The primary setting of this game is London, recreated in four distinctive divisions of North, East, South and West. Though not depicted entirely true to life each area would have its own distinctive aura and instil different feelings inside of you every time you pass through a neighbourhood. The City and landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are accurately parodied in game.
A main difference in this depiction of London is that it is not modern day and it is set in a period where Canary Wharf was still the shut down docklands. The Docklands are closed and non functioning but serve as one of the major areas of the game due to conflicts over their redevelopment being a main plot point and the player subsequently having to seize control of the land as a part of building their empire.
The map of London is backed to the North by countryside in the form of a mainly rural depiction of Essex. The countryside will host several villages and large, luxury estates where the rich East End gangsters go to live when they’ve made it. This is a stark contrast to London, where instead of barrelling down crowded, gridlocked streets you can bomb through scenic B Roads at speed. Motorways also serve as connecting points, as do rail lines.
The depiction of Southend serves as the tackier, cheesy parody of 1980’s Essex. The pier, amusement arcades and casinos are backed up by a strip of nightclubs that the player will eventually fight for control of. Also featured is the Cliffs Pavilion, where the protagonist will find themselves profiting from security arrangements. In the game, it is generally considered a shadier, third world Las Venturas.
A smaller area of countryside borders London to the south, along with coastal areas. A high security psychiatric hospital based on Broadmoor will be prominently featured in game.Update 04/12/2010
As suggested by brownbear and Max.
, sometimes known as London-by-the-sea, is along with Southend
one of two seaside resorts that feature in the game, both in different ends of the map. It serves as a relatively tranquil area devoid of much visible crime with the only gangs operating here being small timers or organized figures that operate in the shadows. It is however full of holidaymakers and Brighton's beaches are often packed out with day trippers even during the variable Spring-Summer setting that the game takes place in. Brighton is a favourite destination of Mod Revivalists whom along with Skinheads often clash with rival Rocker and Teddy Boy revivalists.
Brighton will become prominent during the latter stages of the game when the player has control of an empire. Being one of England's premier party spots, Ray will have an involvement in competing for control of much of the lucrative security aspects involved in this trade that are provided to Concert Venues, Nightclubs and early beach/rave parties. Those that have control of these contracts will not be in a hurry to give them up.
Leisure activities include the Speed Trials
, of which the player can race in, the race track where the player can stake bets on greyhounds/horses and rig races, boating activities at the Marina
and the Pier
, which has an Electric Railway
running the length of it for easy scaling.Why 1982?
Unlike the glitz and glamour of Vice City we saw in 1984 and 1986, this setting showcases the more dark and gritty side to the early 1980s. In Britain especially, the collapse of big industries such as coal mining formed the back bone of chronic unemployment and a general feeling of oppression by the government amongst the working classes. To contrast this, those who had money had unprecedented opportunities.
Racial tensions were also a big thing in this period with several large scale riots (London, Liverpool, Birmingham) taking place. The Metropolitan Police came under great scrutiny (see the Scarman Report) due to their methods and general brutality, and seemingly totally failing the new influx of ethnic minorities. Riots and protest will be featured in the game, and tensions will be visibly present.
A number of subcultures were present during this era, with revivals of the days of Mods & Rockers. The sheer variety of these would make for great parody and it would be commonplace for the player to witness conflicts between these groups or to find themselves amongst them at a nightclub or venue.
Criminally speaking, the 1980s were the era of foreign gangs becoming prominent in London and taking footholds for themselves. This allows for a diverse storyline and crime groups from a wealth of backgrounds. It was also during these times that drugs became ‘big’ amongst British criminals and the rise of this phenomenon will be witnessed from the eyes of an ‘old school’ gangster who must adapt.• Assets and Businesses
As an experienced racketeer, Ray's first steps in a position of power are to set himself up with fronts and rackets. These businesses, once purchased, can be upgraded with further assets, in turn earning Ray more money from his exploits. Completing the mission strands for each business will unlock new side missions and provide Ray with a number of rewards.• Black Market
Functioning parallel to traditional means of acquiring possessions in the game, the allure of the Black Market allows Ray to purchase goods he would not otherwise find or encounter in his location, whilst also allowing for him to profit by participating in the trade of illegal merchandise that has somehow found it’s way into his hands.Items that can be bought on the Black Market: Clothes, Electronics, Vehicles, Weapons• Car Modification
Upon completion of the Chop Shop asset, Ray is able to modify his current vehicle. In addition to the standard colour change, Ray can upgrade the performance of his vehicle, install a car phone, have the sound system rewired and replace rims.• Clothing
Several clothing stores are available across the map, ranging in cheap clothes to designer suits.• Clobber - The favoured label of London's bouncers, Clobber specialise in bulky double breasted suits, trenchcoats and bomber jackets.• Didier Sachs - A trusted name through generations, Didier Sachs manufacture quality blazers, shirts and suit jackets at reasonable prices.
• Looney's of London - Founded in 1960, Looney's were at the forefront of cool during the swinging sixties and continue to tailor the finest formal wear to this day. Their bold, elaborate designs, coupled with expert knowledge, place Looney's as London's most trusted and respected tailors.
• Molineux - Worn by Boxers and sportsmen alike, Molineux have catered to the athletically inclined since the 1950s and supply a wide range of muscle shirts, t-shirts and tracksuits.
• Tatt - Tatt, the cheapest of all clothing stores, sell denim and woollen jackets. While an object of distaste to most, many a clothing gem can be found in their pound sales, from the odd tropical shirt to a battered brown leather coat.
• Van Hugendong's - Dutch designers Van Hugendong's set up shop on Savile Row more than twenty five years ago, providing the people of London - and as their girth for rich, contentential tailoring grew - Europe - with exquisite ballroom and upper class party dress. Van Hugendong's specialise in bow-tie suits and tuxedos, all with the signature price sting.• Drug Dealing
Ray will arrange deals with various drug barons and distribute the product through his assets and dealers on the streets. Dealers have statistics that can be viewed from Ray's headquarters, detailing how much gear they are able to push, the heat they are attracting from police and rival gangs, and will show the area Ray has assigned them to work. The more dealing a pusher does, the more experience they gain and the more proficient they become.• Extortion
To extort a shop owner, Ray must first entice the need for protection by smashing an item to pieces, attacking a customer or brandishing a weapon. Once Ray has the full attention of the man in charge, he can set forth his demands for a weekly piece of the earnings with a well-timed threat or through a greater display of aggression. Ray must then protect that business from rivals who will attack it. As well as extorting stores through flexing his own muscles, Ray can track and jump his rivals as they collect from their own protection rackets. Collection routes will appear tabbed on a menu in the gang HQ, and by mesmerizing the day a gang makes their collections on, Ray can attack them and steal their earnings for himself. • Fighting
As a street conditioned fighter with an amateur boxing background, Ray takes a quick and vicious approach to his own personal safety. His hand-to-hand arsenal includes the use of his elbows, headbutts, knock-out blows and mauling his enemies with his teeth, while favouring ducking and weaving as a means of countering enemy attacks. When it comes to intimidating and leaving an impression, Ray will pin and shake a victim until they give in to his demands.A full list of fighting controls, counters and moves can be found here• Girlfriends
Ray does not keep a girlfriend, and as such does not go on dates. Instead, women are approached in bars and clubs with Ray sweet talking his way into their knickers for no-frills sex. Alternatively, encounters of the red-blooded kind can be found with women wanting access to Ray's nightclubs, by attending car-key "swingers" parties in Essex, and through lonely hearts ad's placed in newsagents, though the legitimacy of the latter can be questionable.• Health
As a means of regaining health, Ray will visit various back street doctors who will fix him up for a fee. In addition to the spawn of health packs, these practitioners can be met across the map, and will replace the use of hospitals for treatment. Wounds, such as black eyes, stitched up gashes and re-set noses, will fade away over the course of two game days.• Hookers
In addition to picking up a tom from a street corner, Ray can pay a visit to one of various call girls in the seedy brothels of Soho, fronting up £200 for an hour alone. Such a session will restore his health to full.• Looting
After knocking down a pedestrian, Ray can opt to steal a distinctive item from the demobilized NPC as a means of taking a trophy for boosting his own reputation. This is done by simply keeping locked on to the downed ped and pressing LB/L1 - Ray will swipe an item such as jewellery or clothing and immediately wear it as his own. It will also be stored in his wardrobe for a later date.• Property & Safehouses
Safehouses can be purchased all over the map, varying in degrees of size, style and reclusiveness. Ray may want to purchase a small, grotty terrace in the East End for criminal activity, or a high-rise flat for storing his vast profits, while he may want to keep a luxury boat on the Thames with excellent views of the city or an exclusive penthouse suite as his personal home. Property must now be kitted out with furniture once purchased: Ray can purchase a variety of electronics from Feltz, Panoramic
outlets, or can alternatively pick up goods on the black market. Elaborate, tacky items for show, only serving to boost his ego and show his reputation, can also be bought by Ray - they will automatically spawn in the safehouse placed in an assigned location.• Rampages
Triggering a rampage, Ray will explode into an uncontrollable rage. Given a chaos meter, he will either be supplied with a weapon or be left to mount his own attack through melees and obtaining weapons from targets. The screen will darken around the edges, blocking out all but for that directly in front of you, and will more so fade inward as Ray locks onto a target. When a victim is killed, the darkness will explode into a momentary red hue, only fading when blackness once again centres on the target.Reward: Rage unlocked after twenty five rampages, making Ray temporarily immune to gunfire after the murder of several targets.
Having completed his National Service with the RAF, Ray is capable of piloting Planes and Helicopters.• Grey Market Imports
To further supplement his image, Ray can import vehicles to drive on the streets of Britain. Some of these vehicles may be left hand drive, while others will remain RHD. Some may be grey market specification, unlike their counterparts that appear in traffic – having increased performance and better handling. Cars can be bought in from a variety of places, from Asia to Europe and the USA.
Vehicles available to import from abroad are signalled with an * next to their name.
Weapons marked with an * are available to purchase from Screw It DIY outlets located all over the map.