Gangs of London

Just about four years ago, a British developer named team Soho released one of the very first GTA clones, way before the craze began. It featured an impressive photo-realistic London, authentic-sounding characters, real life vehicles, and just about the filthiest language to ever grace a video game (this is before San Andreas), in addition to a unique edge over similar games that can only be described as one thing: British.

This was The Getaway, where you were shoved into the shoes of Mark Hammond, a reformed gangster pulled back into the underworld after the killing of his wife and the kidnapping of his son. Fast forward to the present day, and team Soho are at it again, releasing a PSP game set in the same London environment, only with a bigger focus on... teamwork, if you get what I mean. Time to call in the flying squad.

Gangs of London, as mentioned earlier, features the same photo-realistic London surrounding used in The Getaway, but may look less impressive than when they were first used, thanks to scaling down for PSP format. Instead of playing as one single character, like in the Getaway and its sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday, you'll instead be able to choose from one of several gangs operating in the London area. These include the ruthless triads, traditional Get Carter-era veteran gangsters Yardies, Pakistani mobsters, and the foreign division of the Russian Mafia.

The game appears to give players a lot of choice with gang options, as the list continues beyond the organizations mentioned before. After choosing an organization, you can begin running whatever racket you like. You're supplied with a number of henchmen and women, who vary in skill in various abilities, such as shooting and driving.

Speaking of driving, Gangs of London will feature various real-world vehicles, as featured in the original Getaway games. In the course of your criminal career, you may encounter another organisation that disagrees with the way you're running things, or claims that you're moving into their turf. Conflict enivatably ensues, and (of course) you're responsible for the fighting. Apart from rival gangs, the police do not hesitate to shoot to kill as well.

Cor, blimey. Gangs of London, so far, looks a right treat, and we're eager to see if it will mimic the moderate success of the Getaway games on consoles. And before you accuse me of being cheesy, I am English. So there.