Gangland demo

I don’t have a clue whether I like this game or not because I can’t even make my guy move. The ingame help suggests that I’m supposed to be able to move by single-clicking and double-clicking, but when I click on the ground it merely deselects my character and he don’t be going nowhere. After fifteen minutes of farting around, he’s still standing in exactly the same spot he was in when I started…

Anyone know the answer?

Right click?

No. Unfortunately, that’s not it. But thanks.

EDIT: Damn, them words taste good. That was it. When I tried it before, I must not have had my character selected. Thanks a bunch, Jeremy.

Jeremy has now advanced to level 2 tech support.

Let us know how the game is now that you can move your character around. :)

Install: Fine. No problems. Note that there’s no readme file, however, which adds up to trouble for this demo.

Intro: Nice enough work, but a disjointed feel to it. This is usually what you find in games without the unifying vision of a Mafia or a Vietcong. I get the impression this is going to be yet another rehash of standard mobster cliches. MAJOR RED FLAG: The mixture of cultures and eras. Even though the game appears to be about 1930’s-era gangsters, the music is modern techno-rock. Better keep an eye open.

Config: Non-standard game menus hint at confusing things to come. They’re tolerable, though, and eventually I figure out how to start the game (it’s the little checkmark button, which ain’t nearly as obvious as it sounds). For some reason, the game defaults to OpenGL, forcing me to restart in Direct3D, since that’s the mode I want to play in.

Tutorial: Tutorial? Don’t make me laugh.

Game: Ok, as you know, when I first started the game, I couldn’t figure out how to move. This is because a) the game doesn’t tell you outright, and b) when you finally discover some hints you can read by hitting “Esc,” all it says is “single click to walk and double click to run.” The makers didn’t consider it necessary to tell you to single or double click the right mouse button. This is an example of how even reading the theoretically helpful play hints can lead to frustration in this game.

But Jeremy clues me in, and I’m eventually on my way. I do as I’m told by the game and enter the joint where my uncle the Don hangs out. I go talk to him and he immediately tasks me with extorting a bunch of ammo from the gun dealer across the street. Ever the helpful soul–and because I apparently have no other options–I accept the mission. The Don assigns me some muscle for company: a huge, burly black guard of the kind NEVER EVER seen in any 1930’s mafia hangout, EVER! All of sudden I can’t decide if I’m in the '30’s or the '70’s. (Can’t tell by the automobile designs, either. There aren’t any. Designs. Or automobiles even.)

So me and Tyrone head across the street to the gun shop. By this time I’m tearing my hair out because the game won’t let me scroll the field of play with the cursor keys. It forces me to use the mouse, which is just wrong. It’s seriously bad game design to force the user to split his right-hand attention between actual gameplay and stupid housekeeping issues like scrolling the screen, while his left hand sits idle. Let me scroll, move, and whatever else with my left hand while I point, target, and manipulate things with my right. That’s the right way to do it, but that’s not the way Gangland does it.

Next problem: Can’t find the proprieter of the gun shop. When Tyrone and I walk in, we see several customers and a guy with a gun. The guy with the gun has a bullseye icon attached to him when I target him, meaning I can only shoot at him; not talk to him. Hmm. So we wait. And wait. And eventually Rocko the gunman opens up on us for no apparent reason. We easily kill him, but now what? And why? We ponder this as we Quit the game.

I come back to it again later, thinking doing the same thing over and over again will eventually lead to a different result. So I do and it doesn’t. Hey, wait! I’ve got an idea! Let’s see if there are any keypresses in the Controls screen that might give us a clue. So I open up the Controls menu and what to my wondering eyes do appear? That’s right. Eight tiny reindeer. Oh, and the ultra-intuitive keys used to turn the camera as well: F and V. Let’s try that. So I do, and…it works! By turning the camera I can now see the proprieter of the gunshop who was previously invisible. I go talk to him. He gives me the option of either Extorting him, Muscling in on half his business, or leaving without doing anything. Since I can’t afford to muscle in yet even if I want to (and oh, do I want to), I do as my uncle asked and choose the Extortion option. A guy soon appears dragging a suitcase and I follow him back across the street as he delivers the payola to the happy Don. Never mind that we were supposed to be paid in AMMO… Oh well. I dunno. Maybe we’re getting paid in both or something. I’ll have to go back and see.

Anyway, that’s my experience of the game so far. It might get more fun later, but so far it’s kind of a frustrating and confusing mess.