Think the Sims crossed with the Godfather and you've got Gangland. Set in Paradise city, you are placed in the Mafias hands. It is under the eyes of Vicenzo that you are sent out to do numerous tasks. These include drive by shootings, recruitment of fighters and assassinations. Very much Grand Theft Auto type missions.
The game is a point and click. Right click on the mouse to interact with others or to move to a different position. Interactions with others range from talking to beginning a shootout.
The game is a lot more tactical. You will have to take cover to avoid bullets, crouch for better accuracy and learn to reload at the correct times to even contemplate staying alive. That brings me to my next point about the games extreme difficulty. Even on easy you will be throwing your keyboard across the room in extreme rage. I'd hate to know how hard it is on hard mode.
However, to combat this, the developer is creating a save game patch. This will allow you to save the game at any time you choose rather than the end of a long mission. (This save game patch should be available sometime in March from a selection of game websites.)
There is a huge collection of non playable characters ranging from construction workers, paper boys to priests. These characters often help you in your journey and missions. For example, priests can bless your family or help you get to married. By being married you are able to have children who can help you throughout the game. Your daughters may be able to flirt their way past missions. Sons can become lawyers to help you to fund your crimes. The game possesses much depth that makes the experience of playing it all the better.
The games visuals are solid with detailed, large environments to roam around. However the camera view has a tendency to get lost meaning you have to manually correct it. This is all well and good until your being shot at, rapidly losing your health and screaming at the game for being so difficult.
While checking out the on-line areas, I found 2 servers. Not exactly streaming with on-line fun. However, the game is new and I am sure more servers will pop up as more people undoubtedly buy the game.
Gangland is definitely worth a shout. Large detailed environments with all the depth to keep you playing for months on end. That's if you can tolerate the difficulty level.
Hopefully the save game patch will lighten the difficulty level.
Patch 1.1 is available from http://www.whiptailinteractive.com/downloads.php
This will increase performance by 50% in Nvidia graphics cards and 25% in ATI cards. It also corrects certain stability issues that arose in the game.
Robert Wyse Jackson