Gangstar: Crime City
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|Gangstar: Crime City|
Gangstar: Crime City game art.
|Platform(s)||Mobile (Java ME)|
|Genre(s)||Third-person shooter, action-adventure, open world, racing|
Gangstar: Crime City is a 2006 open world action-adventure mobile game developed and published by Gameloft. The game is about a gangster who explores the fictional town of Crime City looking for money, power, and occupation of other gangs.
Crime City is almost like a combination of Los Angeles and Miami (mostly Miami-based areas). Areas such as Ocean Beach (as used in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and Ocean Drive are examples. Policemen and their vehicles are patterned after the LAPD.
Like Grand Theft Auto, the game is structured as an open world, sandbox-based environment, affording the player a sizeable area in which to move around; the game's world is divided into two maps representing an upscale and a run-down suburban district respectively. On foot, the player is able to run and operate a variety of vehicles, but is limited to using firearms, though this is compensated by inifinite ammunition on the pistol to make up for the lack of melee combat. While storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game, they are not mandatory as players can complete them at their own leisure. Aside from the main storyline, players can also partake in side activities such as street racing, purchasing properties such as a restaurant and a recording label, and a drug-dealing minigame, though given the heavily-censored nature of the game, euphemisms like "candies" and other confectionery-related terms were used to avoid any direct references to narcotics.
The weapon stores are similar to Grand Theft Auto's Ammu-Nation, although the player can buy additional health and bodyguards there. The selection ranges from the pistol, with infinite ammunition, the Uzi, which can be used for drive-by shootings, the AK-47 rifle, a pump-action shotgun, and the rocket launcher, which can only be obtained in certain places. Unlike in Grand Theft Auto, players are only restricted to using weapons; hand-to-hand combat and melee attacks aren't available in-game.
Gangstar: Crime City received mixed to positive reception from critics, with praise given to the gameplay and Gameloft's efforts at bringing a Grand Theft Auto-like experience to mobile devices, which hasn't seen any official release from Rockstar up until the tenth anniversary mobile release of Grand Theft Auto III in 2011. IGN's Levi Buchanan gave Crime City a score of 7.4 put of 10, stating "If you can get into Gangstar without any expectation other than a reasonable facsimile of the GTA experience on the smallest screen at a bargain price, there are definitely some kicks to be had. Just keep your tongue planted firmly in cheek while playing." In a similarly positive review, Pocket Gamer also noted the game being heavily based on Grand Theft Auto, stating "although it's not the best it could be, Gangstar: Crime City is a good stab/shot/other-violent-metaphorical-verb at turning GTA into mobile form. Solid, if not completely polished," While both reviewers noted the game's open world and missions, its stereotypical portrayal of gangsta rap and hip-hop culture was criticised and ridiculed as being cliche and tongue-in-cheek.