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Gangs of London (Pre-E3 2006)

Developer: SCEE London Studio | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action

Release Date: 10/03/06

Gangs1.jpgThe Getaway franchise has been has been the brunt of mixed reviews, with great presentation but somewhat flawed game play. With a name change and a positive outlook on their belts, SCEE London Studios is hoping to turn things around while making it a little more compact. Gangs of London is their new PSP game based around the same concepts of The Getaway, but with a lot of new additions and changes to the original formula to make it both more enjoyable and better suited for pick up and play handheld gaming.

Gangs of London has you take the role of a number of different characters within each criminal organization. Five different gangs are represented here, including the Jamaican Yardies, Russian Mafia, and Hong Kong Triads. Like the games and movies before it, gang life here is glamorized, but the presentation is taking a bit of a turn. Instead of the traditional cutscenes and story telling of the past games, graphic novel type cinimatics, like those seen in Max Payne are used. This helps differentiate the title a little more from its Getaway roots.

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The story mode features 60 different missions, which range from having you driving vehicles and shooting it out with opposing gangs. The missions will be shorter then your typical console-style GTA game to make it better suited for a conventional pick-up and play handheld game. While playing story mode, it’s possible to switch between different characters within your gang on the fly during missions. Each character holds specific weapons, adding another layer of strategy to the mix.

The game accurately depicts the city of London, and is looking very impressive, even at this stage in development. In fact, there is even an option in free roam mode to explore the city as a tourist, going as far as being able to take public transportation and snap pictures. That isn’t the only interesting mode of play, as the team has been focused on adding a whole slew of different content to the game.

Gang Battle is a mode which allows you to play a turn-based strategy game, against the computer or other human opponents, with the task of taking over the streets of London. Game Sharing is a mode where you are given specific areas of the city with different objectives generated depending on your PSP’s serial number, which you’ll then be able to share with other players. While Pub mode allows you to tackle a couple of mini-games that you might find in your nearest London pub, pool and darts.

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While the game isn’t expected to release until some time this fall, Gangs of London has a lot of potential to be a must-have exclusive for the PSP. Combining a mixture of modes in addition to the campaign, all in an impressive visual package, SCEE London Studios hopes to deliver something that PSP gamers will enjoy. This is looking to be an almost re-birth of The Getaway, living up to the potential that the franchise didn’t quite reach on the PS2. Looks for Gangs of London sometime this fall, and expect to hear more about this title in the near future.

By David Doel - 04/30/06
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Drugs
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Screenshots for Gangs of London (Pre-E3 2006)

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