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Gangstar Rio: City of Saints

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Devil may cry

Product: Gangstar Rio: City of Saints | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Android | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | File size: 818MB | Version: Europe
Gangstar Rio: City of Saints Android, thumbnail 1
With great power comes great responsibility.

Rockstar's GTA series is one of the most powerful video gaming franchises around, commanding the attention of gamers and the wider world beyond. It wields this power responsibly for the most part, using violence as a narrative tool rather than as an end in itself.

Gameloft's Gangstar Rio: City of Saints copies the GTA formula pretty brazenly, but it doesn't achieve the narrative depth necessary to justify its violence - for instance, kill 20 random NPCs and you'll find yourself picking up an 'achievement'.

You may not be bothered by that, of course. We're not here to tell you where your moral compass should be pointing. Unfortunately, Gangstar Rio has plenty of other problems to get bothered about.

No model performer

You play as a bad guy looking to turn good. Your attempt to break free from the underworld is literally blown apart when a car bomb leaves your other half splattered all over the windscreen.

Following a handy bit of reconstructive surgery,which actually manages to improve your appearance, you're reborn as the vengeful Angel.

This assassination attempt pretty much puts paid to any pretence of going straight.

Missions in Gangstar Rio see you ruthlessly slaying bystanders, intimidating the ruling classes, and generally embedding yourself in the seedy underbelly of Gameloft's take on Brazil's most famous city.

It's a predictable setup, but predictability is forgiveable if the gameplay is any good. Unfortunately, in the case of Gangstar Rio, it isn't.

There are six different control setups for the game's vehicles, but none is particularly successful. The best configuration is a combination of sliding sticks – one for steering, one for speed – though it never feels like anything more than a compromise.

What's even more frustrating is that Rio's streets are particularly unflattering for Gangstar Rio's patched-up handling. Tight, grid-based inner-city roads are paired up with carriageways with as much freedom as a bundle of tightly bunched spaghetti. Driving is most certainly not Gangstar Rio's strong point.

But then, neither is the on-foot action. The main problem surrounds the handling of weapons.

Off target

Targeting is something of a lottery, and the AI is comically poor at times, meaning that even simple tasks like shooting a single target can be a challenge.

When you do complete a mission, you rarely manage it in a slick fashion – the game simply doesn't allow you to.

Worse than all this, though, is Gangstar Rio's joyless tone. Where games like GTA IV and Saint's Row use humour and characterisation to offset the violence, Gangstar Rio plays it dead straight.

There's no humour to be found here, and all of the characters would be thoroughly unlikeable if they were in any way believable. The end result is a game without any character or drive.

In contrast with its obvious inspiration, Gangstar Rio is neither powerful nor responsible. It does a passable impersonation of GTA in a box-ticking sort of way, but if that's what you're looking for you'd be best advised to wait for the forthcoming iOS port of GTA III.
Gangstar Rio: City of Saints
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 18 November 2011
Half-hearted and without any direction to speak of, Gangstar Rio: City of Saints is evidence of little else than Grand Theft Auto's greatness, serving up a forgettable and muddled entry in the sandbox genre
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Jan 2013
Post count:
@Tapmap | 19:14 - 2 January 2013
Gangstar Rio City is an okay game.Sometimes the game gets slow the missions are a bit boring and the cars are the same.The graphics are not the best but I think we can live with that. Flying the Helicopters and Planes are rubbish for flying, all it is is basic stick controls. The cars are really cool but the colours are not that good, It's really annoying that it takes pretty much a full magazine to kill someone. The R.P.G is pretty much useless as I can't even use it without blowing myself to smithereens. Other than that the weapons are pretty cool except they are all so expensive . The houses aren't that great because you can only go into your guns,bed,and eat one sandwich just to reboot yourself half way.

My game rating out of ten is : 8/10 because the graphics , wea
pons and vehicles aren't that great.
Feb 2012
Post count:
bad mothafucka | 17:53 - 25 February 2012
(sorry if i don't speak perfect i'm french)

i don't want to be mean but i realy don't understand ya all, i think a few people who are never satisfied said this kind of stuff and the others followed like sheeple because it's complete bullshit
my 2 favorite games on my iphone 4S are MC3 (best fps on iphone for me) and gangstar rio, again for me much better than GTA 3 even if it's good memories and whatever...
clean the crap outa your eyes guys, the only thing i agree on is maybe that gangstar could have been made with a little more humour. but seriously gangstar have WAY more vehicles of all sorts, you can swim, personnaly i like the driving and have no problems with shootings either, lot of guns and cool ones like the new and possibly double 2 shot shotgun or the also new sniper.
there is actions in the city there is also all kinds of cool clothes...
anyway it's way better than the old school gta III or no we can agree on the fact that it's different depend if you really want to be in the gta atmosphere etc but anyway i think it's realy stupid and unjustified to take a big old crap on this game who absolutely don't deserve it. maybe you just sucks and can't play it right x)
Apr 2010
Post count:
jeffyg3 | 06:09 - 22 November 2011
Yeah, Gameloft's standards have slipped a LONG time ago. 9MM, Shadow Guardian, Splinter Cell, Gangstar series, and Silent Ops were all crap, yet people people keep praising their horrid excuses for console like games. These games would easily get low grade ratings on consoles...it's time people took off their rose tinted glasses, Gameloft games are almost always nothing but trash.

I did enjoy Modern Combat's multiplayer a bit however, but the single player is mediocre to the bone.
Nov 2011
Post count:
Tricky7 | 11:42 - 19 November 2011
People don't seem to grasp Gameloft's business model, they basically come up with a game engine and then apply a different skin and release the same thing with some tweaks several times over, stuff like Splinter Cell, that Uncharted clone (I forget it's name), 9mm all felt like the same game to me. I would not be surprised if this latest Gangstar game although it's a different type game is running on the same engine as the one used on Backstab, Spiderman etc etc. It's always worked for them, it keeps costs low, development times are next to nothing and they make money.

@klouud, they've been doing this since way before Apple ever dreamt of making a phone. It's not complacency, all their games are cookie cutter jobs, the Nova games, Modern Combat games boil down to walking in a straightish line and shooting the same 2-3 enemies for hours on end. I'm just surprised it's taken people this long to actually notice this.

I do buy the odd game from them now and again, they're disposable games at best. But their business model works, so credit where it's due.
Dec 2008
Post count:
klouud | 00:07 - 19 November 2011
Its possible that game loft has gotten complacent and has decided to coast on its previous success. This is just plain stupid... there are tons of excellent developers and HUGE names jumping on board with iOS and Android now... it is time to step it up, not rest on our laurels.

I noticed that game loft was slipping when I played through the Zelda clone. It was actually really horrible.

Apr 2011
Post count:
DarthPaul | 21:37 - 18 November 2011
Agree with the reviewer... It does seem a bit odd that you can kill people without fear of reprisal. No believable atmosphere. :(
Apr 2011
Post count:
lucks143 | 20:05 - 18 November 2011
HAHA! after ALL THE ADVERTISING all over the place...this game....as a THIRD entry into the series...still SUCKS! ...they need to just drop this game. All of them are awful....