It's been a bit quiet since iTunes finally thawed out after Christmas, and it feels like we're still awaiting that big first release to really kick off the year (looking at you, Binding of Isaac). Out of nowhere yesterday, Gameloft soft launched their newest entry in the Gangstar series in The Philippines, and while previous iterations have explored Miami, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, your nefarious criminal kingpin is now running amok in New Orleans. While Gameloft have touted Gangstar New Orleans to be the 'gold standard for open-world action-adventure', the reaction from gamers on our forums is significantly more mixed, with some sharing positive sentiment, and others deriding the release for being a bit rough on this initial soft launch.

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From one perspective, TheBeastlyNinja only had positive feedback for their first impressions. They report that the "controls are nice and easy to get a hold of. On foot is easy and cars don't feel 'floaty' like they do in a lot of other mobile games". TheBeastlyNinja was also impressed with the visual design of Gangstar New Orleans, stating that the "graphics are nice, and kind of cell shaded like Borderlands. The shadows are impressive and it looks good overall". While they point out the presence of a few stutters and how some guns and cars must be unlocked through completing missions or paying money, TheBeastlyNinja sums up Gangstar New Orleans as "a nice freemium distraction". Similarly, Techzamazing argues that despite the lag, the game is "pretty awesome" and "highly recommended to all", and reminiscent of the GTA series. Anonomation especially appreciates the game being set in their hometown, and suggests this could be something that could appeal to anyone with experience of New Orleans life.

However, some other forum members had more mixed opinions of Gangstar New Orleans. TontikBunny sums up his experience with the game as purely "meh", citing the lack of customisation for your characters, and also how the energy system and weapon level upgrades negatively affect the experience. Jakeopp is far more explicit in their opinions, as despite highlighting that this is only a soft launch release, suggests that there is "not much positive here". Jakeopp further elaborates how the "graphics are borderline terrible, missions are dull, combat is clunky", and asserts that, as opposed to Anonomation's appreciation of the setting within the game, the game environment is lacking in personality, and "oddly empty in certain places".

With such contrasting opinions, it's difficult to know what to make of this newest entry in the Gangstar series. If you have experience of New Orleans, you'll likely appreciate the game's attempt at recreating this within a fictitious GTA-esque universe. However, if you go in expecting Grand Theft Auto 6, you'll likely be disappointed. Whether you've just watched the videos our community have created, or you have tried the game from The Philippines App Store by using our soft launch guide, we'd love to hear what you think of Gangstar New Orleans on our forum thread, whether positive, negative, or everything in between.

  • thejbe

    Timers!? Why timers!? For missions!? Why include a cover button if you haven't got time to cover because I want 3 stars!? So silly. I like to take my time sneaking popping sneaking popping. I don't want to see an ever increasing timer top centre screen. For this reason, I'm out.

  • Astalos16

    The pure fun of an open-world game is when you have no mission, drive around the city freely, explore, destroy, be the god. Can we do those things here? What the hell is this???????

  • jakeopp

    To clarify, i'm playing on an iPad Air 2. Compared to other open-world mobile games, the graphics and render distance were much worse than Assassin's Creed: Identity as well as Ravensword: Shadowlands IMO. I could stand next to the road and watch as cars appear and disapear in a pretty short distance.

    Most of the missions were just "go kill X" or "drive to this location" or "drive through these rings within the time limit". The story missions were a bit better, however. There is a cover system of sorts in place with the combat. Felt a bit clunky compared to the one in Shadowgun: Deadzone for example. Whether your bullets hit your target was completely up to the game & its aim assist.

    As for my "oddly empty" comment, I was exploring around after dark and found a large "party boat" for lack of a better description. Not a single person on board. Walking around the airport, I found it empty. As well as a restaurant that I was able to walk through (although it was night-time so maybe people are there during the daytime?).

    • dasker4444

      Did you create a philippines account to play? If so, would you like to lend it to me to test the game?

      • Jakeopp

        Someone already shared their account in the forum post

  • dasker4444

    Thanks my friend

  • dasker4444

    I already tried it, but it is unusual in Gameloft that the game does not have graphic effects, lights and detailed on the sidewalks as they usually do, it does not have support for mfi controls so it plays to play with the Tactil for the moment, the game looks very all right. But could improve it with better effects and improving the graphics a bit.

  • 07

    I've been trying to know why I can't fight the 2nd turf owner next to french turf. after displaying who is the boss the game displays black screen and then automatically closes. I'm from the philippines and I'm using windows 10. I downloaded it from windows store. PLEASE! I need HELP! how can i fix this bug? should i wait for the next update? I really love playing the game I remember my childhood days playing san andreas.

  • ian rath (Stormer379)

    what we need from gameloft is an open world racing game with large amounts of customization, this game proves they can develop for pc. and a pc/ps4/xbox game that maybe costs around 20 dollars thats feature rich is what we need from them, and is what might help boost them into the real gaming industry.