History, art and culture
Dom Bewley

Video Games Set In London

In the run-up to EGX, London’s premier gaming expo, we’re shining a light on some of the wide and wonderful gaming experiences in, around, or about London. Ah, London. We come for your iconic landmarks, exciting multiculturalism, and amazing nightlife. We stay despite your preposterous rent, mouse invaders, and suspiciously absent red phone boxes. However, for some housed far over the other side of the world, London is out of reach... for now. To celebrate EGX, we've put together a list of video games set in London. What better way to experience it in all its glory than in the fantasy of a simulation? Now shut your curtains, because we wouldn’t want screen glare spoiling the fun.

Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance features a rather grim retelling of the 20th Century to go with its London backdrop. In the early 1900s, an alien race called the Chimera have invaded Russia and assimilated its population. By 1949, the whole of Europe is under their control, and their next target is none other than our fair capital. They burrow under the channel and conquer much of the country, until the US sends a task force to fight back. As one of said task force, you run around generally shooting aliens, all while admiring iconic London landmarks like ‘generic British train station’, and ‘probably Leicester Square if you’ve never been’. It’s pretty good. Number of red telephone boxes you can expect to see: more than one (if they’re not blown up) https://www.instagram.com/p/B0LinF5nSXi/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The Order: 1886

Another of the many video games set in London is beautiful, if a little short on content. It’s called The Order: 1886, and it sees you play as Galahad. Yes, that Galahad from the King Arthur legend. In this universe, the Knights of the Round table are real, and have been alive for centuries thanks to some weird dirty water they drink. They also fight poor, innocent werewolves. You’ll scale an airship over Westminster, blow up explosive barrels in Victorian streets, and take on the city's inhabitants. Sadly, it's over just as it gets going, with no sequel in sight. But hey, if you want an altogether more leisurely jaunt along the Thames, why not try a Thames River Cruise? Number of innocent werewolves murdered: several

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969

Back before GTA hit the big time with its third outing, it was a somewhat more humble affair. Back in the Nineties, realistic 3D models were still being perfected in movies let alone video games, so we had to settle for a top-down, 2D view of London for Grand Theft Auto: London 1969. As you'd expect, the game takes place in our capital at the climax of the swinging sixties, with your character driving around in crudely modeled sprites of period vehicles, taking on the city. The GTA series has come a long way since then, with its fifth installment currently the most profitable entertainment product of all time. These older games have not aged well at all, even if there is a quaint quality to all the mass murder. Number of bellbottom trousers you’ll see: too many (if you squint)

Nightmare Creatures

What sort of list would be complete without an obscure reference to a 20-year-old video game set in London? A terrible one. But this list is brilliant. Introducing Nightmare Creatures, a historically accurate retelling of London’s dark past, the game opens with Samuel Pepys causing the Great Fire of London by burning a lab full of monstrous human experiments. We didn’t know this either, but after digging through a few history books we actually discovered it to be definitely true. Then in 1834, occult expert Ignatius Blackwood (really) receives Pepys’ diary, and decides to take his daughter to London to take on said monstrous human experiments. Terrible parenting. The game itself involves a lot of swinging weapons wildly in the direction of blocky enemy monsters. There's some fog too. Very authentic. Number of terrible parents in this game: one

The Getaway

On the coat-tails of GTA’s revolution from 2D to 3D comes London’s very own third-person extravaganza. The Getaway is what would happen if a Guy Ritchie movie had a fight with another Guy Ritchie movie. Expect to drive around central London, completing missions as both a vengeful criminal and a disgraced policeman. There are definitely better ways of seeing the sights yourself. We recommend you instead try a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Number of times cockney rhyming slang used: too many to count

Watchdogs: Legion

Set to release next Spring, the next installment of the GTA-esque hacker game takes place in a near-future, dystopian London. The government has all but abandoned the capital, and you must rise up and reclaim the city from the private militaries and crime syndicates that have taken over. As the game takes place in one of the most surveillance-heavy cities on the planet, expect countless opportunities to hack phones, drones, and mobile homes. The nifty new feature being touted for this installment is to effectively recruit and control any and every citizen you find wandering around. Yes, even retired spy grannies. Number of average Joe's hired to your cause: all of them

Those are some video games set in London. But if you want to see the sights IRL, point and click here.

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