It is not necessary to play in contrasts on the scale of the global setting of the entire game. This technique also works well in a single location.
The action of this level takes place in a small town in the middle of the desert. At first glance nothing is interesting. But upon closer inspection, it turns out that the town is a real testing ground for testing a nuclear bomb. His fake houses with green lawns contrast with the sun-scorched desert very strongly, and plastic mannequins placed everywhere add a special charm to this place, making the level memorable and unusual. Another way to create an interesting and catchy contrast is to place something unusual in a normal environment. A visit to https://cakeboost.com makes the whole process perfect.
In Warcraft (the main character, traveling in Nepal, climbs onto the roof of the tallest building in the city. To make this place more memorable, the designers decided to place a pool on the roof of the hotel. In it you can swim and even listen to how the characters joke about the unusual location of the pool on the roof.
An example from the game exploring the streets of New York, one of the levels you can find the torn head of the Statue of Liberty. Faced with an unusual object for this place, the player immediately wonders how this part of the statue was here, thereby unknowingly remember this level.
An interesting landmark on the location will become a landmark of your level. This is another effective way to add a twist. Such a landmark can be a recognizable building like a TV tower, skyscraper, and lighthouse, a monumental structure like a statue, obelisk, dam, landscape element like a mountain, waterfall, Lake Etc. A landmark will also give your level a unique and memorable name.
Fallout: New Vegas (2010, Obsidian Entertainment)
The game takes place in the vicinity of the city of New Vegas, located in the Mojave Desert. The game world is a giant wasteland, scorched by a nuclear war, where you can visit dozens of interesting places. Traveling around the world of the game, we constantly see various sights on the horizon.
For example, in New Vegas itself, there is a tower that can be seen from almost anywhere in the desert. Each settlement necessarily uses some kind of landmark signs Welcome, billboards, monuments, concrete flyovers, ruins of buildings, landscape elements, etc. All this makes the location unique and memorable, and also allows you to display the history of this place in the gaming environment and form a story around it.
Many games use real-life places with famous sights as gaming locations. For example, in the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, 2011, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games there are levels where a player fights on the streets of New York, drives a car in the London Underground, blows up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, storms the ruins of modern Berlin, etc.
The action Spec Ops: The Line
It takes place in the city of Dubai, which was destroyed by a giant sandstorm and completely abandoned. The main features that characterize the metropolis came out quite recognizable modern architecture with luxurious interiors, traffic jams from elite supercars, jewelry stores with abandoned gold. All this is buried under a huge layer of sand, which was so covered in Dubai that the lower floors of some skyscrapers turned into dungeons.