You’ll Have to Fight With Yourself to Like This Game
Global Pty’s latest strategy title, Gang Clash pits you against a rival gang in a battle to assert dominance. It is essentially survival of the fittest. While the losers are left lying on the floor in defeat, the winners dance over them in victory. Sounds fun, right? It does, but like the young sociopaths you control in Gang Clash, it has issues.
Small Upgrades Yield Big Results
The mechanics of Gang Clash are simple. The characters are controlled by a Strength Bar, which is divided into four zones—Poor, Good, Awesome and Perfect. An arrow constantly moves across the bar until it is stopped by tapping the on-screen “Fight” button. The closer you stop the arrow to perfect, the higher the chances are that you will win the round. Stopping the arrow on poor leads to your characters fighting as if they have just got out of bed. They move slowly, barely do any damage and the round is lost even before you know it. Stopping on Perfect however leads your team to fight as if their life is on the line. Even if you are outnumbered two to one in terms of players, you will easily win the round.
In case you fail to stop the arrow on perfect the game allows you to restart the level at any time and any number of times. There is no penalty for restarting the level which significantly reduces the game’s difficulty as the player can only choose to play the round when they stop the meter on perfect.
Having strength in numbers is not the most important aspect in Gang Clash. In almost all levels the enemy team will outnumber you. Instead of focusing on adding numbers on your team, focus on improving their Talents. Talents are upgradable attributes of your team. There are a total of nine Talents, covering things like Melee Attack, Range Attack, Melee Attack Speed, etc. Upgrading talents leads to your characters doing faster and higher damage on your opponents and leveling the playing field. They might have the numbers, but you’ll have a stronger team.
Could Do Much Better
Gang Clash makes an average effort towards creating an immersive gaming experience through its ability to upgrade abilities and providing players with a wide range of characters. However, it falls well short of actually being immersive. Mainly because the game has no audio. The absence of audio leads to a disappointing gaming experience.
Placing the characters on the map is a challenge. You start with a map having only 6 spaces which can be expanded as you progress through the levels. However, the game lacks flexibility in terms of placing characters on the map. The only way to move the characters around is to have one empty space in the pattern. If all the spaces are filled, then you are stuck with the formation that you have until you earn enough coins to add another space. This usually means replaying the same level multiple times simply to lose.
Another drawback of the game is that each time you want to add a new character to your map, the game will give you two options to choose from. The first option can be redeemed using coins, but the second can only be unlocked by watching multiple 15- 30 second advertisements. More often than not, the stronger characters are placed in option two. Being forced to watch multiple unskippable ads just to ensure you can complete a level is as frustrating as it sounds.
Interesting Array of Characters
The best aspect of Gang Clash is its depth of characters. You start with a simple Hooligan, who uses his fists as his weapon of choice to battle enemies. As you progress, new characters are unlocked, such as the Chair Throwers, who occupy the backline and focus on smashing the enemy’s head by landing a chair on their temple. The most interesting character is the bomber, who throws black round bombs (just like the ones we see in cartoons) and on impact blows the enemy into a different part of the map. It is hilarious to see an army of characters being bounced constantly around the map while desperately trying to land a punch.
As fun as all that sounds, the game is rife with problems. For one, there is a complete lack of control when your gang starts fighting. Even after placing characters onto their respective spaces, there is no guarantee that they will maintain the formation once the fight starts. Characters move haphazardly and some don’t even start fighting before half your team is already beaten. What’s more, the game is just far too easy to be anything resembling fun. At the end of the day, Gang Clash falls well short of being a holistic, fun-to-play video game. Lacking any element of difficulty, Gang Clash utterly fails to create an immersive gaming experience.
Gang Clash desperately needs in-game audio to overcome the bland, non-immersive gaming experience that it currently provides its players. This simple strategy based game needs a lot of work to even be considered a decent video game.