As you may recall, earlier in the week we took a little look at the demo of prohibition era mafia-themed strategy title Gangland, in which players get to build up their own little criminal empire using a gruff sounding Sicilian immigrant.
At the time, we didn't really think much of it. In fact, we warned you off it for the time being. Since then, a few of our journo chums have been in touch to argue that the full game is a little bit more palatable than the demo, and encouraged us to take another look. As did Danish developer MediaMobsters, in fact, who even told us that a sequel was "already a given" thanks to the popularity of the original. Fair enough - we'll be only too happy to be proved wrong by the full game, and we've certainly got enough mafioso punnery left over to accommodate it.
However with that very same full game on the shelves today, we became a little worried about something else that was being mentioned with regards mag review code. Apparently there was no save feature in the versions being sent out. Judging by the descriptions we've seen, you don't have to start right from the beginning every time you die, but if you ever exit the game then that's that - with publisher Whiptail Interactive reportedly telling publications that a save feature would be implemented before the game hit store shelves on February 27th.
Well, that hasn't happened. If you go out today and buy a copy of Gangland, you'll have to start afresh every time you want to play it. Or leave it on permanently in the background - something that we doubt even the most ardent fan of PC gaming would be able to justify.
Whiptail's response? A quietly released Media Alert (dated Tuesday) informing us that MediaMobsters is busily working on a "save game patch" in order "to help gamers get to grips with the challenging and addictive playing experience that is Gangland." Now, while we appreciate that MediaMobsters is a small company and that deadlines and product launches are often rigid guidelines that smaller developers have very little influence on, anybody can see that this a pretty ridiculous state of affairs. This isn't 1994.
Whether we were a bit harsh on the Gangland demo or not, the lack of a save game feature or even a password system - in a game that, in the developer's own words, offers more than 40 hours of solid gameplay - is the sort of failing that baffles us beyond all description.
The patch is apparently due out in March. We'll give Gangland a proper going over once we have it.