Canada is rarely seen in the games. In most action games are often the U.S., and the brave American heroes, throwing cool phrases, arrange spectacular shootings. Canada is given the role of the third plan – most often it flickers in sports games such as NBA, MLB and NHL, or racing simulations, where there are two or three tracks in Canada. But there are projects that have tried to portray Canada in all its glory, so let’s look at the games that can be proud of all residents of the northern country.
Sang-Froid: A Tale of Werewolves
This is probably the most Canadian of all the existing video games, because there are French accents, plenty of checkered shirts and a truly Canadian werewolf. Sang-Froid, which, by the way, translates as “Cold Blood”, is a unique blend of “tower defense” and action-RPG genres, a bit reminiscent of Orcs Must Die series, though here the main emphasis is on setting traps and constantly changing positions.
The game is truly Canadian in its chosen location and style of storytelling – the story unfolds in 19th century Canada, and the heroes are the Druovosec brothers who live in a cold border town and regularly drink beer to replenish their energy. The story itself is inspired by Canadian folklore, written by Canadian Brian Perrault. Moreover, the game, like most of the things in Canada, is completely free, and that’s why it is definitely worth attention.
The Long Dark
When it comes to stereotypes associated with Canada, the residents of that country are usually presented as hockey players with donuts in their hands, or as ever-frozen Eskimos. The creators of The Long Dark like the latter better, so in this game we find ourselves in the snowy north of Canada, trying to survive against everything. Of all the survival projects in Steam’s early access mode, The Long Dark is one of the toughest and most thoughtful games in the genre, as there are several indicators that indicate that the hero is frozen, hungry or thirsty.
From the amount of calories consumed per day to the environment’s response to a blizzard, this game takes everything into account. Deep mechanics combine perfectly with a unique artistic style, which is why The Long Dark stands out within a genre that is already beginning to seem saturated. And although the conditions shown in the game are clearly exaggerated, anyone who has personally encountered the Canadian winter, will definitely be able to appreciate the project at its true value.
This is probably one of the most educational games, as well as a clear precursor to all future simulations of truckers. CrossCountry Canada is one of those rare projects, where the entertainment element is competently combined with a training element, besides, the game has practical benefits: if you are going to drive around Canada on a rented car, it is enough to drive along the chosen route in the virtual world to calculate how much fuel you will need.
As you move your goods around the country, stopping at destinations and counting goods, you improve your math and geography. And while the graphics in the game are hopelessly outdated, especially when compared to the Euro and American Truck Simulator series, local mechanics and attention to detail, even after two decades, can fascinate any gamer. And as with Sang-Froid, it is a completely free project, which you can play at any time in your browser. If your childhood was in Canada in the 90’s, it’s a great way to be nostalgic for your school days.
Of course, such a selection could not do without a hockey simulator, the only question was which one deserved the most space in this top. There were several contenders: Blades of Steel, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey, and the much-loved but timeless NHL 07 classic for SNES and Genesis consoles, NHL 94, won, as the fans of this game are still running the annual tournaments. The NHL 94 is remembered primarily for the fact that the mechanics that allow a player to hit a puck right after passing – a fairly common hockey technique used in real life and found in all subsequent games of the NHL.+ series.
NHL 94 had such a serious impact on the genre that in NHL 14, released exactly 20 years later, we saw a classic game emulation mode for everyone who didn’t find its release in the 90s. Many collectors still have cartridges with the SNES and Genesis versions of the game, and the Genesis version can be easily found as a browser game. No hockey fan should pass by such classics.
Call of Duty 3
Canada was actively involved in both world wars, but in video games on this topic no one usually remembers this fact. In Verdun, you can play for the Canadian side in the setting of World War I, but if it comes to demonstrating the real actions of the Canadian army in wartime, it comes to mind only a third of Call of Duty, because only here there is a full story campaign, telling about the 4th Canadian Armored Division, which participated in the operation to liberate Normandy.
We see the Canadian army so rarely in the games that it is a real pleasure to be part of an entire campaign dedicated to one of the most significant feats of Canadian soldiers. Of course it’s a pity we haven’t seen other important events like the famous Italian campaign during World War II, or the Battle of Vimi Ridge in 1917. The potential of war games is still not exhausted, so we hope that in the future we will be able to see on our screens other feats of the Canadian army.
Canada also appears in a number of other games: For example, Until Dawn, which is set in the province of Alberta, in South Park: Stick of Truth with its legendary Canadian level, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is partly set in Montreal, but there is no special emphasis on Canadian culture in these games. It’s not that Canada doesn’t stay away from gambling – after all, some big developers’ offices are located in this country – but it’s obviously lack of appearances in the games.