Leipzig: The real-life Half-Life 2

A strange thing happened when we arrived in Leipzig for this year's Games Convention. Having left the bright, shiny nucleus of the regenerated city centre for the slightly more distant locale of our hotel, the taxi was all at once filled with a shared change of atmosphere.

Where once there was game-fuelled excitement and lightly beered-up joviality, there was suddenly a feeling of quiet oppression and a nervous silence. Where previously we had leaned from the car windows to take in every new sight and sound, we found ourselves huddling closer to the middle of the vehicle, a new and unexplained paranoia flushing our senses. Something fundamental had changed in the nature of our surroundings, and we all knew it. It wasn't just the weariness of a long, cross-European journey playing with our minds. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.

And then it clicked, and in unison we exclaimed in shrill terror, "Holy shit, we're in City 17!".

And we were. We really, really were. We swear that Valve must have taken Leipzig as singular inspiration when designing Half-Life 2's Combine-controlled metropolis. It looks exactly like City 17. Take these photos as our evidence.

And not a single one of these photographs has been tampered with. Everything you see in them seriously went down. The gravity gun was a complimentary gift/self-preservation tool we found in our room after checking in. Pretty necessary in that neighbourhood, you see.

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  • Bonesqaw - October 22, 2010 6:15 p.m.

    Damn! that's accurate! I'd also say Prague of the Czeck Republic
  • zeldafanjohn - September 1, 2008 1:59 p.m.

  • barag - August 31, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    totaly NOT fake, this is how east germany looks like
  • londonjack - August 30, 2008 7:55 p.m.

    hey my apartment is in the first picture
  • Wave360 - August 29, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    I lold
  • Anbu204 - August 29, 2008 12:52 p.m.

    Lol yeah it does look like City 17 , Post Apocalyptic, Dark, Un-Photoshoped Combine and Strider's, ......Sucks to be German :)
  • KingofHearts - August 29, 2008 8:21 a.m.

    the 2nd to the last photo!! Classic!! lol!
  • VOODOOBG - August 29, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    you've got it all wrong, the game was built on pictures taken in Sofia, Bulgaria .Check it on the net if you want, and those pics are no were near to the real thing here in Sofia :)
  • SpikeDelight - August 29, 2008 3:49 a.m.

    This is pretty exact. It's not surprising that Adam Sessler asked Gabe Newell the same thing about City 17's inspirations in his Leipzig interview on X-Play. Well documented though, GamesRadar. Love the site and the new comments feature.
  • NintendoNerd655 - August 29, 2008 1:04 a.m.

    Where's my gravity gun?!?
  • Everything3vil - August 29, 2008 12:27 a.m.

    Those crazy germans, always up to something
  • Gotxxrock - August 29, 2008 12:16 a.m.

    All you need now is a superimposed photo of Dr. Breen on some billboard and everything would be perfect!!
  • Defguru7777 - August 29, 2008 12:01 a.m.

  • MRafrobear - August 28, 2008 11:48 p.m.

  • TheSuburbiaRuins - August 28, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    I lol'd. Good going.
  • Dinkymod - August 28, 2008 11:10 p.m.

    You guys just noticed this??
  • hud4567 - August 28, 2008 10:58 p.m.!!! but there totaly fake
  • cog114 - August 28, 2008 10:42 p.m.

    those pictures r totaly fake. u can cleary c that they edited in the buildings
  • CuddlyBomber - August 28, 2008 10:17 p.m.

    Those photos are OBVIOUSLY fake. Everyone knows the best tool of self defense is the crowbar. As if you would be caught dead in City 17 without a crowbar.
  • berober04 - August 28, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    Nice comparison, i have to admit.

Showing 1-20 of 43 comments

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