Published on November 30th, 2012 |
by Stephen O'Nion
Around The World In 18 Games #5: Detroit
Our journey around the world through the medium of video games continues. This week we’ve fearlessly set forth on a pilgrimage to the home of Robocop: Detroit, Michigan. Yes, we’re (virtually) driving to ol’ Motor City to take in the sights, sounds, smells and… sivilians of Michigan’s largest city.
Now, you might think that the obvious choice of game to represent this historic city of industry would be the aptly named Detroit. But no. Nor is it Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition or Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Instead it’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution and its telling vision of an economically segregated city in 2027 scarred by riots and unemployment. Anyway – happy faces and off we go!
Game: Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Local Time: GMT -5
Population: Around 300 – 500 visible, millions hiding in homes/sewers.
Currency: Credit (V)
Language Spoken: English, often said gruffly.
Season & Climate: No need to pack your SPF 30; there’s actually never any sun in Detroit unless you’re staying in Chiron Building apartments (in which case it’ll stream through the windows). Understandably, such a meteorological anomaly is the subject of worldwide debate.
Sun-seekers beware! This is the only natural light visible in the city
Landmarks: Much of Detroit’s current identification in the international consciousness comes from the presence of Sarif Headquarters – the head of operations for David Sarif’s body-augmentation corporation. Founded in 2007, Sarif Industries has become a household name for its pioneering research into prosthetics, weapons manufacture, and cranial-affixed sunglasses. Accordingly, it’s an impressive building to look at, both inside and out, so why not join a weekly protest and get a chance to see the HQ’s plaza up close before inevitably being blinded by the authority’s tear gas?
Firstly though, any visitor to the city must be sure to head straight to the Detroit Opera House to catch a showing of the feted production of Il Metamorfoso. Sure you’ll never actually find the Opera House, but the posters look nice enough so that’s good. Live entertainment is also available from the Mullins Convention Center which features a number of guest lecturers such as the esteemed anti-augment activist William Taggart. Simply purchase your ticket and wander the building’s beautiful corridors, marvelling at the partially deaf security officials and conveniently sized air-ducts.
Alternatively, if you want to see a side to Detroit off the beaten track, try the sewers. Just be careful to not fall off the aforementioned track into the “water”: it very often harbours a lethal electric current. Just ask members of the friendly homeless community for more information; local character Letitia can give you up to date information for the bargain price of just 2000 credits if you fancy some really unconventional fun (best to avoid asking questions about her Uncle Remus-type manner though, it just causes trouble).
Careful, Detroit’s masonry is easily broken by anyone in possession of superhuman strength.
Activities: One popular Detroit activity is Basketball. Yes, the great American past time is loved by one and all in Motor City. Take a short while to find the local court, and take significantly longer to dunk that sucker of a ball for an ol’ fashioned three pointer. You might find yourself rewarded for doing so after all.
If you prefer your exercise a little less regimented then Detroit’s the unofficial capital of Parkour. Leap fences with careless abandon on your way around the city: no one drives here anymore (a cruel, cruel irony), but the linear corridors and multi-layered architecture perfectly lend themselves to anyone with an eye on making their own path in life. It doesn’t take much to get started – just a couple of Praxis kits and a billowy trench coat – and soon you’ll be leaping buildings in no time.
Really, Detroit is what you make of it. Just ask local celebrity and Sarif Industries employee Adam Jensen: “it’s not the end of the world but you can see it from here.”
Ho ho, that Adam. What a card.