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|Platform(s)||Android, iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad) and Windows 10|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multi-player (Gang)|
Gangstar Vegas (originally known as Gangstar 4 and is alternatively known as Gangstar 4: Vegas) is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Gameloft for Android, iOS (both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad) . It is the fifth main installment in the Gangstar series, and was released on June 7, 2013. Gangstar Vegas is preceded by Gangstar Rio: City of Saints and is succeeded by Gangstar: New Orleans.
Gangstar Vegas is set in modern-day Las Vegas, Nevada. The story revolves around Jason Malone, a skilled MMA fighter who is targeted by Frank Veliano after winning in a match. Like games in the Grand Theft Auto series, Gangstar Vegas has elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives the player more control over their playing experience.
During its release, it received mixed reviews from critics and players alike, whom they criticized the laggy graphics, animation, and its frequent updates, but praised the music and the extensive use of 3D graphics, which some players noted as an improvement of the previous game. It was also a commercial success, having been downloaded 50 million times from iOS and Android.
Gangstar Vegas is structured similarly to previous games in the series, and by extension, to Grand Theft Auto and its numerous clones. The overall play area is much larger, with Gameloft marketing it as "Gangstar's largest open world". In addition to the main storyline, players can free roam and/or partake in a number of side activities, namely bank robberies, street racing and underground fighting tournaments. Property management is also present, allowing the player to gain income through businesses acquired during the course of the game. In keeping with the game's Las Vegas theme, casino minigames such as video poker, blackjack and slot machines were also introduced, along with a number of establishments such as a nightclub and convenience stores.
A number of updates were added to Gangstar Vegas after its initial release, among them a Saints Row-esque Gangstar vs. Aliens pack, and a Christmas-themed update adding new clothing and vehicles such as a rocket-powered sleigh. In addition, the game has since been released as a free-to-play title, with bonus content available through microtransactions. Its frequent use of updating also received criticism from some fans and critics, whom they noted the lack of weapons, vehicles, and costumes, and the lag graphics part.
Professional MMA fighter Jason "the Kid" Malone is bribed by the powerful Mafia leader, Don Frank Veliano, to take a dive in his fight against Pietro Holston. Frank Veliano told Jason Malone to fall in the fourth round but Pietro falls before Jason can take the dive. He is chased by Frank and his Mafia before Karen Olsen, the accountant and bodyguard of Vera "Leatherface" Montello, arrives and helps him escape. Jason later works for the Montello queenpin, Karen and Eric "E-Man", a pimp and drug maker-dealer, mostly in causing chaos against the Velianos.
Frank and his henchmen later storm Montello's celebration, capturing Jason and forcing him to work for the Velianos, including Benny, Frank's right-hand man, and mayoral candidate Rev. Winston "Preacher" Goodman. Jason steals a boat, a seaplane and a helicopter for the Velianos, as well as fighting the Hispanic street gang, the Huevos. After crashing the Huevos' party, however, Jason finds that the Velianos have kidnapped Karen, and are forcing Vera to hand over her strip club, Fire and Vice, to Frank in exchange for Karen.
Jason helps the Montellos save Karen by stealing wire tapping devices from an army base and planting it to pinpoint Frank and Karen's position. He later joins Eric and Vera to raid Frank's casino, where Karen is held. They then escape Frank's soldiers, but at the cost of Vera sacrificing herself to stop reinforcements, out of remorse for having bribed Pietro to lose the MMA fight.
Enraged by Vera's loss, and the truth that Frank killed her father, Karen wants Jason out of the Mafia war. Jason saves her again from Veliano, convincing her to accept his help. Karen kisses Jason (it is also possible they make out in Jason's Whiptail, as the scene is faded out) before taking back Fire and Vice. Jason later sabotages Frank's villa, and uses the media (the only business in Vegas not controlled by Veliano) to mock the LVPD's incompetence (Frank has also bribed the police).
Finding that Benny has been arrested, Frank seeks to remove him. Jason rescues Benny as Veliano's mob intercepts the police convoy. Benny has photos of Goodman's debauchery, and Jason threatens Goodman to turn against Frank, otherwise the photos are leaked. Cornered and betrayed, and with the FBI on his tail, Frank tries to flee Las Vegas with his money. Jason confronts him on the Wrecking Ball Hotel Casino Tower (a parody of Stratosphere Las Vegas), only to have Frank shoot at him, leaking the helicopter's fuel tank in the process. Jason lights up the petrol, setting Frank on fire and falling to his death, and then Jason parachute landing into Karen's Störer (a parody of the Koenigsegg CCX).
Main and Supporting characters
- Sean Schemmel as Jason "The Kid" Malone is the main protagonist of the game. A former bouncer in a Vegas club, Jason was given the opportunity to train and become a professional MMA fighter by Frank Veliano, after he saved Veliano during a fight. Closer than ever before to becoming a star, Frank’s betrayal comes as a hard blow for The Kid. But true champs always get up, even in the most desperate situations.
- Suzy Myers Jackson as Karen Olsen is Vera's accountant/bodyguard. Her mother left Karen and her father for an Elvis impersonator when she was three, and she was therefore raised by her father, who was a policeman. Mr. Olsen sought to unveil the corruption within the ranks of LVPD, but was killed by Frank, who bribed the LVPD. Karen started out cold towards Jason, but later warms up to him, and eventually they both fall in love. Karen is a specialist in firearms. And
- Selena Greenwood as Vera Montello is the of widow
- Billy Bob Thompson as "Johnny Jack The Hammer" of Montello. She owns a strip club, Fire and Vice, and is a friend of Karen. She is the main reason for the war between Jason and Frank.
- Tom Wayland as Eric A.K.A. E-man, only known by his nickname E-Man, is a drug dealer-maker and prostitute caretaker for the Montellos. He tries most of the drugs he makes, making him high most of the times. He has a habit of using historical fiction and fantasy terms to describe people and things: Vera is "The Empress," a skater who stole his drugs as a "Dragon," Johnny's era as "The Roman Empire," etc. He later appears as a hostage whom joins your gang in Gangstar New Orleans
- Scott Rayow as Frank "Mr. V" Veliano is the primary antagonist of Gangstar: Vegas. He started out as a thief before joining the Montello Mafia family, which was ruled by Johnny. Frank started as a petty thief and climbed the ladder of organized crime after betraying and killing Johnny "Jack the Hammer" Montello. Frank was ousted from the Montellos and later he established his own family. Through bribery, coercion and threats, Frank controlled most of the businesses in Vegas, along with its municipal government and the LVPD. He also endorsed Reverend Winston Goodman's mayoral election campaign, killed Karen Olsen's father who wanted to reveal the LVPD's corruption, as well as nurturing Jason Malone as an MMA fighter. However, Frank did not seize control of Vegas' media business, and this weakness is used by Jason after he sabotages Frank's mansion.
- David Brimmer as Benny is underboss.Frank's right-hand man. A man of muscle than of wits, Benny is also paranoid that Frank would one day kill him. Benny tricks Jason to crash the Huevos' party while he kidnaps Karen Olsen. However, hope and redemption come for him when Jason saves him from both the Velianos and the LVPD, who arrested him. He keeps photos of Frank and Winston doing illegal activities such as bribery and debauchery in case Frank seeks to take him out.
- Arthur French as Winston "Preacher" Goodman is a priest running for Mayor of Las Vegas. Although looking clean and serene from the outside, Winston has been involved in debauchery, corruption and property manipulation. He was endorsed by Frank for his campaign, but later turns against him in order to stop Jason from leaking his photos.
- Rizky the Dacok is the alien villain in the alien missions who manipulated Jason into believing that the alien was merely a peace ambassadors despite having mind control weapons, in which Steve claimed was for the Andromeda moon eaters hiding behind the moon. After he and Jason infiltrates the Area 51, he betrays Jason and leaves Jason to die. Jason survived and would later kill this character
- Devil, The devil captured Jason and forced him to work for her both in the casino “City of Saints” and in “hell” before releasing him.
The game received mixed to positive reviews upon release, earning a score of 61 out of 100 at Metacritic. TouchArcade gave Gangstar Vegas four stars out of five in a mixed review, called the game an "open-ended, violent, destruction-filled fun" and praised the game's graphics, but criticised the "hit and miss" voice acting, controls and technical issues. A more critical review came from Pocket Gamer, viewing the game as misogynistic and bemoaned its control scheme and lack of polish, stating "where its inspirations - the likes of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - are filled with exciting set pieces, interesting characters, and fun gewgaws, Gangstar Vegas is a sloppy, empty experience full of hollow-eyed caricatures."
- Additional work by Gameloft Kharkiv, Gameloft Hanoi, and Gameloft Brazil.
- Paterson, James (12 June 2013). "Gangstar Vegas Review". TouchArcade. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- Zibreg, Christian (19 February 2014). "Aliens, jetpack and more in Gameloft's latest Gangstar Vegas update". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Gameloft updates Gangstar Vegas, now free to play". Android Community. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "Gangstar Vegas". Metacritic.
- Slater, Harry (13 June 2013). "Gangstar Vegas review - iPad reviews". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 31 July 2016.