Video games do cause real-life violence. I know this because after a half hour of playing Drive-By: Gang Warfare for the iPad at Crecente's request, I'm Google mapping his house and checking eBay for firearms.
Drive-By: Gang Warfare for iPad is the HD version of Drive-By: South Central for the iPhone. We thought it might be controversial, being a game about driving around South Central L.A., exploding digitised gangsters' heads with bullets fired from your open car window. Maybe it would get yanked for its offensive content or something.
Instead, we have a poster child for iPhone and iPad game quality control.
Drive-By is a drive-by shooter on rails, sold on the App Store by The Robusta Company, whatever that is. You travel at a constant speed around similar looking 3D streets, tapping the screen to pop caps in a variety of gangbanger arse. Your enemies either stand in one place on the street, firing back at you, or roll up in cars beside you.
I suppose I can see how this would be a fun time for some people. I mean, you are shooting guys for cash. That never grows old.
My first problem with the game is the fact that you're firing your weapon from the driver's side window. That would normally mean you're the driver. So, driving at a constant speed, you are reaching out the window, shooting a gun at static enemies, and then rolling up your window to reload.
I wasn't expecting realism, but still.
Then there's the way you fuel your car. Your fuel gauge dictates how long you have to reach the set monetary goal for each level. In order to earn more fuel, you shoot at food vendors, which causes hamburgers to fly towards the screen, topping off your tank.
This is where my temples started throbbing. This would of worked fine in say, an Atari 2600 or even NES-era game, but we're driving slowly around somewhat realistic streets, blood is flying everywhere, and look! Here comes a hamburger. No.
The most entertaining thing about this game is the App Store reviews it's getting, like this three-star beauty:
As an avid fan of Operation Wolf back in the coin arcade days, I found it mildly addicting and fun. But, I would appreciate power-ups and bonuses, like grenades, machine guns, super-sized magazine clips, maybe slamming on the accelerator and getting out of there if caught in an ambush or something. The missing pause button is a must-have. Other than that, it's a great way to waste away a few minutes while you waste some bad guys on the street. Hoping for more updates!
So it would be really great if they added a whole lot of stuff, changed the game play mechanics, and fixed things that were broken? Great! Why not just say, 'It would be much better if it were a better game?' That covers it, right?
So if you were considering giving Drive-By a look, keep on driving. It's the worst game I've played on the iPad so far, and that includes USA Today, which isn't even a game.
I can't believe I wasted $5.99 of Crecente's money on this.