Hang on though! This isn’t review a great game day! Presumably, this must be the part where it all goes horribly wrong, right? Right! Though large and reasonably accurate (well, aside from some seriously narrow roads and incredibly angular corners,) the map of Give My Regards to Broadstreet is also completely empty: The pedestrians and traffic you would expect to find in a bustling modern metropolis are completely absent (bar the aforementioned kamikaze hitmen,) leaving a city that feels empty, lifeless and a tad post-apocalyptic.
Worse still, you’re effectively viewing it through a postage stamp. The bulk of screen is taken up by Paul McCartney’s special computerized stalking aid (so THAT’S where all his money went,) leaving you a pathetically small block in the middle of the screen in which to work out what’s actually going on around you. Not only does this take the shine off the (already pretty basic) visuals, but from a gameplay perspective it gives you little to no idea of what is lurking at the end of your bonnet.
Mind you, this lack of viewing distance doesn’t seem to matter much. Aside from the kamikaze mobsters, who are few and far between, you can’t actually crash! Even if you plow straight into a wall (which you inevitably will, thanks to those ridiculously angular junctions) you just bounce right off, free to continue on your (not so) merry journey.
That is not to say that Give My Regards to Broadstreet is an easy game. No no, not at all. In fact, if you don’t have the original manuals and a good working knowledge of old London town, it’s practically impossible.
You see, though Paul’s special stalking computer allows you to see when his buddies either enter or exit a tube station, it doesn’t actually give you any clues as to which station they’re going too next, or where any of the stations are relative to you. This makes it practically useless for finding out where you need to go.
For a game where the primary skill being tested is navigation, it seems a pretty massive oversight to provide the player with next to nothing in the way of in-game navigational aids. If you don’t have access to the clues provided by the maps and character biographies found in the original box, you’re basically done for.
In fact, even if via some miracle (or by cheating ) you manage to make it to the correct station at around the correct time, that often isn’t enough. If you stop at a station a second after your band mate has arrived, you won’t find them. If you arrive too early, however, you risk having to leg it away from one of the many roaming traffic wardens before Paul’s managed to extract the chord information he needs.
Take these draw backs and add in some unintuitive controls and a complete absence of music, and you end up with a game that’s very difficult to love. Try playing Give My regards to Broadstreet today, and you will most likely end up driving around in circles in a massive but empty alternate London, with little idea where you actually need to go.