3 British Games That We Totally Loved

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3 British Games That We Totally Loved

Sometimes, in the world of gaming, little old Britain is overlooked. True, we're just a small island that some other larger countries around the world would describe as "somewhere in Europe" while jabbing at Germany on the map. But we've had our fair share of gaming glory, innovations and successes too. There are so many great British games to choose from, so if you don't see your favorites here don't worry! We will be revisiting this topic in '3 More British Games That We Totally Loved' in the future. For now though, here are our top three picks:
 

 

Grand Theft Auto


Unfortunately many gamers do not recognize Grand Theft Auto as a title born and bred in Britain, or more specifically, Scotland. Grand Theft Auto was initially developed in 1995 (and subsequently released in 1997) by a development company called DMA Design, by David Jones.

What's funny is Grand Theft Auto actually began development as a game called Race and Chase. Despite the change in title to the Grand Theft Auto we know today, Race and Chase's content was close to the heart of the game it was soon to become.

In the official game design document produced by DMA Design way back in 1995, under the sub-heading of Action, the description of the gameplay is not a far cry from even the latest iterations in the GTA series.

"Players will be able to drive cars and possibly other vehicles such as boats, helicopters or lorries. Cars can be stolen, raced, collided, crashed (ramraiding?) and have to be navigated about a large map. It will also be possible for players to get out of their car and steal another one. This will mean controlling a vulnerable pedestrian for a short time. Trying to steal a car may result in a alarm being set off which will, of course, attract the police."
Following a string of buy-outs, in 1998, DMA was bought by Take-Two Interactive which later went on to become the Rockstar we know to be behind GTA today. Since its inception all the way back in 1995, Grand Theft Auto has gone on to smash records and fuel childhood nostalgia for 20 years.



 

TimeSplitters

This is a title very close to my heart, and one I will not allow to be forgotten. TimeSplitters is a series that began development in Nottingham, England, by a company called Free Radical Design. TimeSplitters was actually one of the forefathers of the fast paced multiplayer shooter that prioritized multiplayer over narrative. The characters were wacky and so were the weapons, with concepts and imagination fueled by the ex-Rare employees who made up the development team for its 2000 release for the Playstation 2.

Its sequel, TimeSplitters 2, began implementing an interesting and engaging narrative incorporating all the wacky and disturbing characters that Free Radical Design had thought up.  The success of the second title to the trilogy would also later go onto achieve the accolade of highest ranked shooter released for the Playstation 2. Some reviewers claim it is the best first person shooter they have played on the PS2 and metacritic ranks it as a 4.5 star title.

My favorite title of the trilogy was without a doubt the third installment, TimeSplitters 3: Future Perfect. TimeSplitters had evolved from a basic, narrative-less multiplayer arena shooter into something beautiful. The third iteration included a deep and rich narrative and a bolstered set of playable characters outside of the story mode (in excess of 150 characters to choose from.) The narrative ducked and dived its way through a variety of genres like the horror of the Mansion of Madness, the James Bond'esc thriller of the Khallos Express and the second world war in Scotland the Brave.

What saddens me the most is that TimeSplitters 4 ( a sequel to Future Perfect) was actually in-development when Free Radical was acquired by Crytek. Development for the title was indefinitely postponed with no word of development continuing since it was teased to be nearing release in 2011. The big boss at Crytek had previously stated that the development would continue if online petitions could prove the title would be worth the investment, however, I'm sad to say I think the fan base has long since dried up.

Despite my concerns, some loyalists have stayed strongly attached to the series such as the 100,000 Strong for TimeSplitters 4 Facebook page which currently sits at 49,440 members. Alongside a dedicated remnant fan base, a group of developers have been working on a fan produced TimeSplitters title. With the blessing of Free Radical the team have called it TimeSplitters: Rewind which they are saying the want to essentially be TimeSplitters 4.



 

Fable II


I'm deciding it was Fable II that rocked the most, out of the three titles in the trilogy, because Fable hadn't quite hit its stride in the first title and had hit its stride a little too hard in the direction of a cliff by its third. Headed by Peter Molyneux and Lionshead Studios from Guilford in Surrey, Fable would go on to become one of the U.K's most notable and popular video game series of all time.

Fable II was a perfect middle ground that hit the spot in just the right way, and ignited the imaginations of gamers the world over because of it. Fable was initially released in 2004 for the original Xbox system and was a great success and went on to become the top selling game of 2004, which paved the way for its legendary sequel.

Fable II had managed to so beautifully craft a rich and extensive world in which the player could so deeply interact it had me hooked when I first got my hands on it. You could interact with every character in the most sincere or most bizarre of ways, you could forge relationships and families, buy and rent out property and amass a fortune, the possibilities seemed endless. The most impressive feature to me at the time, was the way the character you played as morphed and changed in appearance based on you moral choices within the game, causing you to become either glowing and angelic or diseased and devil-like.

One of the most notable and endearing features of the title was the inclusion of voice work from some of the U.K's most talented and prominent actors and comedians such as Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Fry and Ron Glass (Firefly, Serenity).

Anything following Fable II I would like to refrain from mentioning. (Shudder)

What are some of your favorite British games? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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