So Chinatown Wars has finally made it’s way to the iPad. People are saying it’s not a direct port, and okay, maybe it’s not technically “a port,” but we’re telling you it’s only one notch short.
Is this actually a bad thing, though? Well, yes actually is it. The game itself is eminently playable and terribly good fun, but had Rockstar taken the time to take full advantage of the iPad’s screen real estate it could have been so much more.
The game itself is exactly the same as the game you may have played on your Ninetendo DS or iPhone, but obviously with the graphics kicked up a few resolutions.
The direction controls are pretty tricky to get the hang of initially as they shift as your perspective changes.
The attack and action buttons are, however, reactive and easy to apply at the right time and the car steering is pretty good after a brief acclimation period.
There’s also a neat feature that allows you to play your iPod music on a car’s radio – which is seriously cool.
The city itself though is lumpy and dull. One of the key factors in the success of the GTA franchise since the landmark GTA 3 is how engaging and alive the city settings of the games felt. Put simply, this Liberty City, just doesn’t.
It’s partly down to the weird dimensions of the people who inhabit the world, your character for example is as wide as he is tall and fills a whole pavement.
Granted the iPad doesn’t have the computing power of a PS3 but we don’t need that. These were graphics created for the relatively tiny DS screen and just don’t translate to the iPad as we’d hoped.
Don’t get us wrong, this game kicks ass, it’s a bargain and if you buy it, you will play it for a long time. We were just hoping for more.