Looking at a random aerial shot of Dubai might lead you to think you're looking at a future New York. Or London. Or Hong Kong. But this place actually exists, newer than those places and more remote, too. The hyperreal city sits on the edge of the Arabian Desert, boasting skyscrapers and man-made islands unlike those found anywhere else. And, soon, if 2K Games and Yager Development get their way, it'll be the next memorable video game locale, the place where thousands of players will shoot their way through a story of what happens when society's rules crumble in a land of excess.
It's more than just the sand that makes Dubai the perfect setting for 2K Games' upcoming military shooter Spec Ops: The Line. Yes, the game's signature mechanic comes in the form of mounds of shifting granules that you can dump on top of enemies. But, in Dubai, the game developers get a locale tailor-made for the kind of action and story they want to present. The principality in the United Arab Emirates holds monuments to human excess that make Las Vegas seem tame in comparison. Lead designer Cory Davis says, "Dubai is the place where the most amazing architectural projects on the planet are happening."