Date: 11-11-2009 21:03
Reviewer: Eoghan

Type: PSP
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Rockstar

Chinatown Wars is a game that was ported from the DS and takes a very different view on the series. Top down view, cel shading it harks back to the original GTAs on PSone. But through all this it comes out as an excellent game, maybe one of the seriesí best.

Gameplay: The camera looks at you give or take top down. While some may think this awkward and annoying it is very easy to use and makes this game unique. The controls are simple. Analog to move, R to lock on, X to sprint, O to shoot and so on. The only time I found the controls annoying was in vehicles. The PSPís nub does not give you the same degree of control as the PS3 analog sticks, but this comes down to the PSP and not the game so I suppose that I cannot hold that against the game.

The lock on system can be a bit annoying at times, locking to a car instead of the crazy assault rifle wielding gangster in front of you. The minigames have been ported from the DS too and for the most part I love them. Some are not suited for buttons but they all play well and add to the games appeal. Also, when you are driving very fast the game can lag very noticeably and this is some of the worst lag Iíve seen in a PSP game. Overall the gameplay works very well.

Graphics: When I first saw the game was coming to PSP I wondered what Rockstar would do with the visuals, as on the Ds they were good but pixely and the PSP could handle a lot more than that. What they did blows my mind. The graphics are razor sharp. The citizens, the cars, the buildings, everything. The blood and gunshots look very nice too and believe me you see them very often! The textures on the road, graffiti on the walls, itís all there and beautifully detailed. If you like graphics in a game I recommend CW extremely highly.

Sound: Ah, sound in GTA. The chat shows, the songs, the hilarious ads. The sound is great in Chinatown Wars but not perfect. The music is great, ranging from metal to easy to techno. There are no chat shows or ads, which disappointed me but I was still happy with the sound. The city sounds are great too. Engines, sirens, gun shots from far away gang wars. Occasionally you can hear people shouting out. My favourite is ďWhat happened to changiní the world brutha?Ē Overall sound is great.

Lifespan: There is a lot to do in this game and I mean a LOT. There are taxi, vigilante, fire-fighter, noodle delivery, and postman missions among others. You can hijack rival gangís vans and ammunition trucks in the streets or raid a rivalís warehouse. There are street races, random encounters, rampages, drug dealing, weapon training games, minigames. You can replay any story mission for the first time in a GTA game and go for medals based on time and people killed etc. At the end of the story you can go find the Lions of Fo. These are two statues hidden around the city. When found and you sync your stats to the Social Club you unlock new missions from one of the characters. This is one of the biggest PSP games ever made and has an amazing lifespan.
Chinatown Wars took a risk with graphics and turned out to be one of the seriesí best. The PSP version has more lines of code than San Andreas, which shows you that this wasnít some rehash, just to make money. Some might put it down for its presentation, but the truth is that this is an absolutely huge game that nobody should pass on and weighing in at only 527MB, it is handy for people with smaller memory cards. If you want game that will give you an engaging storyline, make you laugh out loud at the film quality dialogue and give you everything you could expect from a PS2 or maybe even a PS3 game then buy this. Now.

Gameplay: 9
Graphics: 10
Sound: 9
Lifespan: 10
Final Score: 9.5
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