It's a strategy game; it’s an action game,
its sort of a simulation. Forging your own underground illegal empire of
businesses from brothels, chop shops, and other forms of gangland places
including the old tried and true moonshine distilleries. In the middle
of all this it’s a tale of revenge and high dreams. Too bad the game
falls short in regards to delivering the experience it so glossily
promises in its ultra cool ideas.
Let’s cut to the chase pizzano heh? You take on the role of Mario
Mangano from Palermo Sicily. One fine evening Mario finds one of his
other four brothers…”Chico”… dead. The boney finger of blame points
towards the other brothers…Romano, Angelo, and Sonny who take it on the
lamb from the island and head on to the new world to a little place
called Paradise City.
Of course this does not look good and as a result of these events you
are sent off after them, when you get to the New World you are
officially apprenticing under your dear uncle Vincenzo. During your
learning in the ways of the family business you will of course be
looking for a little pay back vengeance for the death of your brother
Starting out you have one henchman to help you out as you extort the
nearby business owners and an occasional hit contract for your dear old
uncle. As the game moves along your character gains experience in the
business you also get to hire more low level gangsters to control.
During game play there are some unlocks where you have access to more
powerful and specialized units, this is where it gets a bit off track
for me, amongst the other character types you can call into play form
these special units there are ninjas. So ok, this was a bold and
interesting move that the designers perhaps thought of after a long
night and a cold pizza binge, but ninjas? I am not so sure that this
lends itself well to the games over all environment and genre of the big
Gangland’s combat engine can be a real pain. Things happen so fast,
often times and you find yourself fumbling with camera controls to get a
bead on what characters you need to move into a position for best
advantage it can cause confusion. More times than not your henchmen and
women, are such bad shots everything else in the game world is at risk
accept the intended targets. Combat on the streets can be a mess; many
of the other characters that are just walking around also carry their
own weapons. If a fight erupts there are some that actually jump in the
battle and start laying down there own bullet party and they don’t care
who they shoot at. AI of the game is lacking some times as the enemy
rather than spreading out and making themselves harder targets will
bunch together. Making them a perfect target for an explosive. Some of
the issues in the general release have been fixed by patches released by
Whiptail Interactive. If you buy the game, it will be well worth it to
get the patches.
Patch 1.1 addresses the following: a rare crash bug when starting up,
input problems in the chat bars, occasional stuttering in The Docks,
Shootout Balancing, and multiplayer capabilities, allowing North
American gamers to go head to head with European players on dedicated
servers. General improvements include up to 25% faster performance on
ATI and 50% faster performance on NVIDIA cards. The patch also
introduces some new features to the in-game chat, multiplayer lobby, AI
and End User cheats. The second patch 1.2.1 has some new features and
also has all of the fixes that patch 1.1 has.
New Features: Checkpoint saves in single player campaign, Single player
ingame pause (default P). General command delay (default Left Windows).
Move to last minimap alert (default M).
• Ability to disable computer players in
multiplayer games (cycle through the teams to "No Computer").
• New console command: net.join [password] (can even join games only
announced local (bypassing GameSpy)).
• New console command: net.status (to see who is lagging etc).
• Bigger, more readable console font (mostly for chat messages).
• Server list join confusion fixed.
•Zonealarm/Norton firewalls no longer cause lockups when the game is
• Hosting failed detection, port setup described ingame.
• New infiltrator definition: infiltrated family can't overrule commands
executed by the infiltrating family.
• The computer players now starts a little later than the human players.
• Fixed rotation problem when switching directly between vehicles.
Needless to say, if you get the game, get the patch so you can enjoy it
for what its worth.
Now the first good thing I can say on the up side of the game is that
the graphics for the most part are not too shabby at all. The maps that
are played on are rendered in 3D, streets and buildings have a good
level of detail. Other types of characters and denizens of the city roam
about during game play, both indoors and outdoors, the world has a faire
level of reality to it with both day and night cycles that lends itself
well to the game environment.
Getting a look at the game world your character is running around in is
simple enough. With the mouse wheel you can zoom in and out and rotate
the view and angle pretty well. A fast view of 90 degrees in either
direction is accomplished by a couple of keys on the keyboard. As noted
earlier, during combat it can be a real pain, but for just running
around and getting a look at where you are while there is no action…it
serves its purpose.
One of the things that really bothered me was the fact that the place is
devoid of vehicle traffic. Pretty odd considering it’s supposed to be
this big bustling city heh? So ok, you will see some parked cars here
and there. Sure once in a while you will see a car the enemy is driving
or you, yourself drive depending on the mission, but that is pretty much
it. I am sure this was a programming evil that had to be decided upon
because of the game mechanics. Like it, love it, leave it. There ain't
no traffic here pal.
In the end Gangland has a lot of content to offer, 16 conquest missions
in the campaign itself, 12 optional challenge missions. With the hits
and misses added up in the over all game experience this may not be
enough to keep you coming back for more. As it goes Gangland is a fine
distraction to while away five or ten minutes of your time, but I don’t
think it merits a full play through unless you have some gamers disorder
that compels you to finish what ever game you lay your hands on. Ok I
give in a little there is a bit of a macabre pull to bringing your
character up in levels of power and controls to perhaps one day control
the whole city, It’s an ok game but may be best left for a bargain hunt
when the price drops to the choice of this game and say a eight pack of
Have fun, play games