Well I think we all know what a big holiday season Sony needs to have in 2006. With the release of the PS3 coming in November and a struggling PSP that needs a huge holiday to give the product a stronger lineup. Today we are looking at a game that has had a lot of hype through its development as being a potential big hit this holiday season. The game is Gangs of London, and it is a game that takes a very stylized look at a new action adventure game for the PlayStation Portable. The big question is can this game manage to help bring the PSP a new great game? Read our full review to find out!
For those who remember The Getaway, the same developers are at it again in Gangs of London. To me, The Getaway 1 & 2 was more style than substance, and thus they could never compete with the competition like a Grand Theft Auto. Now with the developers trying to make something happen on the PSP, they try to make something happen with Gangs of London.
The game’s main attraction is the story mode, where you will be able to choose from five of the big gangs in London. So right away you get a lot of choice in what you want to do in this game. The different gangs are to give not only different views on the game, but also in London. The actual story in the game is as thin as paper, which is basically to say the developers didn’t make this their primary focus, and it doesn’t have an overwhelming effect on the game itself.
The story mode seems right out of the gate like it is another GTA for the PSP, and it seems great but as you continue you find that the game is a lot shallower than it first appears. First off, Gangs of London feels completely thrown together in its story mode mission structure. The missions themselves are simple, and at times extremely tedious. The missions are what you would find in a game like GTA driving from point a to b or taking out someone, but the execution just isn’t all that enjoyable. Many times you will be doing similar or the exact same missions over again, which just makes you feel like the developers were trying to get some extra mileage out of the game.
The controls in the game also don’t help matters as they are not all that responsive, and make your life undoubtedly more difficult. Gangs of London has some of the worst driving mechanics for this style game, in fact they unfortunately remind me lot of the original Getaway title, which struggled with the same problem. The story mode on paper and even the first few missions sounds great, but things just become repetitive, uneventful, and just uninteresting.
The story mode is not all the game has to offer with a free roam mode, which allows you to go around London as you please. Unfortunately nothing in this mode really helps Gangs of London all that much. The controls really once again play a big factor in not making this mode all that enjoyable. There is also some multiplayer games like pool and darts, which are played on one PSP, and although they are a fun side track for a few minutes, nothing in which make a big impact on this game.
Gangs of London is a game that really set out with the intention of being great. And yes you could say every game does that, but you can just see that Gangs of London was going for broke, and this game unfortunately ending up being broke. The game has a lot of potential, but unfortunately the potential didn’t get this game very far.
Visually I am one that likes some new and unique styles and Gangs of London definitely gives the unique feel of London down pretty well. Having just visited the magnificent city, I have to give the developers some credit for making a pretty stylized view of London come to life on the PSP. The game does bog down a bit on the higher action sequences, but it’s not all that bad especially for a portable game. Gangs of London does some good things visually it’s just a shame the gameplay couldn’t keep up.
Gangs of London is really kind of hybrid portable view on The Getaway, and although it does some things right it also does a lot of things wrong. The game isn’t necessarily appalling, however it is one of those games that you won’t hate playing, you will just realize that there are games that do exactly what Gangs of London do but better. I did appreciate some of the interesting side modes that the developers tried to place in the game to help with depth, but nothing necessarily helps Gangs of London all that much.
Gangs of London manages to do very little to make any new steps into this sort of action adventure genre that has proved to be so popular over the years. The game has plenty of content, but it’s plagued by bad controls and poor missions that make this game a lot less interesting then it could have been.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.