City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

The Warriors emerge

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Rockstar announce a new slew of games, including the promised new version of Grand Theft Auto for the PSP. Also, with an eye perpetually trained on riling Middle England, their new game Bully. Any gossip on that?

Possibly more of interest – to me anyway – is the announcement that they are making a videogame version of the classic early 80s NYC movie, The Warriors, which I speculated about this time last year.

Looking back, I suggested that Rockstar now had an urban form it could ‘re-skin’ for numerous different games.

“Rockstar and others have virtually (pun intended) built the digital infrastructure to generate generic large city forms. All they have to do is drape a particular cultural fabric over it, and the architecture, clothes, music, adverts etc. all just fall into place” [Video Game Flâneur]

And looking at the screenshots on the currently basic Warriors promo site, it would seem that the mis-en-scene is indeed a remix of the dystopia fantasy devised for GTA and Manhunt.


As those games were in turn based on the imaginary cities conjured up by films like The Warriors, it’s no surprise we’re in this increasingly rich symbiotic swirl of fictional cities and histories. Leaving aside the ‘video game flaneur’ aspects, I’m intrigued to find out how good the game will be – whether it’ll capture the sense of ‘broken city’ so evident in the movie (and others of the same time, like Downtown 81, Escape from New York etc), the great sense of an ‘alien’ fashion and music emerging, and yes, the campness of the whole thing too 🙂

Either way, again Rockstar seem streets ahead in terms of building a platform for city-based gaming.

Rockstar: The Warriors


4 responses to “The Warriors emerge”

  1. Andrew Avatar

    “…trained on riling Middle England.”
    There’s a “Middle England”, just like there’s a “Middle America?” Which stands in for “people who tend to be easily offended by so-called ‘cultural values’ issues?” I did not know this.


  2. Dan Avatar

    Ah yes. It’s a term in common circulation here now, but this smart essay at The New Statesmen plays up its links to ‘Middle America’ and the slipperiness of its definition. (The “smart essay at the New Statesmen” has suddenly and mystifyingly reverted to pay-per-view – doh. Might work for you.) It has a go at a definition, in the context of the newspaper most closely identified with the term over here – the Daily Mail:

    “The Mail’s solution is to define Middle England by its opposites: “Islington Person”, “Cool Britannia”, “the chattering classes”. It avoids specific reference to troublesome issues such as class, money and power, which might reveal that the middle classes do not make up the whole of the country and are far from homogeneous anyway. Instead, it contrasts the blameless routine of Tesco and the school run with the modish lifestyle of metropolitan intellectuals, who spout off about the country’s problems at north London soirees. And it prefers nice, female newsreaders (Fiona Bruce, Natasha Kaplinsky) to smart-alec macho inquisitors from the west London mafia (Paxman, Humphrys). There is a clear resemblance to what Frank calls the “latte libel” – the automatic equation of American liberal politics with arrogant, elitist cultural tastes, such as a liking for coffee with a fancy foreign name.”

    In this context, you can see why Middle England might have had a problem with Manhuntas Alice points out. For the record, I loved Manhunt and spent months completing it. Infer from that what you will in terms of my association or not with Middle England 😉


  3. Simon Avatar

    I have a similar suggestion for the makers of the Getaway series: how about using the engine & London model for a game based on the Professionals TV show?
    Unfortunately there is no known way to contact Soho Studio by e-mail. Oh well…


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