All I can say is...dull

User Rating: 4 | Omerta: City of Gangsters PC
I don't usually write reviews, but I felt I needed to say something about Omerta. I am a huge fan of gangster movies, always have been, so I was really looking forward to this title. I honestly do not see how you can go wrong with basically mixing x-com with the mob. Somehow, this game manages to do just that, get it all wrong. There really isn't much to this game. You spend most of your time in a near top down view over a section of the city, generally you are tasked with making money and expanding your influence through the neighborhood. These are done by doing everything from setting up illegal boxing matches, selling guns, brewing bootleg beer, all the stuff the roaring 20s was known for. Sounds exciting yes?... well it isn't. Much like earlier versions of the sims games, you don't typically see your gangsters actually doing anything when you send them on jobs. You send them to a "joint" (buildings where you set up the businesses that usually generate cash) or a "premises" (buildings that usually act as manufacturers of items you then sell through your businesses) and after a while they automatically complete this task.
There's no dialogue exchanged and the buildings you convert don't even get some sort of makeover -granted you're not going to see neon signs that say illegal fights held here, but still, everything looks so drab.

All of this tedium though is supposed to lead to 1 thing, money. Well see here is the problem, after setting up a few businesses, you'll start to see that you're generating cash, a lot of it, way more than you need if you had a half a brain in your head. There is almost nothing to do with this money besides put it towards making more which is pointless, I'll explain. Each part of the game is broken up into a scenario, dealing with the various iconic neighborhoods of Atlantic City. Your goal in each of these places typically boils down to amassing a certain amount of dough, which you can do easily and thus this segment ends and you start in a fresh neighborhood. None of your cash transfers over from the previous segment, it just somehow vanishes into thin air. You end up basically repeating the same tasks from previous scenarios to generate more money to get to the next neighborhood. It all gets very tedious, very fast. This game tries to throw some curveballs your way, such as one segment where the kkk is on your tail and they are working with the police. This results in your heat rating going up, which is a little indicator at the lower corner of the screen. It tells you how close you are to being investigated by the police. Moments like this just don't feel like a threat, as with minimal effort you can erase this heat in multiple ways and it never becomes a concern. You can either bribe police officers or basically rat out a rival operation to get yourself out of trouble.

Combat is just terrible, if you've played xcom, you may be familiar with a squad based system using time units to determine what actions each character can take. That is present here, but the execution just hurts my mind. You can scramble your squad of gangsters behind cover and such to try to avoid return fire. It seems though that this mechanic doesn't always like to work. Enemies who are halfway across the screen somehow manage to cap my guys for absurd amounts of damage even when behind cover. However, my own guys even when they are right in front of the enemies, with a 90 percent chance to hit them, will often miss every last one of their shots. I should also add that your weapons are extremely weak. Remember what I said earlier about all that excess cash being useless? Well it's because you would think you could use that cash to buy your guys some better gear, no such luck. While befriending local police or crime bosses will allow you to purchase new weapons, the issue is that you can't choose what you would like. They only sell specific things at a given time, and you can only purchase ONE weapon from them. So if you are running a squad of gunners, you may have a deputy who only sells knives. You will find the game quickly becomes unfair as you end up facing enemies with tommy guns, firebombs and high powered rifles while your guys carry peashooters and brass knuckles.

The story is forgettable, you'll often forget why you're doing what you're doing as scenarios bleed together. There is no character development. Your henchmen are basically cut and paste stereotypes, a drunk irishman, a large black guy who is a club owner non descript mafioso italian types, so forth and so on. Boardwalk empire this is not...

Overall this game shouldn't be 30 bucks, I've played free browser games that are more entertaining. If this was maybe 5 dollars and was a game for a tablet device, I'd call it decent. Since it isn't however I'll just say go back and play some of the godfather games if you have that itch for a mafia title. Being a mafia game that doesn't even tackle the grit of the mafia world (how could it since it's rated teen?) this one falls flat.