Omerta City of Gangsters has not had the best start to its life since release on 1st February. It’s not been given the chance it deserves I feel, but fear not as I am going to give it a chance it so desires!
Ever since the release of the movie Lawless and HBO Series Boardwalk Empire, I’ve become somewhat interested in the whole prohibition/moonshine trade of the 1920′s/30′s. I’ve watched the films, the series’ and read the books now all that was needed was something to play. Sadly though there was no such game that fitted my need or time frame and so I waited. Until one night where myself and good friend Aaron were looking through Steam, particularly the pre-order section. That’s when I saw it, Omerta City of Gangsters. After watching the video and reading the information I knew this is what I wanted! I was first disheartened when I read that it was available on PC with Mac to follow later (I’m running on a Mac). This sadness soon passed when I found out that it was coming to Xbox 360, sorted.
The game is set in Atlantic City in the roaring twenties, you are a young man fresh off the boat looking to make a name for yourself in America. Upon starting a new game you first select your player emblem, a choice of six varying men, you then assign an allotted amount of skill points to different areas such as muscle, courage and smarts. After doing this you are asked a series of questions relating to your life in Sicily and how you would react to certain situations. Your answers have an affect on your skill points, raising and lowering certain things. One question will also decide what weapon your character starts with. All of this is upgrade-able through leveling up.
Atlantic City is split into sections to make overtaking the City more manageable. Each time you advance to the next area the ‘goal posts’ change. Police activity, Enemy gangs or the Klu Klux Klan all of which will hinder your operations in whatever way possible. Mission objectives (so far) have consisted of raising a certain amount of ‘Dirty Money’/’Clean Money’, Clearing the area of certain people or shutting down a certain amount of business’…whatever way possible.
The game is classed as a simulation game with turn-based tactical game play elements which is a perfect description of what to expect. The simulation comes when you are running your business’ but the turn-based combat comes when it’s mission time. Members of your team can be captured, rival business’ can be cleared out, police stations can be shot up and banks can be robbed. This is all done through the turn-based combat, you and your team will move and attack with the other team doing exactly the same, using elements of cover to give you the upper hand, sometime the objective is to reach a point (e.g the evidence room in a police station) and destroy whatever is there other times it’s just a case of wiping out the opposing team.
The game itself is pretty cool and a great representation of Atlantic City at the time, with the classic boardwalk to the old cars going along the roads, you do get a certain nostalgia from playing Omerta. The game isn’t perfect but what it does do well is transport you into the brogues of gangsters in the famous city. When you have a district up and running making you a large amount of dirty money from the illicit alcohol you’re making and selling to your other business’ you feel like your untouchable, when you have the city officials owing you a favour and the sheriff in your back pocket you know nothing can go wrong. Changing the dirty money to clean is a simple operation when you have book makers running around the clock. Whats more, is that people then come to you – with jobs and asking favours. Fellow gangsters looking for a helping hand with money will ask for loans and you won’t even bat an eyelid when you give them $2,500 in dirty money in exchange for 10 payment of $300 in clean money. At the moment I haven’t come across anything I would consider a bad point of the game. I think that comes with being so immersed in it. My only point to make, that could be considered bad is that sometime you can hear where the music ‘loop’ starts again, but that’s not a massive deal.
Overall Omerta City of Gangsters is a great game and plays on the whole criminal empire, moonshine times very well. A game I am thoroughly enjoying, and I’m sure will continue to for a while.