Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Omerta: City of Gangsters Gameplay Review

I'm playing Omerta: City of Gangsters, a Mafia city management game by Haemimont Games and Kalypso Media.

Game options consist of a campaign (a choice of scripted maps with intermediate objectives), a sandbox mode with no objectives, and multiplayer (an interesting feature for the genre). The interface provides a listing of all your gang members and business, but features a small, vague (until you learn what the colors means) minimap and lacks the ability to cycle between special neutral buildings. You also cannot accelerate time, which makes waiting for actions to finish boring. Each member of your gang is rated in several areas and can have several abilities and perks that can be used when growing your illegal activities or fighting enemies. Basic resources include dirty money, clean money, beer, liquor, and firearms. These are processed into each other and later translated into “liked” and “feared” ratings which generally increase your income. Most of the gameplay consist of placing and upgrading buildings in specific locations: in general, “premises” produce resources (such as a beer from a brewery, or converting dirty money into clean money at an accountant), “joints” use resources (a speakeasy sells liquor, a weapons store sells guns for money), and construction lot options increase efficiency. The relationships are straightforward, though oddly organized, and the simplistic nature lacks the depth present in a lot of other city builders. Omerta: City of Gangsters also includes turn-based tactical battles when a scenario calls for them: units have movement and action points used to move and shoot, and special abilities may increase accuracy or award additional bullets per action. The battles are fairly simple, as units take cover and fire upon the enemy until one side is dead. Overall, Omerta: City of Gangsters offers a simplistic but relatively unique take on the city builder.