Anyone who has played the Tropico series of games should be instantly familiar with the developer, Haemimont Games. In fact, anyone who has enjoyed those titles should also be instantly excited for their next project, the upcoming Omerta – City of Gangsters. I had a chance to sit in on a demonstration with the fine folks at Kalypso Media, and it’s beginning to shape up into a fine looking strategy game of its own.
When you begin the game, you’re tasked with selecting a character and developing a backstory for it. What’s interesting about this design is that rather than being solely a plot device used in the story of the game, what you choose will actually dictate your statistics in the game. Regardless of what you choose, you are thrust into an early 1920′s Atlantic City with 15 different sectors that you and rival games compete for control over.
As you take over buildings in the city, depending on what the building specifically is, it can churn out either “clean”Â or “dirty”Â money for you. Both kinds of money are used for different things and are considered to be two different resources. If you want to pay those that wish to remain upstanding citizens, they will only accept clean money. Likewise, the shadier types are glad to take the dirty money off your hands. Certain buildings can convert one into the other, such as laundromats, so if your resources are a little lopsided, you have options.
There are also “liked”Â and “feared”Â stats that need to be balanced out in order to get as many people on your side as possible. If you are well liked in a community, people will let you do your thing and support you despite operating on the wrong side of the law. On the other hand, if they fear you, they may be too scared to have anything to do with you. But your fearfulness may be used to coerce those under you to do your bidding. It’s a neat system and one that’s more unique than the traditional good vs. evil mechanic that is so often used.
If you want a building that belongs to a rival gang, all you need to do is setup a drive by. As morbid as it sounds, it’s a rather entertaining thing to watch take place as the goons outside flee for their lives while one of your hired guns peels around the corner and lays down heavy fire. Regardless if they run or succumb to your barrage of bullets, the building becomes yours to do with as you please.
As you take on missions, you can personally initiate the hit (or whatever the mission calls for) yourself and bring along some of your most trusted men. In the demonstration, the fog of war prevents you from seeing anything inside the building unless one of your units can see through any doors or windows and even then it’s limited to what their range of sight is. Should you encounter an enemy, your weapons have a range on them as well as a spread, which means you can accidentally lay waste to your own units if they get caught in front of tommy gun fire, for example.
From what I saw of the game, it looks like it will be a real treat for strategy enthusiasts. Hopefully, it will bring Haemimont Games and Kalypso the kind of success they found with the Tropico games. Omerta – City of Gangsters releases this fall for Xbox 360 and PC.