4 quintessentially British games to play on the Queen’s birthday
It’s the Queen’s birthday - which, to us, presents a great opportunity to explore the best of British video games.
Order yourself a Victoria sponge... it’s the Queen’s official birthday!
Forza Horizon 4
We just had to kick off this list with one of the biggest games of 2018. For those of you who’ve been living in Siberia, Forza Horizon 4 is an open world racing video game set in beautiful Blighty. Zip through the historical streets of Edinburgh, the rolling hills of Devonshire and more in over 450 licensed cars to your favourite tunes.
Life behind the wheel never gets boring, either. All four seasons are beautifully represented in this game, so you can experience driving in every condition - from snow and thunder to sunshine and rain (lots and lots of rain... it is Britain, after all) - while enjoying the changing landscape. You haven’t really experienced Derwentwater until it has frozen over in winter, and you can skate across the ice in your gorgeous Mini (feeling like a badass).
It couldn’t be a better time to rev your engines, either. The team behind Forza 4 recently announced some amazing updates, including new reward cars such as the 2018 Apollo Intensa Emozione. Don’t miss out.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
If you ever wanted to mingle with Charles Dickens over a pint (who hasn’t?), now’s your chance. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the ninth awesome instalment in the Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft takes you to the heart of Victorian London - where flat caps and fisticuffs reigned supreme. Between each iconic London landmark you’ll find smoky chimneys, corgis, cobbled streets, quaint pubs with names like the Duke of York and penny-farthings (possibly the worst bikes ever made), combining to give this game extreme British vibes… made all the stronger by its famous characters. With the likes of Alexander Graham Bell, Queen Vic and (spoiler alert) Winston Churchill (if you make it to the game’s secret World War 1 mode) all making an appearance, the only thing that could make this game more British is if you played it while hooked up to a tea-filled IV. Tip top, old chum.
This game might be a little too creepy for Queen Liz’s taste, but we certainly don’t think it (blood)sucks. Vampyr follows doctor-turned-vampire Jonathan Reid as he swings between his conscience and supernatural need to gorge on people’s blood (#undeadproblems) - a split that requires you to keep your cover as a doctor intact while investigating the sixty patients under your care, determining who to kill.
True to Dontnod Entertainment’s other choice-and-consequence style games, such as Life is Strange, whatever you choose to do will have an impact. For instance, if you kill a lot of innocent civilians and become “full evil”, there’ll be a price to pay… and if you choose not to kill anyone, you’ll cut yourself off from levelling up, and will have to say goodbye to your dreams of becoming a cool British Dracula. Quite the pickle, right?
As for the game’s UK elements, there are several. Set in London after World War 1, Vampyr is packed with brilliant examples of early 1900s gothic architecture, along with fashion and costumes from the era and some excellent voice acting, delivered in an array of British accents. It’s bloody cool stuff.
GTA London 1969
It may be 20 years old, but GTA London 1969 is still one of the best expansions ever (and was actually so good that it got its own expansion pack, London 1961). While the “London” it portrays is hardly an honest reflection of the real thing - you’ll likely only recognise Big Ben as you thunder through the narrow streets - this is easily forgiven, thanks to the amazingly British puns, characters and dialogue that this game is stuffed with. Pick up jobs from red telephone boxes, get involved with a footie team and drive anything from a double decker bus to a black taxi cab - and even a sports car called the “James Bomb” - as you battle to become London’s biggest gangster, knocking the infamous Crisp Brothers from their criminal throne. Nice.
Honorary mention: Watch Dogs Legion
While we don’t know much about this upcoming title yet (we’ll learn more at E3, according to this tweet), we do know that it’s based in London... and that you’ll be able to play as any NPC. It sounds ambitious - but if we know one thing for certain, it’s that this game will definitely deliver on the setting, if it’s anything like its beautifully-crafted predecessors. Over to you, Ubisoft.