No More Heroes
The Californian desert town of Santa Destroy evokes a surreal, isolated atmosphere. Despite being quite a large town (complete with its own baseball stadium), the streets and shops are relatively devoid of life, with only a few vehicles and pedestrians milling around outside. The lack of a soundtrack whilst running about on foot only adds to the quiet of the place.
However, it’s not so lonely that it’s completely depressing. You meet a small cast of strange, yet likeable characters – from the eccentric karate mentor in the local gym, to the weapons technician out in an empty warehouse on the north side of town. No doubt, part of the reason the outside town is so dead is because of hardware limitations imposed by the Wii itself – lacking the grunt of other consoles, it could only render so many NPCs. And yet, it doesn’t feel as though it is to the detriment of the game at all.
In fact, there’s something idyllic about the emptiness – from shopping in the store to the tune of the low, radio-filtered sound of “Heavenly Star”, to the peaceful melancholy of the scrub-filled field beside the silent motorway. The weather is always perfectly crisp – constant sunshine from a cerulean expanse above, filled with fluffy white clouds. Modest suburban homes lie dormant beside tidy lawns and palm-tree lined roads. Santa Destroy feels like a town without connection to a wider world, as though it exists in its own bizarre twilight zone, offering a warped take on American small town life that is truly unique.