A GTA rip-off? Not completely.
Graphics- The Graphics arent that bad, infact they look pretty good. The faces are kinda stiff during cutscences, and the cars dont look the best they're just basic.
Story- The story is short, only about 10 or so missions per gang. It only feels long because you have to do activities to get respect to play missions. It will take 10 hours or a little less to beat the story.
Characters- Your character is a silent guy who does what he's told, nothing more. The other characters arent really intersting, like Dex, Lin, and Troy. Johnnys the most interesting character but thats only cause he likes to kill people. The characters curse an abnormal amount and throw them in the dialog at random spots, its funny sometimes but gets old real fast.
Controls- The controls are different from most games but are easy to get use to. You also have an option to change them which, if you played GTA 4, you might do.
When it comes down to it, its a alright game. Storylines short, graphics are good, controls are different but can get use to, the dialog has too much curseing and is sometimes dull, vehicles are boring but at least you can edit it to something that sticks out. The game is worth a play but not really more than once.