Gangs of London review

  • Sheer amount of gameplay
  • That Guy Ritchie gangster feel
  • Taking down a hated rival
  • Cars that crash like bricks
  • Inescapable stealth missions
  • Babysitting stupid AI

Gangs of London is a great portable gangster game. The real success is the focus on fast, fun sequences that put you in the middle of the British underworld Guy Ritchie is so good at depicting.  Rather than long expensive cut scenes, comic book-style panels convey the story before and after missions. Missions flash by as you murder, maim and kidnap on foot and on the road to seize control of London's crime subculture. Fail to kill a rival gang boss or kidnap a new round of prostitutes from another rival gang and you're back at the start of the task, but even the longest missions are a quick, commute-friendly ten minutes.

Playing as one of five gangs - not as any one particular member, but as a driver or ordering about an entire group of ruffians on foot - you gradually consume the other gang's territories and make London wholly yours, mission by bloody curse-filled mission. One gang might have to protect a visiting Mafia Don, but play through again as the rival gang and you're required to off him. 

Each defeated gang opens up new options for the wonderful number of minigames, including a recreation of London's infamous cabby test, putting down a zombie attack and fleeing increasing police pursuit. You can play darts, or hit the retro arcade. These options really open up your choices when you choose to bring Gangs with you.

Even with a picturesque model of London to drive through, all is not perfect. Driving sequences are unpredictable, since cars behave like one solid mass (instead of like cars) during collisions. Innocents in a crossfire are totally invincible and the lock-on will often focus on them, not your murderous foes. Don't use the lock-on, and the dodgy controls and at best so-so ally AI will end up killing you. The camera system will cause death after death in the infuriating mandatory stealth missions - it's just too hard to get real situational awareness. Despite all that, the game is perfect for the PSP - fun to pick up and play in short bursts.

More Info

Release date: Oct 03 2006 - PSP (US)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Action
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: SCE Studios London, SCE Studios Soho
Franchise: The Getaway
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Drugs


Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000