There must be a lot of good intent behind the game, especially with its great presentation and sense of style. The story of feuding gangs trying to take over parts of London is somewhat intriguing, and makes for an excellent premise for a game. But more-than-broken gameplay mechanics make the experience of playing Gangs of London akin to getting a root canal ... while being set on fire. Let's hope that the PLAYSTATION Store stops receiving duds like this one, because there are far better games we'd love to see archived.
Gallery: Gangs of London
The problems that plague Gangs of London are so numerous, it's hard to think of where to begin. Essentially, everything the Grand Theft Auto franchise succeeds at, Gangs of London fails at. Visually, Gangs of London is a stinker. Yes, the framerate is rather solid. But, the streets are empty, void of the life that makes an open world game so successful. The lackluster models and textures do no help either. Who knew London was such a dull place to be?
The structure of the game should lend itself to some interesting narrative, thanks to the multiple perspectives offered by the gangs. Instead of a cohesive story that ties everything thematically, we have disjointed and random missions interspersed with almost-offensive stereotypical characterizations. Don't expect actions in the story to have consequence, or follow any logical pattern. Through the game, you won't care for the main characters, your gang, or any ancillary characters that get in the way. At least GTA has personality, and story, to boot.
Of course, what hurts the game the most is its gameplay. The opening tutorial will give players an immediate idea on how poorly characters control. Wandering the environment is rather cumbersome, due to an awkward implemented camera. Getting into battle is even worse. The battle system can be summed as such: press X to win. Press X over and over again, mindlessly until victory. You could attempt to find more depth, but why bother? The unintelligent enemy AI provides little incentive to strategize. There are squad commands, as well. But, the broken AI makes it rather unwelcoming.
Missions themselves are uninspired affairs and typically involve murdering everyone in a particular location. When battle is so bland, these missions quickly become tiresome. Asking for more may be unfair -- clearly, the game isn't able to provide the basics well enough.
Hopefully, Gangs of London will be the first and last of the blunders to be found on the Store. The game is a mess, and isn't worthy of taking the 1GB of space it requires on a Memory Stick. Do yourself a favor, and stay far away from this disaster.
PSP Fanboy score: 2.0