Gangstar: West Coast Hustle (iPhone) – Mini-Review

So looking at the screen above, yes before you even ask, this is pretty much a GTA knock-off. It’s released by Gameloft, who keep pumping out a stream of pretty good games for the iPhone, is this one worth getting? So first of all the graphics are really nice, just looking at them is stunning, but they’re not prefect. The major problem with them is clipping happens often, and sometimes I just teleport at higher levels when I walk. If you don’t know what I mean sometimes when I walk up to a building, instead of getting stopped, I go on top of it. The physics are also a little wacky, especially with cars hitting jumps is awkward, turning is loose and you can drive through small objects like trees and light posts. Outside these minor problems however, these are some good looking graphics.

The sound leaves alot to be desired. The only real thing you can hear from the car sounds are the engine, there’s no skidding sounds. Then there’s the radio, which is basically just midi music, some might sound like popular songs you know. The only real thing of substance here is the radio commercials, that try to rip-off the funny GTA ones but for the most part fail.

The gameplay is where it’s at. There are many annoyances with it, but considering it’s running on your cell phone is amazing. The cops are brutally stupid, same thing with the enemies. They pretty much are programmed to only run towards you and shoot or punch, which means if there’s an obstacle in their way, they’ll just keep running in it and be stuck there.

So you can get a 3 badge rating and as long as you’re driving the cops are hard on you. The way you clear your wanted level is to stay out of sight for a bit or pick up badge power-ups.

The missions aren’t that varied, you get the basic drive here, do this and drive back missions, although you do get some pretty sweet moments in it. Some of these include sniping missions, photography missions, interrogation missions, these are truly to best ones in the game.

The controls and aiming systems are well done. When you’re on foot you have a virtual analog stick and an attack button, and in-car it varies. You can use tilt steering, on-screen wheel or a bar then for the throttle it’s either gas and brake icons or a bar. I preferred using the bars only because it’s more analog, with the gas and brake it’s basically full speed ahead!

The aiming’s an auto-lock system where you click touch who you want to shoot at, you can rotate your camera angle how ever you want by sliding your finger or thumb.

Story is not this game’s strong point, I loved the opening chapter but the rest felt stale and didn’t engage me at all. So you’re freshly out of jail from Mexico and now in the states with your hommie trying to build up rep.

I would recommend this game, but don’t go in expecting GTA 3 or anything. If you really want that, I’d say wait for Chinatown Wars which Rockstar has announced it’s coming to the iPhone in the near future.

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