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I don't mind games set in the US; it is an extremely diverse country, so it's little wonder plenty of games are set in it.

Having said that, however, I have always lamented the fact that the recent GTA games have been revisiting the GTA III locales. The US has plenty of inspiration to offer in regards to the criminal world, but then again, so do other countries. It would be neat to see the series cover some new locales.

If they really have to reuse an old location, I would prefer if they gave London another go. Afterall, it's been almost 14 years since the release of the GTA: London mission packs, the UK is also quite diverse and Rockstar North is situated in Edinburgh (so not that far from the city in question).
Post edited March 24, 2013 by Gandos
Not sure that is really a problem, honestly. Maybe a bit too much US stuff but I can name endless shooters, RPGs and other such things that are set elsewhere.

And I think the satire of US culture is important to Grand Theft Auto.
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Gandos: I don't mind games set in the US; it is an extremely diverse country, so it's little wonder plenty of games are set in it.

Having said that, however, I have always lamented the fact that the recent GTA games have been revisiting the GTA III locales. The US has plenty of inspiration to offer in regards to the criminal world, but then again, so do other countries. It would be neat to see the series cover some new locales.

If they really have to reuse an old location, I would prefer if they gave London another go. Afterall, it's been almost 14 years since the release of the GTA: London mission packs, the UK is also quite diverse and Rockstar North is situated in Edinburgh (so not that far from the city in question).
You've got me thinking, and I think you should give RockStar a call. They did London once and they could go back but think of the fun they could have with the Yakuza and the Russian Mafia. It's sounds sick when I see it in print, but seriously, there are some great cities around the world with fantanstic avenues of crime to base a game around. That sounds like I'm trying to be funny but I mean it.
I don't have anything against games being set in the US per se, I just wish they were set in other places as well. Open world crime games like Sleeping Dogs probably being the exception in the sense that, yes, setting it in the US would make it very generic and apart from GTA, I really don't have an interest for another one set there at all.

But even within the US there is plenty of space for interesting locales, unfortunately they mostly go back to the same cities or time periods and that is why it's boring. It's kinda the same problem I had with AC3, where despite being a very big, and centuries old, country, most of their historical fiction tends to center around the same period and the same location of the American Revolution.

Something set in the US that I'd still be very interested to see would be a mistery game set in a secluded hotel in the mountains, or an open world game set in a rural area (which was some of my favorite parts of San Andreas).
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Elaria: Are you talking about Sleeping Dogs in particular or other games as well? Personally I only play fantasy games so I don't really remember any that took place in the US...
Maybe an analogue to this in a fantasy setting would be the way so many fantasy games seem to be set in the same patch of medieval Britain.
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Aver: Aren't you tired with that the most of games take place in US?
It probably has something to do with the fact most AAA games are made in USA as well.

By the way, this isn't even true for most games I play. If you were talking about movies, you would be right, but again, most blockbuster movies are made in Hollywood for American dollars, so what would you expect...
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X3R022: I agree with tinyE. I can name quite a few that weren't in the US. Is this really an epidemic and I'm just too oblivious to see it?
If we only consider settings inspired by or based on actual places I must agree with the OP, it seems that in need of an urban setting a US city, and more specifically a New York-like city, must be used by default.

Not that it is a problem but it's nice when other settings are used.
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hedwards: The US is pretty much never portrayed accurately in any of these games and usually it's not even a particularly positive image either. If we're going to care about such things, we in the US probably ought to be pissed about having our country denigrated the way that the video game industry does.

Or, more likely, because the US film industry is so huge, it's easier to set things in the US as people are more likely to have familiarity with it.
It may not be accurate or presented in positive way, but still it feels like US. Architecture, atmosphere, people have US feel. I don't want see games being placed in other regions than US because I want to see regions that are more familiar for me, exactly opposite. I want games being set in places that are more exotic for me because I want to see something that is unusual for me. I don't need those places to be presented in positive ways or 100% accurate, but I want to see rest of the world more often in video games. I love games being placed in modern world, so I play a lot of them and I really have this constant feeling "I was already here". So when I see people asking for next SD being placed in US my heart breaks a little bit.
Not really. I never really noticed it.
On the other hand, Vice City set in communist countries could be interesting. :-)
It is much more prominent in films than games. There it irks me sometimes, when they are acting as the rest of the world doesn't exist (i.e. most catastropohic movies).
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Aver: Aren't you tired with that the most of games take place in US? I'm asking because recently I found out that people on SD forums ask for next Sleeping Dogs being placed in US. For me the best thing about Sleeping Dogs was that it wasn't in freaking America. It was so freaking refreshing and because of that I felt this constant "awe" when I was exploring Hong Kong. Now people wants it to take a place in US. It would feel like every freaking GTA, Saint Row and other games like that.
I like variety so I'm tired with games being set in the U.S.
Post edited March 24, 2013 by langurmonkey
Off topic but this thread got me thinking about a big budget Disney movie soon to be released starring a honkey who lives in Paris playing one of the most beloved Native American characters in modern fiction history. Now THAT I find upsetting!
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StingingVelvet: And I think the satire of US culture is important to Grand Theft Auto.
exactly. I like how they parodied "American dream" in GTA4.

Also, I don't think that many games are set exclusively in the US. I can't think of any right now... oh, Assassin's Creed 3.... And that's probably about it?
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StingingVelvet: And I think the satire of US culture is important to Grand Theft Auto.
I'm not sure about that. It was interesting for some time. But hearing for 1000th time jokes about republicans, gun control, hate towards illegal immigrants, consumptionism etc. aren't funny anymore. Well, this time they will add jokes about economical crisis, so there will be something 'fresh', but still...
Also, I don't think that many games are set exclusively in the US. I can't think of any right now... oh, Assassin's Creed 3.... And that's probably about it?
How about most of 2013's releases set in modern world? Watch Dogs, GTA V, SR4 :P
Post edited March 24, 2013 by Aver
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Aver: Aren't you tired with that the most of games take place in US?
Reason for this is (unfortunately) simple. Voice Acting. Having recently (read yesterday) finished Sleeping Dogs, the one part that I disliked was that everyone was speaking english, throwing a few cantonese (I think cantonese, according to subtitle settings at least) every now and then. I can accept that the people that were talking to you were speaking english, since they knew you were away for a long time, but the random people on the street, talking to their cell phones? Or the vendor that you almost ran over, cursing at you in english?

Let's ignore for a bit the fact that not many gamers would be fluent in Chinese (may be wrong about this though), and assume the setting was in Paris. What would the person yell at you when you shove them, "You maniac!" or "Connard!"? What if the setting was in Berlin? How many Polish people yell obscenities in english when angry?

Thus, most easily accessible settings are English speaking countries, and preferrably ones the development and artists have first hand experience in. Add to that the fact that the US is a freaking huge country, and you can find almost any terain/climate you wish there, and that is a good reason developers like the US as a setting.

And just a footnote, I can't really play QfG5 without either laughing or facepalming whenever I hear the Greek words, including the ill fated Red Shirt.
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Aver: I'm not sure about that. It was interesting for some time. But hearing for 1000th time jokes about republicans, gun control, hate towards illegal immigrants, consumptionism etc. aren't funny anymore. Well, this time they will add jokes about economical crisis, so there will be something 'fresh', but still...
That's what Rockstar do though, even Max Payne 3 is about that same shit. They're kind of one-note.
I'm not really seeing that many games set in the US.

Even those that are that I can think of are in highly stylized fictitious depictions of them. With GTA for example it's not New York it's Liberty City, Saints Row uses fictional cities too. These depict US cities and their residents about as well as Gotham and Metropolis do.

Also note that some people asking for a game to be set in the US on its forums is vastly different to the game actually being set in the US. People ask for all kinds of weird shit on game forums.