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[review] Gangstar Rio game surprises by the quality of references about Brazil

Blog do iPhone

At the invitation of the Gameloft, the iPhone Blog experienced the company’s newest launch, the Gangstar Rio: City of Saints, totally set in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. And unlike other foreign adaptations that usually use stereotypes with our country, the game is very faithful in several details, to the point of impressing any Brazilian.

It is necessary to separate, first of all, the proposal of the game from any political or social association. The Gangstar series is based on the game Grand Theft Auto (GTA), in which the main character commits crimes to take revenge. It is full of profanity and violence and it happens in every episode (San Francisco, Miami and others). The fact of being in Rio may shock us, because it touches a real wound of our society (urban violence, which also exists in other capitals, such as São Paulo), but the game only uses the city as a scenario, without the intention of doing references to the real world.

And Gameloft was not concerned with just superficially adapting the game to the Rio environment, but it made both the scenery and the characters have an original Brazilian taste. The characters’ dialogue is in English, but clearly done by Brazilians who have a perfect carioca accent in both names and slang.

As for the scenery, the setting was very good, capturing the atmosphere of the city very well. Copacabana, tunnels, Pão de Açúcar, monuments, Corcovado (with a poetic license in Cristo Redentor, replaced by a football player stopping a ball in the chest) and even the favelas, with their narrow alleys.

References like 171 on pay phones or details of street signs show the deep research work in the development of the game

When getting in a car, the different radio stations play songs that vary between bossa nova, samba, Latin and even funk from Rio. In one of the channels, an interview between an American and a Brazilian teaches a Portuguese class, saying that we don’t speak Spanish here and teaching some bad words in our language. Swear words that also fill the dialogues of the characters.

It is a pity that the game has no interaction with the Game Center, but it has its own feats. One of them is called “Zé Pequeno”, which is a clear reference to the film God’s city. Another thing we missed was that it doesn’t synchronize the game’s progress with iCloud, which would allow you to synchronize the game on the iPhone and iPad, for example.

The objective of the game is to avenge the main character, trying to find out who tried to kill him. To do this, he must do several dirty jobs to get the necessary clues, stealing cars, killing politicians and delivering drugs to corrupt policemen.

You have fixed goals and some work, which can earn you some money. In addition, if you steal a taxi or a tele-delivery scooter, you can do extra services that give you money too, in addition to leveling up and unlocking clothes and weapons.

Some features of the game are quite convincing. For example, if you are being chased by the police, just go up the hill and hide in the favela, as they will not go after you (fortunately this reality is changing in Rio de Janeiro). Or also the fact that, if you leave your car open in the middle of the street, don’t expect to find it when you return.

An excellent work by Gameloft, with several references that make Brazilians feel at home (and I’m not talking about violence). Without a doubt, this is the most Brazilian foreign game ever made on the App Store, which will guarantee hours of fun for any fan of the genre. They are $ 6.99 very well invested.

The game Gangstar Rio can be purchased at the Argentine App Store (link) which normally accepts Brazilian credit cards. It has Universal version, which means that it runs on both iPhone / iPod and iPad.

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