Spain is a rich and diverse place, backed by a long history of artistic and cultural movements spanning hundreds of years. It is not surprising that numerous studios have used our country as inspiration to develop great titles.
And although clichés may be commonplace, Spain has become an element to be highlighted in many video games throughout history. Today, we will take a look at some of the most curious titles that have used our country as a backdrop.
Resident Evil 4
We could not start this list in any other way. Resident Evil 4 (the original from 2005) takes place in a small Spanish town still dominated by chickens and pesetas. Leon S. Kennedy returns 6 years after the events of Resident Evil 2. Our mission is to rescue Ashley, the daughter of the President of the United States (I’m sure many of you have fond memories of her).
The truth is that despite the strange “Spanish accent”, Shinji Mikami (director of the title) and his team went to great lengths to recreate Spain to the letter. To do so, the guys from Capcom organized a trip to our country to document and photograph everything that could inspire them: rocks, sculptures, landscapes, etc. In fact, it is said that Galicia was the reference place to create the atmosphere we know so well. In a few days, we will have Leon and company back in Resident Evil 4 Remake, a game that many point out as one of the best of the saga.
We can’t talk about Spain in videogames without mentioning Blasphemous. This metroidvania, developed by the Sevillian studio The Game Kitchen, does an excellent job in representing the purest Andalusian folklore. In this adventure we have to put on the Penitent’s sambenito and face all kinds of creatures, each one more churrigueresque than the last. During the game, we will see recreations of the Mosque of Cordoba or even the Triana Bridge in Seville.
The idiosyncrasy of Blasphemous is based on Andalusia, its customs and its way of understanding the Christian religion (specifically, the Holy Week). Few times in the history of video games have we experienced a cultural representation made with such care and affection as the one seen in Blasphemous. We will also see glimpses of Spanish artists such as Goya, Zurbarán, Velázquez or José de Ribera in the final bosses, scenarios and much more. A true delight for the eyes coated in pixels.
Vin Diesel and Barcelona together in a video game? Well yes, it happened and it was called wheelman. Fans of GTA and the most popcorn action movies had here the apparently perfect conjunction. From the hand of Milo Burik (played by the good Vin Diesel) we will be driving wildly through the streets of Barcelona and destroying everything in our path. And it is that, why do you want more?
We are a secret agent that comes from Miami and our goal is to end the “Catalan underworld”. As you can guess, the approach is simpler than a botijo: we will have to complete missions and solve problems with a clean smack. It is true that most of the time we will spend it in the car, but from time to time it will be time to go out and take the gun for a walk. Do not expect a super reliable recreation of Barcelona, although we will see the most representative monuments, such as the Sagrada Familia. wheelman does not get rid of perpetuating the most daring clichés (the bullfights and flamenco could not be missing) but we forgive him for being more than a decade old.
Nothing is true, everything is allowed. The Assassin’s Creed saga has passed through many countries and of course, Spain could not be missed. Specifically, there have been two times that we have visited our country and it could not be with other than with Ezio Auditore, the assassin of Firenze. The first was during Assassin’s Creed: The Brotherhood, where we traveled to Navarra to participate in the siege of Viana (a military confrontation between the Kingdom of Navarra and the County of Lerin). However, there was a game that not many know of the Assassin’s saga that takes place entirely in Spain: Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery.
The reason it is not as well known as its big brothers is that it was released exclusively for Nintendo DS and iPhone. During the game, Ezio travels to Zaragoza, Barcelona and Granada to confront Tomas de Torquemada and the rest of the Templars. Although if we talk about Spain and Assassin’s Creed, it is a sine qua non condition to claim the infamous movie starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Cities like Granada and Seville make an appearance and at least we have to recognize one thing: in past representations, the actors spoke in Spanish (original version included).
Along with Resident Evil 4 Remake, Pokémon Purple and Scarlet is one of the most recent games with Spain as a backdrop. After many years of waiting, something we did not expect to see happened: a Pokémon game whose territory was based in Spain. And the fact is that the title is brimming with patriotic references on all four sides.
In the gastronomy section, we will find nothing less than ham sandwiches and paellas, for example. Names such as Sendero de Cahíz or Sierra Napada also allude to Spanish cities. And not only that: Pokémons such as Smoliv or Lechonk are reminiscent in their design of olives and Iberian pork, for example.