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Arts & Culture

Video games set in Barcelona

Written by Jorgen Sikk

Video games are entertaining and even more so if you know the settings in which they take place. Thousands of video games have used a variety of settings in different cities of the world, including our dearest Barcelona. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

Photo via Pixabay

This installment of the legendary Tony Hawk skateboard series lands in Barcelona. The city is one of the playable areas and is depicted as a very miniature version of it. Some of the notable areas that one can recognize are the Port and Gaudi’s Park Guell. Barcelona as the playable area is a melting pot of Spanish culture. Amongst the activities that the protagonist has to do are tomato throwing (hinting at Buñol’s festival La Tomatina) and bull running. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 uses black humor to entertain the player and uses each setting’s cultural identity to enhance the gaming experience.

Trailer: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 trailer

Release date & Platforms: 2004 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance)

Related article: Barcelona Room of Riddles: The great escape game

The Wheelman

The Wheelman is a story of an undercover cop (modeled and voiced by actor Vin Diesel) who infiltrates the Catalan crime network through a femme fatale called Lumi Vega. Your job as the protagonist is to make sure that the engine is running and that the cops only see your tail lights. That is achieved by breaking all the traffic laws and gunning down cars and people. The setting is the streets of Barcelona, although it’s hard to choose your own path through the city and usually you end up following the path that the game creates for you. That doesn’t diminish the fun though. If you are a person who has wondered what would it feel to drive at breakneck speeds through Raval or on the Ronda then this the game for you. High octane car chases and Hollywoodesque explosion scenes give Barcelona a new dimension, which you didn’t know the usually crowded streets of the city could have.

Trailer: The Wheelman trailer

Release date & Platforms: 2009 (PS2, XBOX360, PC)

Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery

The famous Assassin’s Creed franchise follows the fantasy story of the Templars versus the Assassins through numerous protagonists. In Discovery, the player follows the story of Ezio, who takes it as his mission to restore the Assassins brotherhood in Spain and make sure the exploration mission of Christopher Columbus can embark as scheduled. The daunting task doesn’t phase our protagonist who traverses the entire country to achieve what he set out to do. Due to the platforms that the game was made for, the graphics or grand vistas are not where the strengths of the game lay. It plays as a 2D platformer, but you still recognize the style of Barcelona and architecture of the late 15th century.

Trailer: Assassin’s Creed: Discovery trailer

Release date & Platforms: 2009 (Nintendo DS, iOS)

Related article: Where to find vintage comics in Barcelona

 GoldenEye 007

Photo via Pixabay

Acclaimed as one of the most important video games in history, GoldenEye follows the trends set by the movies and the books. It is high paced and FPS orientated with stealth and puzzle elements included. In the game, the Barcelona mission takes place in a nightclub where Mr. Bond has to contact an informant and later fight his way out of trouble. The nightclub is pretty generic and is decorated with Picassoesque paintings and guards with strong Spanish accents. At the end of the mission, 007 leaves with style, on a bike, driving in the streets of Barcelona. This iconic game got a remake in 2010.

Gameplay: Goldeneye 007

Release date & Platforms: 1997 (Nintendo 64) & 2010 remake (Nintendo Wii)

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About the author

Jorgen Sikk

Jörgen Ivar Sikk is a biology and chemistry teacher by degree but an avid traveler and writer by passion

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