Games of London: Five Games from the Big Smoke
Remember when I was on holiday last month and gave you an overview of some of the games I loved set in my holiday destination, New York?
Have you ever come home from holiday to realise you don't really explore the area you live in that much? I felt a bit guilty of that, and so have returned to London I took myself round a few of the museums located in the city, and thought I'd write this to share some of the best games made in The Big Smoke.
As ever with these lists, it's my opinion so if you don't agree, don't get Kings Cross, just leave your opinions in the comments. I'd love to hear from you guys if you've got a game you think is more Londony (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Londony).
The most accurate rendition of London in a videogame, The Getaway exploded onto the scene in 2002, an open-world gangster game that managed to capitalise on the success of the recent Grand Theft Auto 3 by giving us a distinctly British game.
The game was a near perfect recreation of the majority of Zone 1, with the map having only a couple of changes from the actual city at the time it was released, and it exists now as an interesting snapshot of the centre of the city. Years later, living near Kings Cross station, I appreciated how accurate it was when I could follow the route I cycled to work while in game, even if the limits of PS2-era hardware meant most of the buildings were just flat textures stuck on to a building shaped box.
The story was great too; you played an ex-con getting dragged back into the game by a gang boss and a member of the Met's infamous flying squad, with both characters having their own quirks. There's also a very British police force, with the police getting on your case if you speed or accidentally mount a curb.
It's a personal favourite of mine, and something I'm desperate to see get remastered and re-released.
Grand Theft Auto London: 1969
Grand Theft Auto has always done a good job of sending up American cities, and this jaunt to London from the series' 2D roots is no different, even despite its role as a semi-sequel to Grand Theft Auto which meant it used the same engine and thus saw London laid out with an American grid system.
You're a criminal, trying to make a quick buck in the capital as the swinging sixties die around you. The game is full to the brim of cockney gangsters, and familiar landmarks, even if the game's makers don't really know the difference between Mile End and Bank.
It's a version of London you can't help but chuckle at, as gangsters threaten to 'give you a slap', the words 'You're Nicked!' adorn the screen after you get arrested and convertibles painted with the British flag cruise the streets. It might not be the London you recognise, but it's a London you'll enjoy, even now.