London, the former capital of western civilization, has always drawn the attention of various creative minds, who decided to set the action of their works in this cosmopolitan city.
Thanks to its rich history and melting pot (or a salad bowl) of cultures and lifestyles, London was a perfect location for various stories, some of them told through the medium of video games. Our list of video games set in London will present some of the titles that feature the capital city of England.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs series is known for its attention to detail when it comes to the setting. The latest installment, set in a near-future London, gives out both the 1984 and Assassin’s Creed vibes, blending the story of the hacktivist organization Dedsec fighting the oppressive authority with exploration meticulously recreated streets of the English capital.
The key gameplay feature of WD: London is that there is no one protagonist. The player chooses their initial character at the beginning of the game, but as new members of Dedsec are recruited, the player can switch to them at will. Each of the fellow Londoners has unique skills and equipment, often connected to their profession. Lawyers can bail out captured members, police officers carry weapons, and construction workers can use drones to access elevated areas. The player can use these skills to free oppressed London boroughs, leading to a city-wide uprising.
London’s gothic charm lends itself readily to the setting of a horror story. Vampyr – an action role-playing game from Dontnod Entertainment, is one of them. The player controls Jonathan E. Reid, a doctor-turned-vampire, who must compromise his code of ethics to stay alive as the bloodsucking monster.
The game features early 20th century London with all of its gloomy, Edwardian charm. The player can freely explore various neighborhoods of the city, including Whitechapel and West End. There the player will search for a cure to Jonathan’s affliction, fighting his monstrous urges to drink the blood of innocents. Depending on the player’s success with that, the game will offer them different endings.
Tomb Raider: Legend
The first game in the Legend trilogy sets Lara Croft on a search for her long-lost mother. During her quest, she finds out about Avalon, the mystical land from Arthurian legends, which can only be unlocked with Excalibur, the king’s sword. Throughout her search of the broken blade’s pieces, Lara will visit various locations, including the Bolivian jungle, Kazakh military base, and catacombs under London.
The latter location fits the topic of our text like a glove. The game allows the player to explore King Arthur’s Grave, a tourist attraction that hides the entrance to the actual tomb. The labyrinth of winding underground corridors and rat-infested sewers leads to the catacombs where a monstrous serpent guards a fragment of Excalibur. Defeating it and claiming the prize is worth the price of entry to a tourist trap tucked away among London alleyways.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Watch Dogs: Legion featured the contemporary version of London. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate takes the player about 150 years into the past, to the highly popular Victorian London. There as the Assassin siblings, Jacob and Evie Frye, the player will fight to free London from the hands of the Templar Order.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s London is a perfect setting for the series known for its focus on parkour-style exploration. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, using a grappling hook to cover longer distances, driving carriages on the cobblestone streets – these are just a few ways to explore the city, once again chock-full of content. From collecting beer bottles to participating in underground fights, Syndicate’s London has a lot to offer as a respite from the usual assassin business.
Before you start scratching your head, we hurry to explain. Yes, we know that FIFA 22 is a sports game, and yes, you can’t explore London in it. But it does feature various locations set in London, namely the eight magnificent stadiums you can play on.
Real-world London is home to several major FA Premier League teams and their stadiums. Some of them have been meticulously recreated in the latest installment of the FIFA series. The Gunners can enjoy the sights of their favorite team walking into the Emirates Stadium. The Spurs’ fans will witness Harry Kane’s fantastic goals on the home turf. And the legendary Wembley Stadium will welcome the most prestigious national teams. Even though the locations are limited to the football pitch, the unmistakable atmosphere of London is still there.
Gangs of London
|Developer:||Team Soho, London Studio|
Despite taking last place on our list, Gangs of London is probably the first one to show the melting pot of London’s criminal underground. In Grand Theft Auto, the player worked for the disembodied fixers, sending tasks via pager. In Watch Dogs: Legion, the state was the enemy. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the Victorian setting was riddled with Templar agents and the gang on their payroll. Gangs of London shows the true colors of London’s diverse criminal world.
In the game, the player can align themselves with one of the five criminal organizations ruling the city: the Russian mob, the Triads, the Jamaican Yardies, London-based Indian gang, and a firm led by a veteran Londoner crime boss. The player has to complete various tasks for their employer throughout the game, most of them very illegal. Aside from that, the player can also explore the city, take photos of its various landmarks and participate in pub-style minigames.
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969
The Grand Theft Auto series is mainly known for its fictional settings based on real-world American cities. The players of current-gen GTA games had a chance to visit the New York City-inspired Liberty City and Los Santos, an almost picture-perfect copy of Los Angeles. However, at the beginning of the series, the players could visit one real-world city. That city was London presented in GTA: London 1969 – an expansion to the first GTA game.
Due to the nature of these early GTA installments, the feel and tone of the city are mostly reduced to elements that can be shown from the top-down perspective. The gameplay mechanics are the same as in the main game – the player accepts missions sent to them by pager and is given a set of parameters to complete for the task to be successful. Driving around the city provides the player a chance to visit such neighborhoods as Chelsea, Westminster, Southwark, and Hyde Park and enjoy the wanton destruction and intense police chases.