Gameloft has brought some high profile gaming style to iOS over the years with many being similar to well known titles that are never coming to iOS. Gangstar is their Grand Theft Auto style series, and it’s now in its fourth variation that takes the action to the streets of Las Vegas. It’s an all new competitive landscape in the App Store for Gangstar Vegas due to the fact that Rockstar Games has introduced Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City for iOS, which previous Gangstar’s didn’t have to contend with. Gameloft must understand this, because Gangstar Vegas barely resembles its predecessors with an all new graphics engine combined with the Havock physics engine.
The game itself revolves around an MMA fighter who was supposed to throw a fight for a crime boss, but his opponent went down before he could, and now he’s on the run. Your character meets up with a new team to aid his survival, and that sets the stage for his plan of vengeance to take down the crime boss. The story isn’t ground breaking, and the voice acting is typical for a Gameloft game, but it’s still nice to have. Once you’re into the story, you’re then sent through 80 missions that include fire fights, car thefts, planting explosives, street racing, and more. There are also plenty of optional side missions as you would expect from the genre. The most noteworthy aspect is that the open world map is nine times the size of previous Gangstar games, and it’s mapped to Las Vegas relatively accurately with knock-off versions of Paris, The Venetian, Wynn, and other noteworthy strip hotels.
There’s an extremely deluxe adventure to dive into, and the continuous supply of story missions keep you blasting your way forward. It’s quite an experience to speed through Sin City with deluxe 3D graphics, a great sense of speed, and authentic ragdoll physics effects. The gameplay isn’t the most thought provoking with many instances of mindlessly tapping the fire button, or following a very guided path, but it’s still plenty engaging. Through it all, everything is set-up for on the go gaming to jump in, play a mission, and jump out, but you can keep playing a lot longer.
Gameloft has also done a good job making the open map more free flowing to the point that you can run upon a motorcycle shootout outside of a mission, and react however you want. There’s also a deluxe upgrade system to enhance every single one of your character’s abilities in addition to a deluxe weapon and vehicle arsenal in the shop, all through in-game coins which are effortless to earn. No matter how you slice it, you have seen the style before, but it still is plenty enjoyable blasting through Las Vegas with deluxe weapons and fast cars with a great flow.
Gangstar Vegas ($6.99, Universal) isn’t innovative by any means, and feels like a run of the mill entry into the genre. With that said, it’s still plenty entertaining through the lengthy campaign making it worth the premium price of admission.