Did you know ‘Gangs of London’ was inspired by an old PSP game? Here's all about the action-packed adventure
Surprisingly, the show is not inspired by a true story, except that it is loosely based on research involving former gang members and criminologists
'Gangs of London' has soon become the new rage of the town. Starring 'Peaky Blinders' star Joe Cole, the series dropped on Sky Atlantic and Cinemax and created quite a stir among viewers.
The main character, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London and billions of pounds flowed through his organization. The big twist comes when he’s dead – and nobody knows who ordered the hit. With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) to take his father’s place. Sean’s assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime.
The mystery begins and the big question remains: Can his ally Elliot Finch (Sope Dirsu), who has been a lowlife chancer with a mysterious interest in the Wallace family, help him? Fans can't stop gushing about the brilliant tale packed with dark, gritty violence. It makes one wonder: Is it inspired by a true story? Could this have happened in real life?
Surprisingly, the show is not inspired by a true story — except that it is loosely based on research that involves gang members including Karl Lokko and Duro Oye as well as criminologists. What's shocking is that, in fact, based on an action-adventure video game. Action meets strategy as you take on London's fiercest gangs in a bid for domination of the capital, its official description reads.
Created in 2006 by Sony for its PlayStation Portable (PSP), it was not so popular among video gaming fanatics. In the game, you could join one of five gangs with various ethnicities and outfits who would have different missions. From entering a nightclub to kidnapping people and competing in a street race, it involved a bounty of risky activities.
A player can also complete minigames such as clicking pictures of London landmarks and running over pedestrians. However, it didn't grab much interest and holds a score of 52 on Metacritic. Moreover, there are a bunch of mixed reviews, with one user saying, "A strong idea let down by poor controls and lack of originality. The mini-games go some way to repairing the damage, though," and another posting, "The length of the missions works well for a portable game, and having relatively short load times helps."
So, how did the makers decide to adapt a video game into a TV show? Creator Gareth Evans said he wanted to make it into a film franchise. "The project came to me initially as we got the rights to a video game and they wanted to make a film franchise of it. And one of the things I love about London is that you can step on to any street and hear 10, 15 different languages, all spoken at once," he told Sky News.
"I felt like if we were going to do a film franchise, we would have two-thirds of our running time focused purely on our central characters, and then only a third left to explore the side characters that populate that world."
When he felt it "wasn’t enough," he "pitched it back saying this should be a TV show because you can afford to go off and detour for 10 to 15 minutes and spend time with other characters and learn about them in more detail."
Now that the series is so famous, could the game developers relaunch the same game with added features? Well, only time will tell. For now, if you haven't binge-watched the show yet, catch it on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Cinemax in the US. Season one has 10 episodes and the first one runs for 90 minutes.