video games toronto

5 video games that are set in Toronto

Most of us are used to seeing Toronto pop up in film and television, but what about video games? The city is home to several prolific game development studios, but on special occasions Toronto has also been a muse of sorts, with local and international developers inspired to set their games here.

From beat-em-ups to survival horror, here are five video games that are set in Toronto.

LOUD on Planet X
Loud on Planet X is a rhythm-based tower defense game where aliens crash a show at the Horseshoe Tavern and teleport musicians like Lights, July Talk, Tegan and Sara, and Shad to a distant planet. Players help the Canadian artists fight off droves of aliens with well timed button presses in sync with their music in order to make it back to Toronto to defeat the alien boss holding down the Horseshoe.

Actual Sunlight
Actual Sunlight is an emotional, narrative-driven indie experience that chronicles a man's struggle with depression, where the game's ultimate objective is to find a reason not to commit suicide. The game was developed by Toronto local Will O'Neil and has been described by Vice as "the most painfully real video game you'll ever play."

This Swedish-developed underwater horror game features a prologue chapter set around Bloor and Spadina as well as Queen's Park and U of T. If players at first miss the signage revealing Canadian protagonist Simon's address, a familiar chime on the subway coupled with an "Osgoode Station" stop will clue them in to the fact they're riding the TTC. There's also a well-placed shot of the CN Tower.

Far Cry: Blood Dragon
This is the most rad game on this list, though admittedly Toronto only appears for a brief moment in the opening cinematic. Montreal based developers Ubisoft must not have been able to resist feeding a superiority complex, as the game begins with a nuclear explosion behind the CN Tower that wipes out the city and ushers in a very '80s themed apocalypse.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Scott Pilgrim franchise loves tipping its hat to Toronto and retro video games, and Ubisoft's Scott Pilgrim highlights the city in Super Nintendo-esque, 16-bit glory. Players control either Scott, Kim, Stephen, or Ramona in a beat-em-up style side scroller with levels set across Queen Street West, Lee's Palace, Casa Loma, and more.

Writing by Corey Van den Hoogenband. Image from Actual Sunlight.

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