The 7 Best Video Games Set In Louisiana
Over the years, there have been a lot of games set in Louisiana, which means that, over the years, there have been a lot of games set in New Orleans since everyone not from Louisiana thinks our entire state is one giant Big Easy. Which is fine. People also think New York state is entirely made up of New York City, so it's just one of those things that happens. Besides, we have better food. So we win.
Video game developers aren't immune to geographic stereotyping, so when some industrious game designer thinks of our great state, they immediately jump to New Orleans, because that's just what people do. We won't hold it against them.
With that in mind, here are seven of the best games ever set in the great state of Louisiana.
The oldest game on this list, The Colonel's Bequest, was released in 1989 by Sierra On-Line. It's an adventure game sporting an amazing 16 colors and a text-based interface that sees players taking on the role of Tulane University student and aspiring journalist, Laura Bow, as she works to solve a murder mystery involving the wealthy Dijon family.
It's kind of a silly game, and the text-based interface makes it a bit of a chore to play, but it's got a decent story and plenty of laughs if you like really awful puns.
Hitman: Blood Money was released in 2006 and follows the continuing adventures of an international assassin known only as Agent 47. The game takes place in several locations, with one notable mission being set during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
The sixth mission in the game, The Murder of Crows, has players working to assassinate three members of a rival assassination agency known as The Crows. And yes, they walk around wearing ridiculous bird costumes because that's apparently what people do during Mardi Gras parades. Perfectly normal.
Sometimes, I think none of these game designers have ever set foot in Louisiana.
Released in 2012 for the Playstation Vita, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation features a side story set in the popular Assassin's Creed franchise. Players take on the role of an assassin named Aveline de Grandpré and work to free slaves and stop a convoluted Templar plot to control the city and, ultimately, the world.
Mostly, you just run around and kill people and sometimes animals, whenever you venture out into the swamp. Because our entire state is one giant swamp, don'tchaknow?
Left 4 Dead 2 is a cooperative multiplayer game released by Valve in 2009. Set throughout the Deep South, players make their way from Savannah, Georgia to New Orleans as they struggle to survive against a shambling horde of undead zombies.
It's a fun game that's playable with up to three friends, and since it takes place during the zombie apocalypse, the designers didn't really have to worry about getting characters and dialog right, which they almost always get wrong when it comes to the South.
The most recent game on this list, Mafia III, was released in 2016 and is set in a fictional version of New Orleans called New Bordeaux. The game takes place during the height of the Civil Rights movement, which is driven home by the player taking on the role of Lincoln Clay, an African-American veteran of the Vietnam War.
As the name of the game implies, Mafia III's plot revolves around organized crime and the rivalries that naturally arise whenever groups of people want to get rich by doing bad things in a somewhat organized way, which usually just means they go around killing each other a lot.
The Mafia series has always been a moderately less psychopathic version of the Grand Theft Auto games, where the designers attempt to create sympathetic protagonists by working to give players genuine and relatable motivations for their actions, which doesn't always work whenever most missions just involve stabbing, shooting, exploding, and otherwise killing a whole bunch of people in really graphic ways.
With a German lead designer and development team based almost entirely in the Czech Republic, Mafia III's version of New Orleans somehow manages to feel the most accurate of any game on this list. They even got the voice actors to get their accents (mostly) right, which is rarely done even in big budget Hollywood movies.
The second game on this list made by a European developer and (partially) set in Louisiana, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, was released in 2007 by Focus Home Interactive.
Blending the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. P. Lovecraft, the game puts players in the shoes of the famous detective in 1894 as he works with his partner, Dr. Watson, to solve various mysteries as they uncover a plot by a group of cultists to summon the mythical sea god, Cthulhu.
Near the end of the game, Holmes and Watson follow a clue across the Atlantic Ocean, to New Orleans. Once there, they're harassed by the locals and a corrupt sheriff, all of whom sound more like Matthew McConaughey than anyone from the Crescent City, but the voice acting in this game is far from the worst offender on this list.
It's a fun game, and although it contains somewhat non-traditional supernatural elements in a Sherlock Holmes story, it's eventually revealed that everything has a perfect rational explanation. It can still get pretty creepy, though.
The last and best game on this list is also one of the oldest and newest. Originally released in 1993 by Sierra On-Line, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers received a "remastered" version in 2014 with updated graphics and gameplay.
Set entirely in New Orleans, the game takes place in the early '90s and follows the adventures of Gabriel Knight, a wannabe novelist who owns a bookstore in the French Quarter. While researching a recent rash of "voodoo murders" for his next book, Gabriel eventually uncovers a supernatural plot involving a Loa spirit named Tetelo who possesses the body of his would-be girlfriend, Malia Gedde.
Being a point-and-click adventure, the game heavily relies on an intriguing plot and interesting characters to keep players engaged, which Gabriel Knight delivers. Originally voiced by Tim Curry doing one of the weirdest, most non-New Orleans accents ever recorded by mankind in the titular role, the game also featured some other big name talent.
Mark Hamill (Star Wars) plays Gabriel's friend, Detective Mosely, while Leah Remini (King of Queens) plays his assistant, Grace Nakimura. Michael Dorn - Worf from Star Trek - even makes an appearance as Dr. John, a voodoo scholar and curator of the Voodoo Museum in the French Quarter.
Real actors doing voice work for video games is commonplace these days, but keep in mind that Gabriel Knight was developed way back in the early '90s, when most of any game's voice acting was done by Janice over in Accounting who couldn't act to save her life, but was willing to work for free.
Still, none of the voice talent managed to capture an authentic New Orleans accent despite their impressive filmographies, which isn't too surprising. Everyone in the South sounds exactly the same as far as the entertainment industry goes, just like everyone not from the South doesn't understand how the word y'all works. Not at all.