Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 was released on May 1, 1999
. Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 was designed by Runecraft
and published by Rockstar
. While Grand Theft Auto
at creating a small fan base
, the game was largely criticized for having "NES graphics
Grand Theft Auto London was more of an add-on then a completely different game. This is also compounded by it being the first "upgrade" for a console game since Sonic and Knuckles lock-on technology. Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 for the Playstation required Grand Theft Auto's original disk to run, otherwise Grand Theft Auto: London was worthless.
The graphics of Grand Theft Auto: London can remind players of the old NES graphics. Most of the system was sprite based though they tend to use many more then the original NES cartridges could. The game was quite well made for a sprite based game but the Grand Theft Auto games were released at the same time as Final Fantasy VII was being released. The three dimensional gaming experience had begun and taken the Playstation with it.
The difference in graphics from the original Grand Theft Auto to the Grand Theft Auto: London is negligible. Most noticeable change is the buildings in the city. The town does give it a London feel to the game, though the graphics stay about the same.
The sound of the game was also unimproved. The people who talk sound like buzzing noise that barely sound like chatter. The sound of a gunshot though does sound right. The ambiance of the game is nice though does show the signs of aging.
The story of the game is that you are a man in England who needs to get a little money. The way you can achieve this is to rampage around town. There is also the ability to get mission and side missions to achieve the monetary goal. Basically the story is non-existant, nor needed.
The game play is the meat and potatoes of Grand Theft Auto series. The fact that the game is so open ended creates an almost perfect game play for the Playstation. To achieve the monetary goal players need to do random acts. Killing people gain players small amounts of money but slaying them is almost simple to do. To kill a cop gives ten times the amount of money but is more dangerous. The mission gives a larger amount of money but tend to be much harder. Missions also give bonus multiplier. The multiplier gives much more money for the same moves. Each mission that is complete can add another multiplier on in addition to the money won.
The game involves a few weapons. The player needs to use fists as well as pistols, machine guns, Uzis, and flamethrowers, and the almighty rocket launcher. There is also the tank that contains the canon. The tank can also be used as a weapon that drives over other cars.
The game includes many new cars as the time changes. Almost all the cars in the game are new from the original game. Some models are the same but the names have changed, other models are completely new cars.
There is also one zone implement instead of the three from the original game. The zone is larger then one of the original zones, but no where near the size of two. There is four missions in the game. The end size of the game is just shorter then the original game.
Finally the game play reflects London's speech. The game involves many references to London and its people. Limey, Blokes, and such words are used. In fact it becomes down right impossible to understand the game sometimes. One example of their speech is
"Just a bit pleased with yourself ain't ya and rightly so, rightly so. Your on your way to being a big face in this filthy cess-pit. You done me some favours, so I'm gonna do you a very big favour. You and me now, and the Crisp Twins are getting on a bit. In a couple of years I'll be taking over the whole bread-basket and if you've got that special somefink, you can too so stop loafing around and get back to work"
Though this game is set in London, it might have been nicer if they allowed the game to use a little more Americanized English, though overall the game does well on its own.
Overall this is a solid game that was built to add more playability on to Grand Theft Auto. The game was well built though slightly unsuccessful due to the graphics. Grand Theft Auto 2 fixed the problems with an all-new graphics engine, as did Grand Theft Auto III.
Interestingly enough Grand Theft Auto: London was released in Europe after almost two years in January 26, 2001 after multiple versions of Grand Theft Auto 2 had already hit the shores.