By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about how the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was partially destroyed by a fire on April 18, leaving the roof and spire of the 800 year old building in ruins.
Restoration efforts have already begun in earnest, with a number of wealthy citizens and companies – including Ubisoft – donating to the cause. Not all of us can donate a couple of million of course, but that hasn’t stopped people from showing their love of Notre Dame and Paris in their own way.
Over on GTA5-Mods, user GTA Belgium has decided to pay tribute to the cathedral by including a recreation of it in Grand Theft Auto V. If you can suspend your disbelief and simply accept the fact that a prime example of classical French architecture is sat in downtown Los Santos, it actually looks rather lovely.
GTA Belgium reasoned that plonking it in the middle of the city might have been a little much, so they opted to place it near the shops at south Vespucci Beach. Famously, Notre Dame isn’t surrounded by water, well, not that closely, but Belgium has done a nice job of blending it in and making it look as seamless as possible.
As far as digital recreations of Notre Dame go, it’s not quite up there with the version in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, but it’s a pretty impressive effort. Especially when you consider it was made by one gamer, whereas the Ubisoft take on the cathedral was an immense effort that took years of painstaking research.
The Assassin’s Creed: Unity version of Notre Dame was so detailed, in fact, that it was actually reported that Ubisoft would be lending its expertise to the real life restoration. A Ubi rep has since denied these claims, but the company still donated €500,000 and offered Unity for free, for good measure.
If you want to download the Grand Theft Auto V Notre Dame mod and have a poke around the historic building for yourself, just head here and follow the installation instructions.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.