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hedwards: That's because it's mainly your interpretation, the majority of the games I find are ones that are set in a generic city, they don't look any different from what I saw in Germany and The Netherlands when I was there apart from the street signs.
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Aver: We had to be in different Germany or Netherlands. They doesn't look at all like Liberty City or San Andres or San Paro. But if you want something that feels much more different then there is Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai...
I haven't played those particular games, but you clearly haven't been to the US, if you think Western and Central Europe look appreciably different. Most of the things in the areas I saw were newer and designed based upon similar influences to what was happening in the US at the time. Apart from lacking those butt ugly cement buildings that were popular in the US during the '70s for government buildings, there's not really that much difference to it.
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Fenixp: edit: Oh wow, that's a BLOCK of text. Feel free to not read it if you're lazy, don't worry I know the feeling :D
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Reveenka: Nah man, I appreciate that you took the time to write all of that down. I get the impression that the game is a kind of story-driven grand strategy game with RPG elements mixed in? It definitely sounds interesting. Does it have any kind of DRM, and\or does it require you to log in to anything else than Steam?
From the last time I've checked, it has only used the Steam DRM thingy. And don't mind the big ammount of DLC, some are worth getting, but only if you really do enjoy the base game - and game itself feels quite complete.
"It's amazing how the English countryside looks in no way like Southern California." -Austin Powers
I'll add my voice to the chorus that while I can understand believing too many games are American ethnocentric (just as a function of the American game industry being so much bigger - with exception of Japanese game industry which might even be bigger I dunno), I wouldn't say the preponderance of most games are set in the US. If you restrict to one very small sub-genre, then of course you get the law of small numbers. But in general, games are set everywhere and at any time, fantastical or real or simply heavily inspired by.

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hedwards: I haven't played those particular games, but you clearly haven't been to the US, if you think Western and Central Europe look appreciably different. Most of the things in the areas I saw were newer and designed based upon similar influences to what was happening in the US at the time. Apart from lacking those butt ugly cement buildings that were popular in the US during the '70s for government buildings, there's not really that much difference to it.
While I agree that a modern office block is a modern office block almost regardless of where you are, many European cities do look very different from their American counterparts - especially a lot of them that have retained their old-sections. The architecture and street planning (lack thereof in most cases for the old sections of cities) are unmistakable and don't occur anywhere in the US (not even the East coast - except for the non-grid layout of streets). There is a plethora of different styles in the US itself of course that distinguish each city and region (though again an office block is an office block and the suburbs are the suburbs), but I think it would be fair to say that there is American versus a European architectural ethos.
Post edited March 24, 2013 by crazy_dave
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crazy_dave: fantastical or real or simply heavily inspired by.
Or Brütal. Don't forget Brütal.
It depends of the games. I perfeclty understand that American creators make games set in the United States : it is the land they are the most familiar with.

But I indeed prefer when the games are set in more exotic places, which means, according to my gaming experience, anywhere else than US.A. (especially N.Y.C.), or Middle-East cities in ruins ravaged by war. Actually, I am tired of any place in ruins.

I would like to see more games entirely set in Asia, Africa or Mediterranean places. A open world game in Ho Chi Minh City would be amazing and very refreshing (streets and pavements always crowded, motorcycles everywhere...), and I am very happy that Sleeping Dogs is set in Hong Kong (even if I don't understand why only bots speak in Cantonese and not in English).
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solzariv: Why are people saying GTA takes place in the US when none of the locations in GTA games actually exist?

The only GTA game with a real-life setting was GTA: London. lol
Even though it takes place in fictional cities, it mentions a lot in-game that it's in real life U.S...The American Dream forever being mentioned in GTAIV should have been a clue.
If you don't my me saying: This discussion has a very interesting developement.

Anyway I can't speak for many American suburbs or cities, but here in good old Europe there is a Huge difference between a Suburb yet alone a citycenter of Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Zürich or Milano. I'm picking these cities as I know them pretty well and because they are only a couple of hundreds miles away from each. Yet they are not only seperated by different nations and language but by an age old tradition longer than the history of modern America itself.
And none of these cities compares to a GTA game, Sim City, the Sims, etc. city I have played thus far.

On an unrelated note, I played xCom EU (Sounds quiet like xCom Europe although it isn't) and was amused to see how they portrayed Berlin in the tutorial mission. The Police cars had the wrong colour, not that I blame the developers, Germany changed their police outfit & design a couple of years back but the roads, the signs even the advertisment boads didn't feel German at all.
It got hilarious when cute and adorable Dr. Vahlen started to speak in German in her Nazi-Flick like accent.
It's still a brilliant game, a game where you can hire different nationalities as soldiers but sadly all of the speak standard American English.

I find the Total War / Age of Empire approach much more fitting where the units are talking the language of their home country.
Btw for those who are saying all AAA are US:
Ubisoft-France
Square Enix-Japan
Capcom-Japan
Nintendo-Japan
Sony-Japan
Namco Bandai-Japan
Sega-Japan

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Khadgar42: Placebo?
Granted that could be the case but I started to get suspicous when I researched some games that I liked, that felt refreshingly different and discovered with suprise where these games came from.
It was quite a revelation when I found out that Mount&Blade hails from Turkey and the Witcher 1&2 was developed in Poland. You can even recognize that Blood Bowl from Focus Entertainment is French.
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hedwards: What I'm getting at is that the US game industry is the biggest in the world, and unless you're only talking about the major studios, it's hard to find anything that all of those games have in common sufficient to count as a national style.

Certainly, not the way that the Japanese have their own style for some genres.

So, I suspect it's not a real phenomena in the way you describe it. Yes, somethings are definitely true, the way we handle WWII and a few other human rights things is likely to be unique to the US, but I don't see those things cropping up very much in any game, certainly not sufficiently frequently to tag a game as American.
It's the mannerisms of the people and the style, as someone else said, you can easily tell from dialogue and the storyline where the city is set. If you think Europeon and American people act similarly, you definitely need to take more holidays.
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Khadgar42: If you don't my me saying: This discussion has a very interesting developement.

Anyway I can't speak for many American suburbs or cities, but here in good old Europe there is a Huge difference between a Suburb yet alone a citycenter of Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Zürich or Milano. I'm picking these cities as I know them pretty well and because they are only a couple of hundreds miles away from each. Yet they are not only seperated by different nations and language but by an age old tradition longer than the history of modern America itself.
And none of these cities compares to a GTA game, Sim City, the Sims, etc. city I have played thus far.

On an unrelated note, I played xCom EU (Sounds quiet like xCom Europe although it isn't) and was amused to see how they portrayed Berlin in the tutorial mission. The Police cars had the wrong colour, not that I blame the developers, Germany changed their police outfit & design a couple of years back but the roads, the signs even the advertisment boads didn't feel German at all.
It got hilarious when cute and adorable Dr. Vahlen started to speak in German in her Nazi-Flick like accent.
It's still a brilliant game, a game where you can hire different nationalities as soldiers but sadly all of the speak standard American English.

I find the Total War / Age of Empire approach much more fitting where the units are talking the language of their home country.
I know how you feel, as an Irishman...we're nearly always interpreted wrong in every medium by Americans.
Post edited March 24, 2013 by McDon
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khnk222: It's a bit off topic but I wanted to ask what you think of Saboteur?
I didn't get too far into it. I probably should have loved the game considering it had several things that I love mixed into one, but I for whatever reason I hated it. I may have just been in a bad mood while playing tbh
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solzariv: Why are people saying GTA takes place in the US when none of the locations in GTA games actually exist?

The only GTA game with a real-life setting was GTA: London. lol
Beacuse while there are differences, the cities in the GTA universe are quite clearly intended to be stand-ins for real life US cities. Liberty City/New York City, Vice City/Miami, Los Santos/Los Angeles....you get the idea.

Heck, even in-universe, the fictional locations are all part of the US and are roughly situated where their real life counterparts are. Vice City is a part of the state of Florida, Liberty City is considered to be "East Coast" while San Andreas is considered to be "West Coast" and so on.

The intentional similarities aren't even limited to locations, but events and organisations as well. For example, in San Andreas, there is a corrupt police unit called C.R.A.S.H. and the Los Santos Riots take place. Gee, I wonder why those things sound incredibly familiar?

Overall, most of the GTA games take place in the US. A highly comedic and exaggerated representation of the US, sure, but the US regardless.
Post edited March 24, 2013 by Gandos
Still waiting for medieval games that take place in the US. Just imagine: you're a knight, wearing awesome armor, wielding an awesome sword, you get ready to fight - and there's nobody there except buffaloes and a few friendly drugged up guys living in tents.
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F4LL0UT: Still waiting for medieval games that take place in the US. Just imagine: you're a knight, wearing awesome armor, wielding an awesome sword, you get ready to fight - and there's nobody there except buffaloes and a few friendly drugged up guys living in tents.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court: THE FPS!
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McDon: It's the mannerisms of the people and the style, as someone else said, you can easily tell from dialogue and the storyline where the city is set. If you think Europeon and American people act similarly, you definitely need to take more holidays.
Depends where you're talking about. Around here, the only hint that you're not dealing with Europeans is that we smile more and take more showers.

Trying to identify that quintessential thing that makes people American is virtually impossible, especially since people don't give up their cultural beliefs when they immigrate. Choose the right part of the US and you'd never know you were in the US, if not for the signs.
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McDon: It's the mannerisms of the people and the style, as someone else said, you can easily tell from dialogue and the storyline where the city is set. If you think Europeon and American people act similarly, you definitely need to take more holidays.
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hedwards: Depends where you're talking about. Around here, the only hint that you're not dealing with Europeans is that we smile more and take more showers.

Trying to identify that quintessential thing that makes people American is virtually impossible, especially since people don't give up their cultural beliefs when they immigrate. Choose the right part of the US and you'd never know you were in the US, if not for the signs.
Trust me, not counting recent Irish immigrants, I could recognize a American even without the accent from talking to them.
Edit: Might have more to do with Irish having unique mannerisms more than anything.
Post edited March 24, 2013 by McDon