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Gangs of London for PSP

Who will you decide to 'run with'?

If you thought the endless stream of third-person gangster-themed action adventure games set in a gritty urban environment was finally at an end, think again - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced Gangs of London for the PSP.

GoL is a spin-off of the Getaway series which features "original game styles designed specifically for PSP." Set in "the mean and moody streets of London" (they can only mean Lewisham), the game sees you becoming the "guv'nor" of one of five gangs - the Cockneys, Triads, Yardies, Russians and Pakistanis.

Naturally, your task is to become London's number one gangster, which involves controlling your team of gangsters in "tactical urban combat." You can "hot-swap" between characters in real-time, fighting and driving your way through more than 60 missions. Plus you can replay levels as the head of each different gang.

Gangs of London also features a turn-based strategy mode, Gang Battle, which lets you take on up to four other gamers on a single PSP. It's a cross between poker and board games (they mean RISK) - there's a big interactive map which you use to tell your criminal underlings when and where to attack.

Each move is made "blind", with actions only revealed at the end of each turn, so there's plenty of scope for bluffing, and you also get a helping hand in the form of bonus cards.

Other modes include Free Roaming, which allows you to pick a character, vehicle, weapons and mission objectives and go for a wander around London. You can even choose the weather conditions and the amount of police presence on the streets.

Turn on Tourist Mode while you're Free Roaming and you can become a stereotypical American tourist, complete with fat belly and loud shirt. Travel round taking photos of the city's most famous landmarks and you will unlock all sorts of extras. There's also a Knowledge mode which displays the names of London's major streets as you're driving round so you can get to know the city better.

In addition, Gangs of London will feature a selection of "British Pub Games", including darts, pool and skittles. Because you can't move in British pubs for games of skittles these days.

A gamesharing option means you can generate a Tube level that will be determined by your PSP's serial number and therefore completely unique, with its very own mission objectives, environments, characters and weapons. You might be tasked with escaping from the police at Oxford Circus with only a baseball bat, for example, or clearing a platform at Waterloo of Triads using nothing but a simple machine gun. "Only your PSP knows," apparently.

Gangs of London is due out later this year.