Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
Buy On
  1. The characters aren’t great but are satisfactory and animate rather way. Not much in the way of visuals, but the art style definitely serves the game.
  2. However you play, the amount of crimes you can accomplish in this game is fabulous, and it never gets old.
  3. Gangland delivers where it counts. It’s hard to stop playing, you want to play it when you’re not and it makes you hungry for ziti.
  4. Gangland is a good game, with a great mix of real-time combat and strategy, and the economics of crime.
  5. But this isn’t just car bombs and cement shoes; characters can marry into families, sire their own shifty progeny, and watch them assume seats of power. It ain’t pretty, but it’s business.
  6. A big bonus is that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  7. A highly enjoyable title to while away at, offering a unique blend of "Syndicate" and "Drug Wars."
  8. A competent story, challenging gameplay and a good blend of several genres make it a game that should please the crime-game fan.
  9. Playboy
    Think of this strategy game as "The Sims" meets "The Sopranos." [Feb 2003, p.32]
  10. 75
    I find it both unforgivable and amazing that any game would be released without the ability to save during the game. That's right - you can't save during each of the Conquests.
  11. Shoot outs are troublesome and hectic, moving around the map is too much of an effort, and keeping track of what you’ve actually done is a chore.
  12. A good game that probably could have used some refinement in the way combat was handled and could have used a lot more common NPC interaction.
  13. One of those games where even though you keep getting killed you can't help but go back for more just to progress that little bit further.
  14. Despite the small cracks in just about every gameplay function of the game, Gangland still manages to be addictive fun.
  15. The steep difficulty, erratic AI and overall lack of balance in the gameplay ultimately flaw the experience.
  16. The execution of many of Gangland's different elements falls short of its lofty promise, thus leaving a game that has a lot of good ideas but is sometimes convoluted and often frustrating.
  17. PC Gamer
    My biggest gripe involves gangland's implementation vehicles. You're occasionally given cars for drive-by shootings, but their awful handling makes completing those levels a chore. [June 2004, p.74]
  18. 68
    The computer AI is disappointing at times, rather than working together as a team your opponent's efforts are disjoint allowing them to be picked off one at a time.
  19. This is Hollywood’s version of the mob taken even further over the top, but it does make for interesting and amusing game material. The game is hampered in many ways though, and it drags down the entire experience. Perhaps Mediamobster will whip the game into shape with a few patches.
  20. Some of the missions are downright easy because enemy gangs will just sit in their territory and wait for you to kill them, and then in other missions the enemies appear to cheat (getting gang members for free, starting with their territory already taken over), and they’re next to impossible.
  21. The shallow gameplay and mission construction coupled with elementary strategic play will turn off hardcore RTS fans, strategy-lite for the 'whacking' minded.
  22. Combat feels more like a slugfest than an intense tactical experience; not once was I able to recover from bad odds through strategic expertise. [May 2004, p.107]
  23. 65
    Despite offering some memorable moments, relatively unrestricted gameplay, and the occasionally satisfying play mechanic, Gangland should still be packaged with a bottle of Valium and a straightforward, "your brain has the potential of spontaneously bursting" warning, as it can be damn frustrating.
  24. I think the ideas are there, and they are great. Unfortunately, the gameplay brought it down a few notches.
  25. Cheat Code Central
    The game has its own style and would have been a contender if the gameplay was more refined. Online play is available but it's not fully supported.
  26. Releasing a game without a save mode is a brave move; releasing a game without a save mode because you forgot is just worrying. For those of you hoping to play Gangland and complete it, my advice is to wait until a save patch becomes available, supposedly in the next month or so.
  27. This full-price game is not in the same league as “Mafia,” “Grand Theft Auto 3,” or even “Grand Theft Auto 2.” I suspect the developers tried to do too much, and they ended up with an often-confounding game
  28. The steep difficulty of managing characters can become overwhelming, and the combat at times seems a bit too fast-paced for the game’s own good. The result is a good concept that finds itself in a messy situation, the video-game equivalent of cement shoes.
  29. It seems very unpolished in its current state, and while patches might fix some of the more egregious problems, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to pull the title up from its current mediocrity.
  30. Computer Gaming World
    The game's fast pace makes managing your turf a hectic, confusing ordeal. [June 2004, p.87]
  31. 60
    Some stuff in Gangland, like building up your crime family, works great. Other parts, like the pace of combat, unhelpful camera angles, and useless vehicles will make you wonder if the developers should have radically rethought all the squad-based stuff.
  32. I certainly don't feel the incentive to play the game again, and I'm afraid neither will anyone else (especially not until they fix the save option thing).
  33. The city in the game just doesn't feel alive. There are plenty of pedestrians milling about, but it's only the enemy and the police that you can meaningfully interact with. [PC Zone]
  34. 58
    While the world looks open-ended, it doesn't have the appeal of other games of its type that reward and invite exploration. With roving bands of syndicate soldiers on virtually every street corner, you're hemmed into your particular mission.
  35. Ultimately, the game feels like a solid scaffolding around which a really amazing game could have been built. On its own merits, Gangland isn’t a failure. In fact, it’s a flawed, but solid, game. Gangland simply falls short of its potential and its promises. That’s the pity.
  36. An overachiever with too many character flaws to make it big. It just can’t swim with the sharks. Save your money and pick up "Mean Streets" instead.
  37. There are a ton of great ideas here, but they were all executed badly. What we have is an utter mess of wasted potential.
  38. Its logic flaws and thoroughly vexatious difficulty are so omnipresent that any gains made via technology are completely overshadowed. In trying to mix strategy with action, a sense of identity got lost in translation.
  39. GMR Magazine
    But, as usually happens when you try to put too many spices in your gumbo, the whole thing would up tasting like an armpit. [June 2004, p.91]
  40. Computer Games Magazine
    Never has contract killing, extortion, and prostitution seemed so pointless. [June 2004, p.78]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. MartR.
    May 8, 2004
    Gangland tries to be a gangster-style RTS/RPG hybrid, but unfortunately ends up as a wasted attempt at catering too many different audiences.
  2. FfelfurtHare
    Mar 2, 2004
    Gangland goes on about how it's a mixture of gaming styles, but ultimately it's not much more than a modern version of the old Gangland goes on about how it's a mixture of gaming styles, but ultimately it's not much more than a modern version of the old classic syndicate wars given a 'mob' look just with the lack of mission objective variables. Building up a family is hailed as a huge part of the game, but really the only missions you ever get given to complete are to kill 'so & so' & that does become very repetitive with no business or strategy side to it as is also promised on the box. The developers also hailed the action in the game to be based on strategy, strategy being whoever has the numbers of men it would seem. The AI of the computer aggressors always has them running right upto you rather than strategically taking cover so you can easily take 4 or 5 henchmen and clean up anything in your way with them. The games ideas themselves could have been great, except rather than being a great example of all the ideas within it instead feels like a poor attempt at trying to invent a reason into doing the same thing over and over again. Graphically for the system req. it needs it isn't all that spectacular looking and you'll often be cursing what you can't do in the game more than what you can do. The control system is also not what it should be for a game of this type. If you like Mob games then chances are you'll get some enjoyment out of this, otherwise don't expect anything groundbreaking as it tries to sell itself as. Full Review »
  3. FreddyB.
    Feb 22, 2004
    This game seems to be heading in the correct direction, though i think it should have taken a more gta or true crimes feel, where there is This game seems to be heading in the correct direction, though i think it should have taken a more gta or true crimes feel, where there is just one HUGE map and you do all the gameplay from there. The fact that it is so arcade like takes away from the large city feel. The store owners and people on the streets using the same dialouge over and over also cast a rather shallow gameplay experience. But all in all it really is fun, and i am intrested in seeing how the event engine works in the final version. Full Review »