Period Piece Gaming

A curious thing happened to me when I was playing my new copy of LA Noire and I noticed something was off. For once I wasn’t trying to get rid of the horrible soundtrack of the game and I wasn’t disgusted by the stereotypical ghetto scenes likely to be found in a Rockstar game. Instead, I found that the era in which LA Noire is set was my ideal setting for a game. While going back into the past isn’t uncommon for video games, I found that LA Noire had a setting of both an unsettling nature and hopeful one. And this got me to thinking; what are some the coolest eras for gaming?

Post WW2 setting for LA Noire (late 1940s)

Back in the day, it was actually cool to be American. Other countries didn’t hate us like they do now (although some still did from what I hear) and you could be proud of being in the armed forces and taking down Nazis. Probably the best part about the main character of LA Noire is that he fought in WW2 and he continues to fight crime with honor. It would be very difficult to have a video game center around a modern marine coming back to become a cop since the armed forces catch so much flack for the war itself. Also, the 1940’s had better tunes in my opinion.

The Wild West for Red Dead Redemption (early 1900s)

From the moment I started playing Red Dead Redemption, I knew that I was living vicariously through a time in which many people have dreamed about: the old west. Playing cowboys and Indians as kids is a common staple of childhood and as adults it’s tough not to love Clint Eastwood and his “Man With No Name” persona with the fasted six shooter in the west. And that’s what is so great about this era: it was a time to be the hero or the villain and RDR gave that to us like we were watching a Sergio Leone film.

Dystopian Future in various games (the future!)

The future is a wide variety of years obviously since a video game in the future could potentially take place one day in advance, but the future I’m talking about is the very distant future as seen in such games as Fallout 3. The best thing about this setting is that it brings to mind great films like the Mad Max franchise or Escape from New York (albeit this took place in 1997, but hey, that was the future once too) where the world is becoming increasingly more lawless. A wasteland isn’t great in the real world, but it does look mighty cool through the eyes of a video game character.

The late 1600s from Castlevania

I don’t know much about history, but from the gothic scenery of the early Castlevania games; I think it’s a great time period to have a game in. The castles are both towering and menacing while the legends like vampires and werewolves are as meant to be fact as opposed to just stories to people in the 1600s. Sure, it’s a game and there are no real monsters, but that era was a great time to roll out the odd, gothic type monsters because it was so long ago: that it feels like a different universe altogether. Plus, who doesn’t like the idea of being a vampire hunter in the 1600s? Or in this time period for that matter…

Greek mythological times from God of War or Age of Mythology

While the idea of Gods ruling and living alongside men is very fantastical and outrageous, I do like the games that are set in this era. Intervention from the assortment of Gods are always a hoot and the Gods themselves make for interesting characters (like Zeus turning into a swan to take advantage of a women). So in video games, it’s always interesting to see sword fights instead of gun fights and to fight monsters like a Cerberus, medusa or hydra as opposed to terrorists. The heroes were generally cooler too since we have Achilles, Hector, Heracles, and Odysseus just waiting to fight to the death.

So which year do you enjoy for video games? Throw your hat in the ring using our comment box.