WiseAss Thinkers


Perspective: Gangland

There was a computer game that came out awhile back called Gangland. It was – I would guess – one that we all knew wouln’t be that good but might at least provide a few hours of distraction for a little bit or maybe another couple of hours or so.

Thing is, it did for me and I really enjoyed it- bear in mind, that I was younger then when it came out in 2004 than I am now. Heh heh- I had [i]extremely[/i] bad taste, even though a lot of the games then that people liked sucked on dried eggs from what I remember…

A picturesque scene of a peaceful street, without a fight between mobs in sight...

A picturesque scene of a peaceful street, without a fight between mobs in sight...

It was a cool little mish-mash of RTS and lite-RPG and didn’t really have any real management oppurtunities or features like the devs said it had, but that’s to be expected and it was fun nonetheless.

You started – in the main story – as a young associate in an Italian Mafia crime syndicate in some fictional city called Paradise City- so far, very generic. From there, you earn the Don of the syndicate’s trust and proceed through from extorting businesses and imtimidating street punks to exterminating enemy mobsters and even killing off enenmy bosses.

Your character will have to start out small, making his own ends meet until he rises up to become boss himself

Your character will have to start out small, making his own ends meet until he rises up to become boss himself

After that, in “mysterious” circumstance (rubbish twists that you don’t expect but they had some quasi-decent writing to it, unlike most mish-mashes) your uncle – the Don – disappears and you’re left to take over the reins of the syndicate and expand and grow it until it becomes the most powerful in all of the districts of Paradise City. Until you get to the final district where you meet the creme da le creme of syndicates to fight and conquer.

Along the way, you have to kill your three brothers who mudered your fourth in cold blood but it doesn’t affect you too much apart from some dramatic “death in the family” music. The music was pretty amaturish but – surprisingly – never got annoying and got you into the mood- though how a Heavy Metal soundtrack fits a Mafia game is beyond me…

When the battles really start getting heated, the strange Heavy Metal music actually keeps the battle flowing...

When the battles really start getting heated, the odd-placed Heavy Metal music actually keeps the battles flowing...

The graphics, although not the best at the time, were functional and passable but still quite “cold”. The gameplay mainly consisted early on of doing main missions for your uncle and then once you had a bit of extra cash: going on raids, extorting and taking over more businesses and suppliers, upgrading the weaponry of your entourage (which turn out to be your entire “family”) and killing off enemy bosses until you controlled the district. You could even marry and have kids to keep the family booming once you ascended to Don and had to “manage” – i.e. choose who to kill and trade with first – with other bosses.

Eventaully you'll be managing these "female adult entertainers" rather than just protect them from enemy soldiers

Eventaully you'll be managing these "female adult entertainers" rather than just protect them from enemy soldiers

Overall, it was an average game that didn’t quite hit the mark but was a recommended for anyone who liked the Gangster genre at the time or needed something different to play while they waited for whatever games were coming out in 2004. It was a weird little game and has a special place in the anals of my gaming history – due to nostalgia – and I occasionally dig it out to play every now and then. And if you could get past the weird, half-and-half mix of 1930’s and 1990’s decor, vehicles, enviroment, businesses, people and weapons, you were set for a nice little bit of afternoon gaming. Maybe even two or possibly three afternoons you lil’mobster, you…

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