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Childhood memories, GTA London
In the year 1999, March 31st Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 on PC (later released on PS1 on April 30th) which was a mission pack to the original Grand Theft Auto. Grand theft Auto: London would set Rockstar games on the track to success with the games that would follow after. This would be one of the first games I played as a child at the age of 6 when the internet was dial-up, to go online you’d have to listen to that awful buzzing noise whilst it connected to the phone line or disconnected when your mum spoke on the phone to your auntie for 3 hours.
Set in London, you were given missions via a Telephone box, your first mission would be “Boys will be thieves” and at the start of this mission you’d jump into the appropriately named vehicle ‘Myni‘ then proceed to drop of a ‘Mod Scooter‘ to your objective. My main memories of this game were like many of my GTA memories and that was not doing the missions but just driving around and causing chaos. Back then it was like graphics were never going to get any better and that the dodgy looking scenes were more realistic than life itself.
(A very accurate representation of the graphics, wow)
Like any other Grant Theft Auto title, you of course have a wanted level which was displayed at the top of the screen as one or more chattering policemen’s heads. You would also be able to hear information coming through over on the police radio to avoid getting yourself busted. Your weapon on this game was a simple firearm and was incredibly realistic looking (I was 6!) It was more effective than a modded combat shotgun on Fallout. That I’m not joking about, one shot kills without any modifications! Those were the days.
There was nothing more fun for me on this game than practicing my reverse parallel parking skills, squeezing myself into the smallest of spaces was what I called an hour gaming well spent.
Original GTA’s Successors
Seven months post GTA London Mission pack one and two on September 30th 1999, we were given GTA II set in the year 1999 but also suggested to be set in 2013. Retaining the original GTA and London aspects, the game was in top down view, open world and missions were still obtained by answering a telephone box. Split into three districts, you had to work your way through the levels helping different gangs but completing missions wasn’t necessary to advance to the next level, you just needed to gain enough points in the game. Differences in this game were pedestrians were no longer cosmetic and could interact with the vehicles and people around them. Side quests were introduced and collecting hidden packages.
Of course the graphics on this GTA were improved ever so slightly and in January 2008 GTA II was made available to download on Steam as part of a collection. The games successor GTA III was released 22 October 2001 which was the end of top down view GTA and would be the beginning of something beautiful as Vice City and San Andreas (My two all time favorite GTA games) would soon follow suit.
Thank you for reading part of our new weekly feature, Flash Back Friday. If you have any memories of games that make you feel all the nostalgia, drop us a comment.