Video games set in Germany
With the Gamescom underway in Cologne through August 25, here's an exploration of video games set in Germany. There aren't that many.
The game Trüberbrook, produced by the small btf studio in Cologne, is set in rural Germany in the 1960s. Tannhauser, a student from the US, lands in a village called Trüberbrook, where he experiences a series of mysterious events. The game doesn't skimp on references to German cultural history, including Goethe's Gretchen.
Through the Darkest of Times (2019)
Berlin, 1933. Resistance fighters are plotting against the Nazis. Despite its simple visual style, the strategy game Through the Darkest of Times is an engaging one, as a player's decisions truly influence the story. The group of partisans is fictitious, but everything else in the game is inspired by actual events during the Third Reich.
All Walls Must Fall (2018)
The secret agent thriller All Walls Must Fall takes place in an alternate future version of Berlin. The year is 2089, but the Cold War never ended. The player is a spy trying to prevent a nuclear attack while flirting his way through the booming techno beats of Berlin's club scene. Despite the compelling setting, the game wasn't a hit. Consequently, the small studio inbetweengames had to close.
Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
War games are a genre of their own; World War I and II are particularly popular among game developers. In Call of Duty: WWII, a player can for instance wander through the city of Aachen and fight the Nazis. The Holocaust is usually not part of the narrative of shooter games like this. The point is rather to offer quick action, with clear identification of friend and foe.
Emergency 2017 (2016)
The Emergency series has existed since 1998. In these rescue simulation games, the player sends firefighters, paramedics and police in reaction to the something happening on the scene, whether in Cologne, Munich, Berlin or Hamburg. For instance, here someone is lying unconscious near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate while fireworks mark the New Year.
No One Lives Forever (2000)
James Bond could have been the godfather of the first-person shooter game No One Lives Forever, set in the 60s. The player takes on the role of secret agent Cate Archer, whose assignment is to infiltrate a terrorist organization. To do that, she travels through Germany, including East Berlin, Hamburg, the North Sea and the Alps.
Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within (1995)
With werewolves on the loose and enigmatic murders taking place, a small town in Bavaria is in turmoil. The mystery writer Gabriel Knight is called in for help and investigates in localities including Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle, Altötting and the Bavarian forest. The adventure game was released by the now defunct US game developer Sierra On-Line.