Video games have been around decades. From Atari to Nintendo, Playstation to Xbox, geeks like me have spent years immersing themselves in the fictional world’s we love. But not every virtual space we operate in is a new creation. In fact, some of the best video games of all time are based on real-world places you can experience in person. And with that in mind, here are the top five, real-life video game locations you should travel to in 2018.
- Tomb Raider (Cambodia)
- Far Cry 5 (Montana)
- inFamous: Second Son (Seattle)
- Sleeping Dogs (Hong Kong)
- Fall Out 4 (Boston)
- Watch Dogs 2 (San Francisco)
1.) Tomb Raider (Cambodia)
The Tomb Raider franchise has been since 1996; making it one of the longest running franchises in video game history. And for those who want to experience Tomb Raider in a way they never have before, consider a trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Widely known as the largest religious monument in the world, the site features ruins from a 12th century temple built during the Khmer Empire.
In 2000, Angkor Wat served as the main filming location for the original Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, and its setting has been recreated numerous times in various installments of the game. Travelers interested in visiting the temple will be excited to know that Siem Reap, the closest city to the temple, offers a plethora of inexpensive options to stay while you follow in the footsteps of one of gaming’s greatest legends.
2.) Far Cry 5 (Montana)
OK – We know that Hope County, Montana, is not a real place. We also know that the developers of Far Cry 5 used the gorgeous Montana backdrop to create a fictional world that could easily be mistaken for a believable slice of reality. In fact, the game’s development team did such an amazing job creating the fictional world of Hope County that the game’s locale actually takes on a role as one of the most influential / important characters in the game.
Fans of the Far Cry franchise who want to experience the allure of Montana should consider a trip to Whitefish, Hamilton, West Yellowstone, Butte or Choteau. Each is a unique city in Montana that inspired the creation of Hope County, and for fans of Far Cry 5, we can’t imagine a better trip in 2018.
2.) inFamous: Second Son (Seattle)
Capturing the essence of a city inside a video game is no small feat, but that’s exactly what the developers at Sucker Punch have done in inFamous: Second Son. From the world-famous Farmer’s Market to the Space Needle, all of the Seattle landmark’s people love are accurately represented throughout the game; making it one of the most realistic video game settings of all time!
4.) Sleeping Dogs (Hong Kong)
Most video games tend to put us in virtual versions of American cities. That’s all well and good, but terrific games, like Sleeping Dogs and Stranglehold, have given us a chance to see Hong Kong Island in a way many of us never could. The neon lights and the bustling folks walking the streets bring it to life. They even caught the atmosphere of Hong Kong’s street vendors, serving up killer food that won’t set you back at all.
5.) Fall Out 4 (Boston)
The post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 is centered around the city of Boston, Massachusetts. In fact, savvy gamers can easily spot many of the 325 historic landmarks and locations that span throughout the game’s virtual world, landmarks like Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill, the Freedom Trail and so much more! But since this game is a post-apocalyptic powerhouse, recreating the city of Boston to fit the games pre-predefined setting wasn’t easy. The final product, however, leaves gamers traversing a world they’re familiar with but with an eerie twist that can only be described as awe-striking.
6.) Watch Dogs 2 (San Francisco)
Watch Dogs 2 isn’t my favorite video game, but the game’s development team has done a remarkable job of recreating the city of San Francisco. What makes this virtual recreation so amazing is its attention to detail. Over 40,000 pictures and more than 200 hours of video footage of San Francisco was captured and used a blueprint of sorts to recreate the city. The final product yields an unmatched level of realism that has never been seen before in a video game. From real-life bars and restaurants to local landmarks, Watch Dogs 2 has created an epic digital mirror of San Francisco that must be experienced to be believed.