It’s hard living in a city like New Orleans when the notion of going outside is taboo. Because of COVID-19, we’re all getting used to staying in, finding new ways to entertain ourselves. From
bored board games to crafting to bingeing shows that have been sitting in your Netflix queue for years, there’s always a desire to do something more … interactive. Well, ladies and gentlemen, Very Local New Orleans is here to help. If you’re itching to experience New Orleans, I’ve found some oldies and goodies by the way of 1s and 0s to help – yes, video games! No matter which video game system you are rocking in your quarantine fortress, here are some games for every system that you can buy RIGHT NOW.
Quick Note on ESRB Ratings: M for Mature, T for Teen, E for Everyone
The Adventures of Bayou Billy (Not Rated)
Let’s start in the heyday of video games: the Nintendo Entertainment System. This throwback game is an 8-bit rage-inducing frustration to play. But it’s easy to see New Orleans in all its pixelated glory. The final showdown is on Bourbon Street and the game is available on Amazon.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (Rated M)
Let’s jump to something more modern technologically. This game is set in 1765 New Orleans and part of the award-winning “Assassin’s Creed” series. The series is known for taking historical events and placing its own narrative of a secret war between Templars and Assassins in them. The game was originally released for the PlayStation Vita but has since been ported in bundles and remastered editions.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Rated M)
If you’ve played video games in the past few years, you’re very aware of the popular “Call of Duty” video game series. In this iteration, there’s a level in a downloadable pack called “Final Assault” which features a map of a war-torn French Quarter. In it, you can clearly see the Cabildo with tanks in front of it and smoke billowing into the skies from various roofs of the Vieux Carré.
The Crew 1 & 2 (Rated T)
This driving game is a fun experience to zoom past icons like the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a sports car when we can’t get drive around for leisure. It’s a crime caper much like “Fast and the Furious,” and the locations don’t always seem to be in the right place. But driving around this version of NOLA with friends is a great way to pass the time. If you subscribe to XBOX Live, then grab your squad and headsets, and just imagine you all cruising around the Crescent City with your own playlist. New Orleans is also featured in The Crew 2.
Left 4 Dead 2 (Rated M)
The empty streets of NOLA is enough to make it feel like the post-apocalyptic world of a zombie movie, but “Left 4 Dead 2” kicks off the game by actually placing you in one in the Crescent City. The first level, “The Parish,” is reminiscent of New Orleans and not a true layout of the city, but you’re going to be running from the rising-from-the-gutter brain-hungry beings that want you to be an organ donor so badly that you’ll just appreciate how quiet the streets are now. This one is also a multiplayer classic and you can have a lot of fun yelling at each other who gets to go first to scout out Jackson Square before the horde hits.
Mafia III (Rated M)
We’ve talked about New Orleans mafia beginnings in the past. “Mafia III” is a game that is akin to the sandbox style of gameplay from the Grand Theft Auto series. The story places you in 1968 “New Bordeaux,” which is clearly based on New Orleans. The graphics from this Xbox One, PS4 game hold up fairly well and it’s fun to simply drive down Canal Street and the French Quarter to all ends of the city. There are nine areas of this reimagined New Orleans to explore and it has an open-ended story so you can decide how fast you want to complete the game and the path you’d like to take.