Gangs of London (PSP)
GI Staff / Sep 24th, 2006 No Comments
Take control of a gang on the streets of London and wrestle control of the city from rival gangs, one district at a time. Use brains and brawn to stamp your territory as you make your way to the top in an effort to control the city. Play through a fully realized free roaming London in powerful action-packed missions perfectly tailored for portable play.
The list of features as supplied by the manufacturer:
* Choose from 5 different gangs’ boss and witness the plot unfold in a series of graphical novel narratives.
* Control a team of gangsters and swap between them on the fly as you steal turf while engaging in explosive urban combat
* Over 60 missions that offer a mix of shooting, tactical battles and multiple driving challenges all in a photo realistic London.
* Free roaming city allows you to explore some of the most dangerous areas of the Underground.
* Play a series of mini-games which include a unique strategy card game, tourist mode, British pub games (pool, cards, darts, chess, skittles) and more.
* GameShare allows players to beam playable missions to friends.
London looks fantastic in this handheld game. Nice details and textures can be found through out the city and even inside buildings during missions. The character models look fairly nice and include some decent animations and deaths. However, the characters look a tad cartoon like and could have benefited from a darker look. The story is told in the form of short comics that not only look awesome, but brings a gritty edge to the game and help make up for the not-so-gritty characters.
The music may be the most disappointing and forgettable part of Gangs of London. The mediocre sound affects and voice acting don’t do much to draw you into the game either. I usually had the sound turned off while playing, not because it is so bad it is painful, but just because it really doesn’t do anything to draw the player in. Some improved music and sound effects would have gone a long way to helping this game, but as it stands the game’s sound might as well be on mute.
The main part of the game is the story mode. In this mode you play through 60 missions as you protect the turf of your gang and try to claim other districts in London as your own. In each of these missions, you will be either driving a car in an attempt to escape or to reach a target of some sort, or you will be running around with a weapon and a few other gang members. You can give orders to these gangsters, but don’t expect anything crazy from the AI; these henchmen won’t come to your rescue or even think about protecting them selves. They just like to run and gun. The same can be said for enemy AI. As long as you crouch and there is ANYTHING between you and the enemy, you can sneak by or get close enough for a silent kill. And at first it’s not that bad. It is fun to fire with an assault rifle at oncoming enemy cars, but you quickly realize you are doing the same missions over and over again, but with a slightly different look. There are about a handful of actually different missions, and the rest are just those missions with a different look or back story. The driving portions of the game really aren’t too bad and do provide some redeeming game play in the story mode, but its not a whole lot.
Lucky for you, Gangs of London includes a bunch of mini-games to play when you get tired of the main story. These mini-games are hit-or-miss. Some of the games, like the parlor games (billiards, darts, arcade machine, etc.) provide some quick and simple fun and act as a good break from the repetitive action of the main story. Some of the modes, like the zombie or riot mini-games, tend to get repetitive even more quickly than the main story mode. Once you get tired of the main game, check out the fun Tourist and Free Drive modes. In the Tourist mode, you play an American tourist and ask for directions around London and try to find the major landmarks in London to add to your photograph collection. In Free Drive, you can choose settings on traffic conditions, your car, your weapon, and starting location and just run around and have fun. This is the type of open, freeform gameplay the story mode should have included, rather than the missions that just load you next to the start point.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
After you either beat or get tired of the main story mode, there are many different mini-games and modes to play around with. You can find everything from the calm Tourist mode, to the Risk board game like Gang Wars mode. There are enough different options here to keep you coming back, whether it is to play for 5 minutes, or a couple of hours.
If you are looking for the next Grand Theft Auto for PSP, this is not it. The main story mode falls short and fails to deliver, but the additional modes add a lot of content and provides you with something to do, no matter your mood or amount of time available. There are at least a few modes in Gangs of London that will keep you entertained for quite a while.