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Clash of Gangs Review

by Wessel Minnie (Sillicur)  Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014 8:22:00 AM


Clash of Gangs is a mobile strategy game of gang warfare, developed by I Got Games. The developers have previously created the number one Android strategy game Castle Clash. Clash of Gangs is a deep and rewarding strategic experience that will keep mobile gamers busy for countless hours.

Gameplay – Welcome to the neighborhood, boss

Players assume the role of a gang-boss with one singular goal; to elevate his/her respective gang to the top of the food chain. As the gang-boss, the player has just been released from jail. There is a lot of work to be done in order to build up the gang as the most powerful force of evil  in the city.  

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The neighborhood looks like a slum area at the start. It is up to the player to elevate the dumps to a gang-turf to be proud of. First and foremost, an infrastructure needs to be created by setting down new buildings and upgrading old ones.

The Headquarters is by far the most important building. Upgrading the Headquarters gives the player the ability to upgrade additional buildings and even build completely new ones. Building or upgrading structures costs one of two resources. The first is Cash, which is used to upgrade most buildings. Secondly, Juice is used to upgrade the Casino building and train soldiers from the Barracks.

Each upgrade a player does increases the effectiveness of the building. For example, upgrading the Casino to level 2 will increase the amount of revenue it creates for the player. To keep the Casino upgrades going, Juice has to be manufactured by creating additional Juice Factories.  

Creating a new structure takes time as well. For example, when upgrading the Headquarters to level 2, it only takes 5 minutes. Upgrading the structure from level 4 to 5 however, will take 30 minutes.

Clash of Gangs offers a complex resource management system. The player needs to keep a close eye on their income as well as expenditures in order to progress throughout the game.    

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Players create various types of soldiers from the Barracks, from the standard Thug to a rocket wielding Boomer or a melee expert in the form of a Bouncer. Bosses, exceptionally strong soldiers, can also be recruited at the Bar building. Bosses level up through combat and can get so powerful that they can destroy entire armies on their own.

Bosses have three levels of power, namely “Ordinary”, “Elite” and “Legendary”. Legendary bosses have the highest level stats and can be attained by gambling gold. Ordinary boss types have the lowest stats and can be unlocked by gambling with your Street Credd. For example, Emma Dee is an ordinary boss type that specializes in healing.

Emma Dee's background story goes like this: “The renegade nurse. Emma isn’t affiliated with any particular gang. Instead, she appears when needed to help the wounded where there's trouble. She is extremely protective of those in her care and will lash out against anyone who tries to harm her patients.”  

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The player unlocks the ability to go on missions and perform raids by training soldiers and recruiting bosses. Missions are against AI opponents, where players need to destroy a base in a set amount of time, reaping rewards in the process.

Raids are performed when a player decides to attack another human player. These Raids can take place while the player being attacked is offline. The player attacks a base by tapping on where he/she wants to deploy soldiers. After the initial tap however, the soldiers just do their own thing, walking towards the base and attacking the enemy.  

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I was let down by the fact that there is no real control over soldiers after they are deployed. During my time with the game I could not select the soldiers or tell them to attack a specific enemy first. The lack of control is a disappointment for a fan of “real” strategy games such as StarCraft II, where micro-management can be the key to victory.

Pay-to-win – All is fair in love and gang-wars?

Not really, nope. Clash of Gangs, although fun, has a system of In-App Purchases (IAP) that is completely and utterly pay-to-win (P2W). Gold is the resource that can be bought with real life money. The purchase options range from R17.52 - R1,117.53.  

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Gold is used for a plethora of perks that breaks any kind of competitiveness. A player gains a massive advantage early on in the game by buying 250 gold for R17.52. Converting the 250 gold to in-game cash means the player starts off with 342,000 in in-game currency instead of the normal 30,000.

Earlier in this review I clarified that everything a player builds within the game, be it soldiers or buildings takes a set amount of time. Well, not for the players who drop some real cash on the game. For example, let us say a building takes 1 hour to upgrade. A player can simply use 4 gold to bypass the timer and instantly upgrade the building.

Furthermore, Legendary bosses can only be unlocked via gambling with gold. They give a massive advantage to players in every aspect of combat, which is a real shame for the competitive aspect of the game.

Yes, the game does aim to be competitive. It is evident by the fact that leader boards exist. Players can attack other human players’ bases as well, which creates and environment where P2W aspects really do make a big difference. For example, being crushed by another player, while offline; simply because they bought a ton of gold left me with the sinking feeling of “why even bother?”  

Graphics and sound – A gorgeous city to conquer

Clash of Gangs is a gorgeous mobile game. Every single aspect of the game shines in terms of excellent graphics, from the character portraits to the 3D battles. In the building segment of the game, the animations of the game shine brightly. For example, police vehicles driving around the gang neighborhood and the crashing waves of the nearby ocean, everything looks alive.  

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Battles and the build segment are completely rendered in 3D. The player can zoom in and out, from a birds-eye view to a camera angle that is right in the middle of the action.

The sound quality is good, but not great. There is a singular theme song that gets annoying after awhile and some of the sound effects “crackle” during parts of the game, for example during big fights.

The beautiful graphics and decent sound come at a price. The game requires a mobile device with 1GB of RAM to play. Most mobile devices, especially those used for gaming, do meet the requirements. However, the system requirements are a bit high compared to games such as Dead Trigger 2, which does not have a 1GB requirement.  

Closing Thoughts

Clash of Gangs is a fun and addictive mobile gaming experience. The game offers a wealth of strategic play and resource management. The combat system could have used a bit more player control. The game’s graphics and sound is a mixed bag, with beautiful 3D environments and average sound.

If you do not mind dropping some real life money on a mobile game, then Clash of Gangs will be an exceptional experience. Unfortunately, for those who do not plan on spending any money on the game, be warned, Clash of Gangs is P2W.

Clash of Gangs is available on Android devices and is coming soon to iOS. The game is free on Android and can be downloaded on the Playstore here. The size of the game is 46mb and requires Android version 2.3.3 and up to. I played the game using my Nexa Orion 10.1, a powerful yet affordable Quad Core 10 inch tablet, which helped me grow and expand my gang.

Score: 7.5/10  

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd  

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