Video Games Day: Five video games set in Ireland

Video Games Day: Five video games set in Ireland

TO mark Video Games Day on September 12, we've compiled a list of video games that are set in Ireland.

The video game has come a long way since 1950's Bertie the Brain — a 13ft computer that played Tic-Tac-Toe.

The industry began in earnest in the early 1970s with the advent of arcade games such as Computer Space.

Atari's Home Pong and the primitive Magnavox Odyssey then pioneered home video games later in the decade.

Despite the industry's crash in 1983, Shigeru Miyamoto's Italian plumber Mario helped make the 8-bit NES a success, paving the way for a market that is now valued at over $300m.

Here's our look at five video games set on the Emerald Isle.

Gaelic Games: Football

Given the success of soccer franchises such as FIFA and Pro Evo, a Gaelic football game probably seemed like a good idea.

With the Disapora playing Gaelic Games around the world, developers IR Gurus surely had the makings of a minor hit.

However despite strong sales, Gaelic Games: Football drew poor reviews, with its gameplay being compared unfavourably to other sports games on the PS2.

It looked basic, the commentary was repetitive and in a throwback to early soccer games, players weren't allocated names, just shirt numbers.

Plus points included the inclusion of the legendary Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, while the grounds were fairly recognisable.

A sequel followed, but gamers had obviously seen enough first time round and it flopped.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

The Broken Sword series is a personal favourite and many hours were spent on this point-and-click classic which launched the franchise.

Players led the global-trotting George Stobbart from Paris to Ireland and then the Middle East in his quest to uncover a Neo-Templar conspiracy.

His first port of call when arriving in the fictional village of Lochmarne is… a bar.

Castles, grumpy goats and dodgy accents follow as it risks falling into Irish stereotypes.

Fortunately, developers Revolution also acknowledged some Irish misconceptions.

When George makes the fatal mistake of greeting the landlord with “top o’ the mornin’ to ye”, he’s given short shrift for using the erroneous phrase.

It might seem dated by today's standards, but the artwork from Eoghan Cahill and Neil Breen of Don Bluth Studios has an enduring charm.

A director's cut of the original desktop and PS2 game is available on iOS and Android.


Tapping into Irish mythology is 2007's action role-player, Folklore.

The PS3 game is set in the Irish coastal village of Doolin, as well as in the Netherworld inhabited by creatures of Irish legend.

Playable characters Ellen and Keats are joined by elementals and so-called Folk creatures, and NPCs such as Frizzie the banshee and the Faery Lord.

However there are some distinctly non-Irish characters, such as Charlie, the saxophone-playing skeleton.

Likewise, Gaming Target described the Irish Netherworld as having "absurdly Japanese stylings".

Despite its age, it still looks great with its comic book narrative style, while the RPG element is complemented by the battle sequences of the Netherworld.

Need for Speed: ProStreet

Part of another successful franchise, Need for Speed: ProStreet was the 11th instalment in the series.

However it you thought you'd get the chance to drive around the mean streets of Dublin, you were in for disappointment.

ProStreet moved away from the illegal street-racing style of its predecessors, focusing instead on track races.

Among other tracks, players get to race around a faithful recreation of Mondello Park in Co. Kildare.

The game received mixed reviews, largely due to the departure from the style of previous instalments but racing aficionados should enjoy it.

The track also features in the video games GT Legends and TOCA Race Driver 3.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (Wrath of the Druids)

The latest release of the vast open-world adventure series, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is set over 1,100 years ago during Viking expansions into Britain and Ireland.

A downloadable expansion for the game, Wrath of the Druids, sees Eivor head to Ireland at the request of her cousin Bárid mac Ímair, the King of Dublin.

Where Folklore feels as though the developers just slapped the name 'Ireland' onto the production, Assassin's Creed feels much more authentic.

The developers have done their homework to create an atmospheric medieval Ireland threaded through with an engrossing storyline.

Players can explore large swathes of Ireland, including the Giant's Causeway, the Hill of Tara, Benbulben and Dublin.

So faithful was the rendition that Tourism Ireland teamed up with developers Ubisoft to promote the real-life locations to gamers who had played in their virtual counterparts.

The game was a critical and commercial success and while reviews of the Wrath of the Druids expansion were marginally less favourable, it's definitely worth checking out.