The United Kingdom is a very special place indeed. Made up of a collection of countries each and wonderfully weird in their own way. And while America and Japan have had a lot more games set in them, the UK has been host to a number of awesome gaming experiences.
So grab yourself a brew, put on some Sex Pistols and enjoy this list of Awesome games set in the UK.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a Sci-Fi mystery thriller set in Shropshire England. The game perfectly encapsulates what it is like to grow up in a small English village. Everybody knows everybody else’s business, there’s drama and gossip galore, and even a good old pub to explore. The story is told through a series of memories which show what happened to the inhabitants of Yaughton. Everyone has seemingly disappeared in a instant. Cigarettes are mysteriously still burning and there’s a real feeling of unease throughout. And did I mention the game is bloody gorgeous. The rolling hills, cobbled streets and church spires all draw you in with their attention to detail. In terms of an accurate depiction of an English village, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is as good as it gets.
Inspired by Guy Ritchie movies and truly revelling in its London setting, The Getaway tells the story of an ex bank robber who must comply with a gang leader to get his son Alex back. The game features a great depiction of London, whiny police sirens and all. London is undoubtedly a great setting for video games and The Getaway proved it.
Assassins Creed Syndicate
2015 was a hard time to be an Assassins Creed fan. The last game in the series, Assassins Creed Unity was disappointing to say the least. The game was near unplayable on release and despite the beautifully rendered city of Paris, it just kind of fell flat. So when Ubisoft announced that the series would be heading for London, it was easy to be apprehensive. What followed though was a brilliantly fun game set in a living-breathing version of Victorian-era London. The game perfectly portrayed the grime and squalor of London at the time, but also showed the heart and attitude that the city has always embodied. Assassins Creed Syndicate is set at the tail-end of the industrial revolution, and features steam trains, factories and even the likes of Dickens, Arthur Conan-Doyle and Jack the Ripper.
Resistance: Fall of Man
Containing missions set in Cheshire, Manchester and Grimsby, Resistance: Fall of Man tells the story of an alien race invading Europe. The insect-like Chimera made for worthy opponents, and as a result all of Europe has fallen by the time the game even starts. Set in an alternate reality 1951, the game features variants of authentic weaponry of the time. Insomniac combined this with their trademark sense of imaginative firepower to create a versatile and unique arsenal to play with. I can’t be the only one eagerly awaiting another entry in this excellent franchise.
We Happy Few
Set in the fictional English Village of Wellington Wells, We Happy Few imagines a dystopian alternate history of World War 2. Blending elements of classic 60’s style with futuristic and Orwellian themes, We Happy Few is a drug filled indie survival horror. The player must escape the inhabitants of Wellington Wells who, high on hallucinogens, are trying to kill them for being a “Downer”. The game oozes charm and is inspired by Monty Python, Nineteen Eighty-Four, A Clockwork Orange and Doctor Who to name a few.
So in the process of making this list I have come to the conclusion that there are a criminally low number of games set in the UK. Like seriously, how are there this few? But, in the oh-so-British spirit of carrying on with a stiff upper lip I am going to list a few more games which explore the UK, just to a somewhat lesser extent.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Sure, Uncharted 3 contains that brilliant opening sequence in a London pub, but it’s Uncharted 4′s level set in a ruined Scottish cathedral that takes the biscuit. And besides, Scotland probably won’t be part of the UK for much longer so let’s celebrate while we still can. The level begins in a beautiful Scottish field littered with pink and lilac wildflowers. The wind is blowing, you can feel the cold as the snow crunches beneath Drake’s feet, it’s in a word, stunning. The level goes on to show towering cliff faces, crumbling ruins and other beautiful Scottish scenery.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
The 2012 Olympic games certainly shined a light (or Torch) on the city of London. Nintendo and SEGA Japan decided to get in on the hype by crossing over their two biggest mascots for this fun party game. While disappointing that the first meet up of Mario and Sonic happens in a sports game, seeing the characters interact was great nonetheless.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Told you I’ve run out of ideas, so here’s one purely for the nostalgia. Of course I could have picked any of the Harry Potter games but to me, it’s the first one which holds a place in my heart. Frustratingly difficult and obscenely ugly by today’s standards, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (That’s right my American friends, PHILOSOPHER’S) was at the very least a very fun game and a great portrayal of the Hogwarts castle. And it gave us something the films never did, Peeves!
So there we have it, a somewhat-definitive list of awesome games set in the UK. If I have made any glaring omissions, and I’m sure I have, let me know in the comments.
Honourable mentions go to:
- Mass Effect 3
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- Colin McRae Dirt
- Tomb Raider 3
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1969