As one of the most historic, eye-catching and iconic cities in the world, Paris evokes a certain degree of romance that has been portrayed in every form of entertainment imaginable. For video games, it provides a picturesque and grandiose backdrop for some of the most beloved classics in the medium.
Although billed as the city of love, the depiction of Paris in games often shows the more shocking sides of the city. From depictions of the violent French Revolution, black-and-white noir detective stories, a gritty future Cyberpunk city, or even a romantic backdrop for some organized murder, it’s all here, warts and all.
10/10 Night conversation
A bit like a darker and slightly more altruistic version of Taxi Cab Confessions, Night Call sees a night shift cab driver take on the role of a detective to clear his name and catch a notorious serial killer.
It’s an urban black-and-white murder mystery where you have to talk to as many of your passengers as possible to understand the city’s recent unsavory series of murders. You choose your route and line of questioning to narrow down the possibilities, all within the atmospheric and dimly lit streets of Paris.
9/10 Sly 2: Band Of Thieves
The Sly Cooper series is a beloved and sorely missed set of platforming stealth video games starring a gang of anthropomorphic thieves consisting of a curious turtle, a crooked fox, a powerful hippo, and the titular burglar.
The Gothic rooftops of Paris serve as one of the main worlds for Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and it’s where some of the game’s key story missions take place. Early on, Sly and his gang head into town to thwart a dubious forgery. Paris also provides a picturesque setting for the game’s final moments leading up to the group’s tense final heist.
8/10 Hitman (2016) – The Showstopper
The Hitman games have always given players an unparalleled level of freedom when it comes to eliminating their targets. The first mission in 2016’s soft reboot, Hitman, places Agent 47 at an elaborate fashion show in a fancy palace in Paris, with the owner of a fashion empire in his crosshairs.
The palace itself is beautifully designed with stunning French architecture, intricate winding corridors and wide open spaces. There are plenty of rooms to explore and deadly systems to experiment with, including the bald man himself strutting along an impressively large catwalk to show off some very stylish threads. We won’t question his killing methods – everyone has a process.
7/10 Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Siege Of Paris DLC
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s The Siege of Paris DLC takes place in a markedly different Paris than we are used to. As with the rest of the game, you won’t see many famous locations or recognizable landmarks, as you’ll spend all your time fighting, searching, and exploring like a 8th century Viking.
After becoming embroiled in a plot for revenge against the Mad King Charles, Eivor travels to Francia to explore the city’s rich landscape and sinister underbelly. Unlike much of the base game, Paris in 885 AD is much more vertical and densely packed. It reflects the exciting parkour from the series’ early beginnings, as it lets you climb and jump between rooftops in a version of Paris you don’t often see in popular entertainment.
6/10 Steel rising
The 18th century French Revolution backdrop of Steelrising’s bleak steampunk-inspired Paris provides a great setting for the game’s methodical Soulslike combat. The city is filled with mechanical automatons eager to ruin your day as you dodge through the burning, corpse-infested streets.
It’s a unique alternate version of the city that contains a variety of mechanical enemies for you to try your hand at defeating. As is the case with any self-respecting soulmate, there are many paths, corridors and secret passages to take as you navigate through the waves of difficult enemies. You also have a trusty grappling hook, which adds a dimension of verticality to exploring the smoldering ashes of the once mighty metropolis.
5/10 Deus Ex
The original Deus Ex was a groundbreaking first-person RPG that featured a compelling conspiracy-laden story and an unprecedented amount of player choice. JC Denton’s desire to make contact with the Illuminati brings him to Paris, the most expansive part of the game.
Here you will meet a group of soldiers in the winding Paris catacombs, before heading to the streets along the famous Champs-Élysées. You can peruse the wares of some of Paris’ finest boutiques before stopping at Chateau DuClare and then walking through the sewers to reach an old Parisian cathedral for a spot of hacking. All in a day’s work.
4/10 remember me
The stunning futuristic cyberpunk setting of Neo-Paris in Remember Me is perhaps one of the game’s best and most memorable assets. It’s a third-person action adventure set in a dystopian future where memory itself has become a commodity to be sold and traded.
It’s all very Blade Runner-esque, with quaint cafes and well-dressed robots littering the skyscraper-filled streets. Neo-Paris is a sight to behold and really makes this a believable dystopian world. It’s a shame that the game’s linear design and lackluster combat left a lot to be desired, but the fun parkour mechanics and unique narrative make this world worth exploring.
3/10 Bioshock: Infinite – Burial At Sea DLC
Paris plays an important role throughout the events of Bioshock: Infinite, as Elizabeth’s obsession with the city was fueled by the Parisian fashion, art, literature, and architecture around her as she was held captive in her tower.
In Infinite’s Burial At Sea DLC, Elizabeth’s infatuation with the city is fully explored, as you find yourself in her idealized and rose-tinted dream version of Paris. You’ll stumble across famous French artists and patrons painting the Eiffel Tower along the scenic River Seine, before passing delightful eateries and a charming little bookstore. The colors are beautiful and vibrant, although things soon turn nightmarish as the city grows ever darker and more sinister.
2/10 The saboteur
Paris in The Saboteur is set in a World War II version of the city occupied by Nazi Germany, which itself is in a black and white color scheme. Apart from the dominant deep red of the Nazi flags or the blood spilled during combat, the game is completely devoid of color or life. You have the ability to restore color to each district after liberating it from Nazi control.
Paris is large and faithfully recreated, with all the famous landmarks you’d expect. Witnessing Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe under the Nazi regime can be a little disturbing, but it gives the player even more motivation to take back power and take back control of the beloved city.
1/10 Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Assassin’s Creed: Unity was the series’ last “traditional” Creed game that had all the close rooftops to climb and jump between you could want. The game’s sprawling and tightly packed version of late 18th century Paris is lovingly recreated at a staggeringly impressive scale of nearly 1:1, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
It’s all here – the gritty and bloody depiction of the worst days of the French Revolution, some wonderfully crafted and faithful recreations of Paris’ most beloved landmarks, and a completely revamped parkour system that sees protagonist Arno eject and run with the wall . best of them. There’s even a mission where you climb the Eiffel Tower in war-torn Paris in 1944, with a fighter jet firing heavy machine guns at you. The game may not have had it all, but it was certainly very close.
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