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Grand Theft Auto: London 1961
Grand Theft Auto series
1961 – London 1961
1997 – Grand Theft Auto
1998 – Liberty City Stories
1999 – Grand Theft Auto 2
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 (official title Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #2: London 1961, often shortened to GTA London '61 or simply GTA London) is the third installment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
GTA: London 1961 is the second of the GTA London games which were two expansion packs to the original Grand Theft Auto game. GTA: London 1961 requires both the original game and the first expansion pack, Grand Theft Auto: London 1969, to be installed to play.
Just as the first mission pack did, London 1961 uses the same game engine as the original Grand Theft Auto 1 did. The game takes place in London, United Kingdom in 1961, eight years before the events of London 1969, acting as a prequel to that game's events. The mission pack as implied includes new missions, 22 new vehicles, one new cutscene, and a new multiplayer "Deathmatch" map based upon the UK city of Manchester.
While London 1969, is available for multiple systems, London 1961 is only available for PC, as downloadable freeware (a 7MB executable file). However, it requires the user to have both Grand Theft Auto 1, and GTA London 1969 (which itself requires GTA 1).
London 1961 is the least known game in the series, other than Grand Theft Auto Advance, simply because the game was not heavily promoted by Rockstar, is only available as a download, and does not feature prominently on the Rockstar Games website. The game relies upon word of mouth and internet discussion forums to become known to fans of the series.
Since it is a sequel/prequel to Grand Theft Auto: London 1969, 61 is virtually identical in gameplay to ther first expansion pack and therefore by extension similar to the gameplay of the original game also.
However GTA: London 1961 does have some notable new features, such as the first appearance of Drive-By Shooting in the GTA franchise; this can be activated in the form of a powerup in 61. The bomb-fitting garages of GTA 1 and London 1969 are replaced with the Armour Shoppe where your vehicle can be heavily armored and made much harder to destroy, also the first such appearance in the franchise. There is also the addition of a powerup which greatly increases car speed similar to nitro.
GTA: London 1961 also expanded on the multiplayer aspects in the GTA franchise from the original game and first expansion pack, including different forms of races, challenges and deathmatches. There is also an exclusive multiplayer map based on that of Manchester, another city in the United Kingdom.
The weapons in GTA: London 1961 are identical in function to GTA: London 1969 and therefore also very similar to the weapons in GTA 1. The 1960s-era looking HUD icons are retained from GTA: London 1969.
GTA: London 1961 also features 22 new vehicles that were added by the second expansion pack. These evidently included vehicle designs which were originally meant to be included in GTA: London 1969, since the real-life equivalent vehicles many of the 1961 vehicles are based on ones that did not exist in 1961 (but did exist in 1969); and therefore many of the new 1961 vehicles are anachronistic to the 1961 setting.
The soundtrack is identical to GTA: London 1969.
- GTA: London 1961, along with GTA London 1969, are the only games in the GTA series to have the same protagonists.
- GTA: London 1961, along with GTA London 1969, are the only games in the GTA series to be set outside the United States. It is also the only game to be set in a real location; the rest of the games in the series are set in fictitious cities based on real-life US cities, such as New York (Liberty City) and Miami (Vice City).
- GTA: London 1961 is also the GTA game to be set as the earliest chronologically.
- GTA: London 1961 has the first appearance in the franchise of being able to armor your vehicle, and also the first appearance of Drive-By Shooting.
- GTA: London 1961 was often noted for its difficulty compared to '69 and the original GTA, mostly due to the very tight time restrictions imposed on many missions.
- The GTA London games and Grand Theft Auto 2 are the only GTA games to use the GTA abbreviation on the front cover.
- Official website
- Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961 download (direct link to .exe) - This can be found on the official website by clicking on the black arrow flashing the word "free" near the bottom.