We’re all resigned to the fact that, no matter what year it is, there will always be some people who think Singapore is in China. But enough of real life. What about in the fantastical world of video games, where plumbers can save the world and one goose can ruin lives?
In no particular order, here are some video games where Singapore is featured and what Singapore is like, in that particular universe.
Year Released: 2018
Studio: IO Interactive
Brief: The Hitman series has a strong following since the release of its first game in 2000. The objective is to eliminate human targets as stealthily as possible, to avoid suspicion. In 2007, Hitman the movie, which was partially shot in Singapore, was released.
What Singapore is like: In Hitman 2, Singapore is featured in the mission, The Pen and The Sword. In the Hitman universe, our major port is called Port Hantu and it’s where unsavoury characters from despotic regimes skulk and scheme.
One of the targets you must eliminate is Captain Re Thak, a member of dictator Jin Po’s posse called the Heavenly Guards.
Where to play: Steam on PC ($74.50), Xbox One, Playstation 4
Year Released: 2010
Studio: Avalanche Studios
Brief: You are a field operative of the Agency, a not-so-subtle approximation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). You’ve been sent out to Panau, which is in Southeast Asia, to effect regime change. To accomplish this, you must work with other groups vying for power in Panau, who also want to topple the government.
What Singapore is like: Although there is a mission involving a Singaporean reporter in the game, the star of the game, to Singaporeans at least, is no doubt leader of the Reapers, Bolo Santosi.
Don’t believe me? The Blogfather, Mr. Brown himself, wrote about her accent!
The voice actress behind Bolo Santosi was interviewed by the Straits Times in April 2010 and was revealed to be London-based Liz Sutherland, who is bi-racial.
Where to play: Steam on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Year Released: 2021
Studio: Neo Tegoel Games
Brief: It is said that life sucks and then you die.
In Gloom and Doom, the afterlife is just as bad, with contract work that is seemingly never-ending. Gloom, a wraith who’s been slaying demons for centuries, is no closer to fulfilling that quota that’ll let him hang up his scythe and head through the Pearly Gates.
Then there’s Wynona, a depressed student who works part-time at a video store, who’s convinced she’s going to doom the world.
What Singapore is like: This version of Singapore of firmly in the 1990s, when mobile phones were the size of bricks and everyone had a VCR machine. However, Gloom and Doom’s Singapore also features angels, demons and owl familiars.
Where to play: Steam on PC ($18.50)
Year Released: In development
Studio: Andrew Teo
Brief: Imagine a lofi Diablo-lite game that’s set in Singapore, where you can collect loot from Pontianaks and hungry ghosts after defeating them in combat. That’s Ghostlore in a nutshell.
What Singapore is like: Named Seaport in the game, creator Andrew Teo wanted to make a hack-n-slash type game which incorporates Southeast Asian folklore. Why should we battling harpies and minotaurs with halberds when we could be scaring enemies away with durians?
Ghostlore currently has a playable demo you can play in your web browser!
In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Singapore is where the Omega Ranch facility is located. It is where the H5N1 avian flu virus was accidentally released, which led to an outbreak that cost thousands of lives. As a result, there are many conspiracy theories associated with the facility.
In my opinion though, the real conspiracy is how an entire facility full of Singapore or Singapore-based scientists contains zero cups of bubble tea or instant Indomie.
How can like that?
What about Singapore do you think should be more heavily featured in video games? Tell us on our Facebook page.