Published on November 16th, 2012 |
by Stephen O'Nion
Around The World In 18 Games #4: New Orleans
Congratulations, you’ve followed us to the city described by the great teacher W. Ikipedia as the ‘most unique’ city in America: the Big Easy aka New Orleans. Home of pirates, drunks and whores! New Orleans. Tacky, overpriced, souvenir stores! Some say if you want to go to hell, you should make that trip, to the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississipp’. And they wouldn’t be far wrong, New Orleans is in a bad place courtesy of this week’s representative game, Left 4 Dead 2.
Yes, Left 4 Dead 2′s portrayal of The Crescent City perfectly encapsulates the charm and terror that titles such as 007: Everything or Nothing could only dream of with its nanobot scare, that Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 barely touched upon with missions such as Raise The Dead and Riverboat Slapper. No, Left 4 Dead 2 takes in Nawlins and its surrounding area in a way that The Adventure of Bayou Billy could only dream of, making it the point of reference for this week’s edition of Around The World In 18 Games.
Confused? The locals will happily give a (giant) helping hand
City: NEW ORLEANS (pronounced “Nawlins”)
Game: Left 4 Dead 2
Local Time: GMT -6
Population: Just over a dozen non-infected and around 1,215,000 infected.
Currency: US Dollar ($) though, as with much of America, a six pack of Cola can probably purchase several hundred dollars worth of guns and ammunition.
Language Spoken: English
Season & Climate: Temperamental. The American South is prone to regular sheets of hard rain and heavy flooding, whilst the city proper can go through a range of dynamic weather conditions all in one day. Unfortunately there are some reports that the local air carries a deadly gas so it might be worth wearing a bandana or scarf just in case.
I know what you’re thinking; yes, that IS fresh crawfish
Landmarks: Unfortunately most of the bridges in and out of the city are a little on the dilapidated side these days, so your best bet for getting into the city is the conveniently located bus station. Be prepared for heavy crowds though, the transit service attracts its fair share of travellers and mindless
infected commuters milling about in the building and surrounding area.
Thankfully it’s just a hunter’s jump away from the historic Bienville Park and Waterfront Market. Why not stroll to the waterside and sample some of Jules’ famous fresh Crawfish? Jules is a little hard to find these days, but the city’s taste for the nutritious flesh is as strong as ever. So, grab a bite and wander along to Bienville park. If you’re lucky the band will be playing some wholesome jazz and swing, but if not there’s normally a few instruments left in the gazebo for you to have a go on, predominantly of the percussion variety.
If music is your thing then you’d be wise to seek out the famed New Orleans Jazz Club. A restaurant, pool hall and stage mean this is always a lively establishment whatever the weather, and you’d be wise to poke your head in to see if you can get a table. It must be said that you’ll have a fight on your hands if you want to have a game of pool though; the locals don’t take too kindly to newbies.
An active local takes on a visiting Australian in a goodnatured game of cricket
Activities: The city’s musical influence doesn’t stop at the numerous establishments you can visit. Should you find yourself in the city’s French Quarter your visit might be lucky enough to coincide with the Mardi Gras. This is a must-see for any visitor to the city so cut loose and take in the bunting and the floats, and make sure you’ve got your voice primed and ready for a hearty rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”. With vocal chords like that, you’d make the Midnight Riders proud.
Alternatively you might want to blow off some steam. Well you’re in luck: Nawlins is ready for sports all year round. Cricket bats, golf clubs and baseball bats are often found lying around open areas such as Bienville Park ready for anyone to pick up and play with. Best to bring your own ball though, as you’ll struggle to find one. And, while it may not look like it, Nawlins residents are also huge fans of track; to the extent that running groups regularly try to cross the Veterans Memorial Bridge in under three minutes. Why not give it a try? It’ll feel like a real achievement.
Finally, with all the excitement, it might be worth taking a moment to reflect on the poignancy of Nawlins. Saint Roches Cemetery is one of the most famous areas of its kind in the state because of its fascinating tombs and mausoleums. Tread carefully around the grounds and marvel at the masonry that serves as a fitting tribute to dead and undead alike. Just keep your voice down, the staff aren’t fond of audible intruders and in some cases have been known to viciously attack mourners and try to rip them apart. Ho ho, those zany New Orleaners.