Three days following the release of the PS4’s biggest game this year, a user on Imgur discovered a well-hidden “tribute” to the Twin Towers located within the game.
The apparent Easter egg appeared to be a static reflection of the Twin Towers, visible only on the northern facade of a glass office tower on the Lower West Side. Players could scale this building and see the reflection of the Towers.
One oddity was that the reflection was facing the wrong way. The World Trade Center (and subsequently the location of the original Twin Towers) is in Lower Manhattan, south of this location in-game. However, the reflections face north, the opposite direction of where the towers were.
In fact, an alternate version of One World Trade Center (colloquially known as the Freedom Tower) exists in-game, and is located in (approximately) the correct location (a few blocks south, across from the World Financial Center (Brookfield Place) would’ve been more ideal). When one scales the building showing the reflection, they get a clear view of One World Trade Center in-game, which shows that the reflection is clearly facing the wrong way.
This appeared to be a beautiful tribute in an epic game.
But of course, some things never have any intention. This was one of them.
It turns out that the “tribute” is not actually an Easter egg at all. It is simply a broken reflection of the building adjacent to the building showing the reflection.
The game uses pre-defined images as reflections, which are displayed on building windows and facades. This explains why most of the reflections aren’t accurate at all. A few days ago I was climbing the Empire State Building in-game, and saw a reflection of Midtown on the windows, which displayed… the Empire State Building. A reflection of a building on a building itself?
I kid you not.
When asked about this, Insomniac stated:
It’s not a tribute. Real time reflections would take up a lot of processing power so we use pre-defined images for each area. The “reflection” is actually the building you’re on, and the one next to it.
Insomniac declined to comment on why they haven’t fixed the problem yet, so it appears the cause may be a glitch in the game’s engine, which can’t be fixed.
Either way, a depressing debunk it is.
Chris is a writer and publisher who travels America, and loves doing it. He also loves pizza, video games, and sports, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow him on Medium to be informed of new articles.