Date: 01-14-2008 14:55
Reviewer: SilentWyvern

Type: PSP
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Team Soho

Gangs of London is a GTA style sandbox game which follows the underground gangs and syndicates of London. Where gangs operate outside the law and the price of respect is a bullet. But does Gangs of London live up to the GTA franchise? Or does it fall short?

Story: You get to play as 5 different games, so there's 5 different stories. But it really doesn't matter, the story is bland. The plot consists of a 4 man gang taking out other gangs and fighting to gain control of all of London. The plot never really gives any reason why the characters went into this life, hardly develops the characters or is ever that good. Story mode is pretty bland, just plow through it.

Presentation: So take any Grand Theft Auto game, take out the good graphics, music, gameplay, story, hookers, drugs, alcohol and gameplay, and you'll get Gangs of London. You spend the whole game traversing a HUGE world broken up into HUGE areas, which I'll applaud the publisher for, they gave you ALOT of room to screw around in. But textures are bland, character models look, eh. There's pretty much no music in game. Cars look like cars but they aren't that great, over all nothing in this game really has any wow feature. Cut-scenes are done with a comic book style that looks good enough. Voice acting is what gets me, its all with heavy English accents, which can be frustrating for some. And what really gets annoying is all the swears are bleeped. I know the ESRB didn't make them bleep the swears, they did it to be clever? That's not clever, that's just stupid. Whats really sad about this game, the minigames look visually better than the game itself! How'd they swing that one?

Gameplay: Gameplay is what will kill this game's experience, unfortunate too, they just had to put so many parts that require gameplay in this game. The controls are ridiculous, they attempt to copy the Fireteam Bravo style, but poorly. The analog nub moves, X shoots, circle does nothing, triangle is action, get in cars, grab enemies and square both crouches when tapped, and reloads when held...ok, that makes sense. The D pad might as well not be used, it has the same function as the analog nub. Why they couldn't make an option in the menu to select whether one moves and the other is dead weight I don't get but hey, its a poor game, why not have poor controls? L is a strafe lock and R is a pseudo lock on/strafe lock. Driving is a bit better, D pad and analog nub steer, X is gas, circle honks the horn, important, don't ever forget. Square is reverse, R is hand brake, L looks behind you and Triangle makes you get out.

The controls aren't perfect, but it gets the job done. One thing that bugs me is the AI. Its ridiculous. Your allies are fine, enemies are ok. The billions of random CPU people are dumb as nails and can't be killed. Seriously, a sandbox game like this and you can't kill the townspeople?! That will be like SOCOM without Navy SEALs (Oh wait, SOCOM 4, thanks Zipper.) Cops...oh boy, talk about a vicious AI enemy. Cops in Gangs of London must believe all infractions of London law must result in execution on sight. Hit a car, you must die, hit a tree you must die, hit ANYTHING no matter the speed, you must die. Yet you can speed down highways on the wrong side of the street, hop up onto a sidewalk and do donuts in a park, and its all fine and dandy...unless you hit something, then you must die. Seriously, cops are ridiculous.

The cop cruiser is pretty much the fastest car in the game, only about 2 other cars can beat it, but not by much. Cops have a real rubber band effect. They can smack into oncoming traffic and yet be right back nipping at your heels in a matter of seconds. Cop cars are also stronger than all other cars, they can push you off the road without much effort. You can avoid them, as they're pretty stupid. They'll smack into other cars, buildings, environments, whatever, pretty much they'll do everything that they're trying to kill you for doing. Contradictory much? This makes the freeroam feature of the game pretty much become cop chase.

Freeroam: There's a few freeroam gametypes available for players. Basic freeroam, just drive where ever you like in the region you selected. Nothing special. London Tourist, literally a tourism gametype, super stupid, I never played it. Speed Trap, if you've ever seen the Keanu Reeves movie Speed the concept won't be far off. Drive as fast as you possibly can, if you slow down the bomb charges up, drive too slow for too long, it'll blow up. Riot Control, play as cops and bash in the skulls of rioters...who are all wearing suits, The Office revolts? Getaway, WHY IS THIS A GAMETYPE!? Its all you do in freeroam! Four Weeks Later (Totally NOT based on 28 Days later), fight off a set number of zombies.

The Knowledge, go from point A to point B in a limited time frame, its best to use the map and your own knowledge of London streets. These are ok distractions from the main story, but won't entertain most players for more than a half hour. Also theres "Gang Battle", if you've ever played the Star Wars Battlefront games you'll probably remember the Conquest gametype. Its essentially the same, only lame. In conquest you got to build up units, conquer planets, send forces into battle, and you could play in the battle or skip it. Gang Battle doesn't give you the option to play it. You're forced to skip it, which pretty much sucks. Have a gametype you can't play, great job guys. Top notch. The Pub is pretty much mini games, darts, skittles, US and UK pool, arcade. The Pub is more fun than the game itself. Why not release The Pub? It'd have been a way better game!

Final Notes: Now, generally I never much liked GTA styled games. Unfortunately for me the first gang style game I play is this. This game is hardly a rent, its got a few Ad-Hoc features, but I can't review them as I don't know anyone else who was stupid enough to buy this garbage. Save your money and look for a different sandbox game on PSP.

Gamplay: 4
Graphics: 5
Replay: 5
Sound: 4
Online: N/A
Overall: 4
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