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.
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.