We can still vividly remember those early videos of that panned PS2 title The Getaway. They seemed to promise all that Sony had hyped up the PS2 to be - something new, daring, cool and downright gorgeous.
Unfortunately, all that early promise mysteriously disappeared quicker than Aaron Lennon taking on an Andorran defender. What transpired was, well, one of the GTA-lite titles that unfortunately seemed to forget to include any kind of decent gameplay or enjoyable diversion.
It didn’t stop The Getaway selling in droves though, so naturally Sony’s decided to port the same Laaandaaan universe to the PSP. Lucky us eh? Up the apples and pears etc.
A brand new team has developed this particular branch of the series. So surely it’s got to be better, right?
We always try to see the good in people and the same goes for games. We’re having trouble here though.
So, well, the driving sections in Gangs of London aren’t too bad really. Cars handle alright and all feels mildly enjoyable. It looks pretty decent considering it’s on the PSP. And that’s the good portion over with.
The big selling point of the original Getaway titles was the ability to drive around masses of faithfully reproduced London. It all looked tediously boring and grey mind, but it’s a selling point none the less. Come on, we all get excited about the chance to drive past our very own flat, or trek down that same street where the blonde girl smiled at you.
So what does Gangs of London do? Yup, stop you from nipping off to your real life corner shop. Bit stupid eh?
But restricting your wanderings means you’re always part of the hectic mission-based action, doesn’t it? Does it bugger. It just means that you’re much closer to the next boring mission that’s a copycat of the one you’ve just finished.
The on foot action is even worse. It’s purely strict corridor gameplay with no chance to complete mission in your own unique way, something that the GTA series proved the genre needs.
The twitchy controls - don’t you just hate that analogue nub? - only make something obscenely irritating drag on because you can’t get the bloody aiming reticule to decide to aim where you actually want.
That’s oddly combated by the introduction of some pathetic enemy intelligence, meaning some won’t even react when you’re popping caps in their asses from a few feet away. Maybe London gangsters are too hard to show off pain these days? Or maybe they’re just plain old fashioned idiots.
So, just avoid this will you? Please? There’s just so much good out there staying on the shelves without this tripe cluttering up peoples' homes.