Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series may, like SPOnG, fondly remember the London expansion pack for the original game, back in 1999. SPOnG is happy to report that the internet is awash with rumours today about the next GTA game also being set in London – based on some kind of fictional East End Gangster storyline.
According to an unnamed source on Joystiq earlier today, who claims to be an ‘employee of Rockstar North in Glasgow’ and, perhaps tellingly, is incapable of spelling: “the ‘3 Island’ system will be replaced by a new ‘North, East, South, West’ system, and the main character will be an ex-gangster starting off in the ‘rough-and-tumble east end of London.’ Unlocked regions are to include the North End, South End and West End, in order. The game is supposed to be about 60% finished, with the graphics and physics engines both completed. The focus is now mainly on the game's story component. The game is currently set to launch with the Playstation 3 in North America and Europe in Q4 2006. With about a year's work already done, the PlayStation 3's ‘fantastic graphical power’ should provide some better horsepower under the hood of the sandbox series.
SPOnG’s mind is awash with the possibilities for such as game – just, for example, think of the hilarious fun to be had with made up Cockernee Rhyming slang. Or think what a mid-to-late 90’s Britpop soundtrack would be like – Blur, Pulp, Oasis, The Verve and more. There’s no question that would rock, and help to sell mountains of games. Many of which could well find themselves stored in dodgy dockside warehouses in Limehouse by actual real-life East End gangsters.
We digress, but essentially we have to remain highly cynical of the above source. We have to dismiss the above rumour for two fairly obvious reasons. Firstly, because there are no such areas as the North End and the South End in London, and to refer to the city in this way shows some degree of ignorance of its actual geography. And secondly, because Rockstar North are based in Irvine Welsh’s beloved Leith. Which is in Edinburgh, not Glasgow.
But, even though we don’t believe the rumours, its not to say it’s a great, nay fantastic idea and it would certainly be nice to see Rockstar claim back London from Sony's far inferior crime-drivin' Getaway series.