Gangs of London Review

Gangs of London brings the London underworld of The Getaway games to your PSP for a little organized crime action on the go. Like its home-based brethren, Gangs of London recreates the streets of London and lets you go about your nefarious activities in the shadows of the cityís landmarks such as Big Ben. As suits a city the size of London, thereís a lot of gameplay packed into the game. Unfortunately itís not all that engrossing and is ultimately too repetitiveÖ

Guns on the streets of London.
The main mode of play has you selecting one of five diverse gangs and playing a series of missions to help expand your gangís power at the expense of the others. Each mission opens with a comic book style cutscene that sets the stage for the mission and gives you a glimpse into Londonís seedy underbelly. These opening cutscenes and the ones that follow a successful mission are well-produced and are a highlight of the game. Itís just too bad that the action that occurs in between isnít as interesting.

There are plenty of different stories leading up to each mission, but they all boil down to a few basic mission types and without the intros youíd be hard-pressed to tell one mission apart from another. There are car chases in which youíre either the pursuer or the pursued and on-foot missions in which you basically kill everybody you see until you run out of enemies. And then there are the stealth missions. These are memorable not because they are exciting or challenging but because they are incredibly frustrating. The gameís controls work pretty well for driving, not so well for shooting, and are downright miserable for stealth. The game camera is just too difficult to manage for you to get a good look at the guards around you and time your dashes across rooms and hallways. Youíre stuck moving blindly through the levels which just doesnít work well when the point is to avoid detection. Why are gangsters sneaking around anyway? Donít they shoot first and ask questions later? Anyway, the camera controls are an issue in the gun battles as well, but this is mitigated somewhat by the target lock system. You just need to spin a little pushing the lock button until you lock on, shoot until your target drops, and then lock onto the next guy. Repeat until everyone is dead. I probably donít have to tell you that this quickly gets repetitive.

The game packs in a lot of other modes of play for when youíve reached your frustration point with the story mode. The first is called Gang Wars and it plays a lot like the board game Risk. Youíre in charge of a gang and you must move around your gangsters in an attempt to capture every territory on the board. Of course your rivals will be trying to do the same. Itís a simple little game that makes for a small diversion when youíre in the mood for some strategy gaming, but itís not something that youíll find yourself drawn back to a lot.