Visions of Paris's Notre-Dame: the French cathedral in games

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019

Aviary Attorney is derived from the work of French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville. — AFP Relaxnews

Though the famous Paris cathedral is closed for now after being severely damaged in an April 2019 fire, Notre-Dame's roof remains atop its nave in these five visions of the iconic French monument, from the meticulous recreation of action adventure Assassin's Creed Unity to the 19th century satirical art of bird-lawyering mystery Aviary Attorney.

Assassin's Creed Unity
For PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Set in late 1700s Paris and its surrounds at a time when revolution was sweeping through the city, and the Cathedral itself was the site of protest against the old ways of life – then rededicated for new religions worshipping Reason and then a non-specific Supreme Being – a version of Notre-Dame de Paris was recreated in meticulous detail inside and out.

Eagle Flight
For PlayStation VR and VR on PC

From the same publisher and studio network as Assassin's Creed, Eagle Flight reimagined Paris without humans, tremendously overgrown and home to all sorts of creatures, including giraffes, zebras, and other zoo escapees.

For PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC

Added as part of a February 2019 update and blending traditional architecture, sci-fi motifs, and a future-deco aesthetic throughout, the Paris map for team action game Overwatch features several working pianos throughout while the Notre-Dame cathedral, like the game's extended Eiffel Tower, appears just beyond the bounds of play.

Kingdom Hearts 3D
For PlayStation 4, Nintendo DS

It was Victor Hugo's story of Esmerelda and Quasimodo, The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame," that helped persuade a 19th century audience of Notre-Dame's architectural merits, in turn driving tourists – and restorationists – to the building. Disney's retelling of the classic tale in turn becomes part of this action adventure, available for Nintendo DS as Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and within the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 collection on PlayStation 4.

Aviary Attorney
For Mac and Windows PC

Meeting a wolfish friar within the confines of an 1840s Notre-Dame then too in need of repairs is just one of the bizarre pleasures of this evidence-gathering jaunt among the high and mighty of historical, anthropomorphic Paris. Derived from the work of French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville. – AFP Relaxnews

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