Gameloft's 'Gangster Rio: City of Saints' Gets a Trailer
Sandbox games can be very fun, there's no doubt about that. Gameloft is looking to bring that fun to the iOS in the form of Gangstar Rio: City of Saints. There is no release date yet outside of "soon", but we will be sure to let you know as more details emerge.
There’s a certain sense of humour about Gameloft’s latest Gangstar title, the last in the series of the rather Grand Theft Auto-esque, ambitious but generally a little flawed iPhone and iPad games; it’s not that it’s deliberately funny, more that it makes you smile whilst you’re playing it, and not always for the right reasons.
The main one is that, for a game that relies so heavily on dialog to progress the story, it’s a shame that the voice acting is so iffy and the script so often cringeworthy. It’s hammy beyond parody (at least, that’s how I read it) and – get this – trashier than Saints Row in terms of language and the Brazilian vernacular. Most of it’s unquoteable, thankfully.
The design is strong and individual, at least in the flashing menus and UI. The gym workout in the background before you start the game is impressive, setting the scene nicely.There’s some bizarre character animations, too- I walked out of one shop to see three or four NPCs all doing a freakish ‘into the wind’ walk, on the spot, before spinning around in circles.
But somehow, it doesn’t really seem to matter. Yes, you’ll scoff at the painful delivery and giggle when your protagonist runs over yet another pedestrian with a daft accompanying soundbite, but for the most part you’ll be having too much fun causing mayhem to care. That is, assuming you can get used to the controls, which were never going to be perfect given the type of game.
You can’t really fault Gameloft here, mind – this is a game that would normally use two analog sticks and a wealth of buttons and triggers, so if you decide to avoid the tilt controls you’re left with onscreen sliders, pedals or a wheel (or combinations of the three) all of which take some adjusting to. On an iPad (I’ve been playing this on an iPad 2) everything’s a little too far apart and nowhere near as configurable as it is in Modern Combat 3 – there’s no excuse for not letting the player move and size the buttons nowadays.
At its heart, though, this definitely feels like a title fans will appreciate. The map’s big enough and varied enough to have its own character (with some famous Rio landmarks getting some subtle changes) and there are loads of cars, bikes and other vehicles to keep you happy. Likewise, sub missions and events abound, and the story itself plays out just like a Rockstar title, the missions flicking from character to character with lots of plot twists.
The game running on an iPhone - it looks better the more recent your hardware, but regardless be prepared for a big download.Visually it’s not bad, given the multitude of platforms the engine has to support; characters are decent enough up close, the lip syncing’s actually quite impressive and although there’s some ridiculous pop-in the overall draw distance is good and the frame rate’s not bad considering. It’s the best looking Gangstar game so far, for sure, some of the textures are great, even close up, and the cutscenes are generally ok.
You’ll get out of Rio what you put in – you might struggle to really connect with the characters on any deep level, but fans of the genre will appreciate the little touches in amongst the obvious homages. RPG-like levels for guns is a smart idea – your ‘respect’ score all important – and, if you do choose to invest, at least it looks like the who-tried-to-kill-you plot will keep you guessing.
The plot’s daft, that’s for sure – the game kicks into gear a couple of missions in after you’re left for dead and totally transformed via plastic surgery – but the action’s solid enough. There’s lots to do, for sure, the music’s great and although from the time I’ve spent playing the game so far there are few really stand-out moments the game’s lighthearted enough to keep you smiling.
At least, I think that’s the intention.Rio is getting closer!
Keep in touch to know the release date very soon!