“A perfectly workable take on the GTA formula, but without the wit and flair.”£4.99
We’re no experts in South American dialects, but we’re pretty sure that saying someone else is going to, uh… excrete… a “duffel bag full of tarantulas”, is a weird thing to say, yet that’s than exact quote from Gangstar Rio.
This, in truth, is the game’s major flaw. The dialogue is sometimes excruciating to listen to, but worse is that the whole thing is a little soulless, with no meaningful character development, an unsympathetic cast of thugs, and little justification for the acts of depravity depicted.
However, in terms of mission-by-mission playability, Gangstar Rio is another perfectly adequate handheld homage to GTA. The plot involves a gang member whose desire to break free of his whole thug life is crushed when a suspect explosion leads him to assume a new identity and he is drawn ever deeper into the violent culture he wanted to be free of.
Missions, or jobs, are varied and enjoyable enough, ranging from simply offing rival gang members to rescuing strippers from bullies, stealing police cars, tailing enemies and locating drug stashes, all in the name of driving the rather flimsy story forward. In addition, general bad behavior enables you to level up and acquire more money, more tools of mayhem (guns, essentially) and swanky new outfits. Needless to say you can also steal a variety of vehicles including trucks, sports cars, cabs, motorcycles and, yes, the now-obligatory chopper.
In other words, another slightly cynical but neatly executed take on the GTA format.