game.

I'd like to visit Canada some day. Dunno where at in Canada, but I'd just like to go.

Anonymous said...

A Fallout in Canada would be awesome! Especially after I have become addicted to Fallout 3 on PC.

SpinachPuffs said...

As luck would have it, I'm guessing that Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will be primarily set in the location of the 2010 Winter Olympics: Vancouver, Canada!