Do you ever have those moments that you think you’re insane? Over the years, when I’ve seen people online talk about Grand Theft Auto and it’s location settings, I’ve seen people write things similar to “Oh I think London would be great!”, “They should do a GTA London”, “Grand Theft auto set in London would be amazing!” And I’m just sat here internally screaming… THEY ALREADY DID!!!!
Grand Theft Auto London was an expansion pack for, beleive it or not, Grand theft Auto. Released in the ‘Good ‘ol Days’ of 1997 on PC (1999 for us Playstation owners). It took the player to the heart of London in 1969 and changed up the familiar Americanisms of the original with British slang, such as being “Knicked” instead of “Busted” and swapped some of the car models and their names. A few notables include the ‘Royal Pain’ Tanks, the ‘Crapi’, and ofcourse the ‘James Bomb’ Aston lookalike. Overall a great little expansion.
Lean On Me
Keeping with the London style. Another game I enjoyed, slightly later (released in 2000 on the Playstation 2) was The Getaway. Much more serious than its GTA counter part, The Getaway was much more of a game trying to be a mob movie. Realistic graphics, for the time atleast, less arcadey vehicle controls and a cover shooting mechanic. It was a fun romp through some familiar London streets.
The game had an interesting healing mechanic, whereby you would need to stand by a wall and your character would then lean against it to regain their health. Great! Shame the demo didnt tell you that. I spent a lot of time getting killed and super frustrated. Never the less, I still brought the full game when it released and thoroughly enjoyed it. It spawned two sequals, “Black Monday” and the ingeniously named “The Getaway 3”. Both of which I now own, but have yet to play.
Fun fact, the original print had a British Telecom van which gets used in a mission where you kill a Police Officer. Obviously BT wern’t too pleased with that, so future copies we loaded with a version that had the vans textures changed. I wonder what the collectors value on the original would be, I have it, but I have never found an eBay listing stating which version they are selling is.
So, back to my original point. A London version of Grand Theft Auto exists, and hopefully its not the last. Who knows, with the recent announcement of GTA VI we might get to go back? Else I guess it’ll be another 10 years wait and we will all be posting more pictures of what we looked like 10 years ago.
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