previews\ Apr 25, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Gangs of London - PSP - Preview

Pre-E3 2006 Hands On Preview

The Getaway was a gritty look at crime and the police in London, but now SCEA is asking players to reverse their thinking a bit and look at the criminal element from a different perspective – that of the gangs.

Gangs of London is a somewhat linear experience tracing the escapades of five gangs. SCEA showed off the title at a pre-E3 event in Los Angeles. While related to The Getaway, this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a sequel to that game.

Players will get to play as one of five gangs, each with different attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Each gang is bent on revenge and to that end, embarks on a series of missions (about 60-plus) within the London environment. The game was designed for the PSP and takes into account available control schemes. To that end, the dev team went for a fun, quick-action style with controls that are accessible and easy to learn.

Gangs of London PSP screenshots

Gamers won’t play as a single player, but rather as a group, easily jumping from one character to another as you work through missions. When not playing as a character, the game’s AI takes over, though the player can issue simple orders.

There are eight game modes total and some need to be unlocked before they can be played. The modes are London Tourist, Riot Control, Speed Trap, Getaway, Cause Havoc, Four Weeks Later (yes, based on the zombie movie), The Knowledge and Free Roaming. Enter a pub and you can play minigames such as skittles, darts, as well as British and U.S. versions of 8-ball.

The game is fast paced with missions generally lasting from 5-10 minutes, though some will go on longer. Graphically the game is solid, with well-rendered environments. There were some minor clipping problems but the game is not slated to release until towards the start of the fourth quarter and/or the holiday season, so there is time to fine-tune some of the glitches.

Gangs of London screenshots

The game’s linearity begins in the way the story is presented. Regardless of which gang you choose to play as, you will all have the same starting mission – which basically is to go into a building and take down a key target. Of course, you are not going to waltz through unscathed. The game is run and gun simply because you are on a timer. If you don’t get through fast enough, your target escapes and you will be starting the level over.

Gangs of London, at this stage, does not appear like it will set the PSP action-adventure genre on fire, but is gearing up to be a solid addition to the title on the market.


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