Kalypso Media has published some doozies in the past like Dreampainters' “Anna”, but it looks like they have a winner on their hands with “Omerta - City of Gangsters”. The foreign publisher is starting to make strides in the American market with the new title from Haemimont Games.
“Omerta” is a business simulation game at heart in the same vein as “The Movies” or “Rollercoaster Tycoon”. However instead of managing a legitimate business you manage speakeasies and money laundering fronts. Set in 1920’s New Jersey “Omerta” allows you to become the boss of a gang and take control of Atlantic City.
What makes “Omerta” unique is how the territory expanding conquest mechanic meets turn based combat. Whether running into an enemy gang or doing some wet work for a crime lord you and your crew will need to best your enemies in a fight to stay on top. The game has a lot going on but that’s what keeps it fun.
The game will be released for PC, Mac, and Xbox on Feb. 12 but you can download the demo of the game today. The full version will include some great additional features like co-operative and competitive multiplayer and sandbox modes. The game can be pre-ordered from most major retailers for $39.99.
-Production quality. There’s some great voice acting and music that really fits the gangster setting of the game. The graphics are what you’d expect for the simulation type of game but the attention to detail spent on recreating 1920’s Atlantic City is impressive.
-Learning curve. There’s a lot going on in this game from establishing businesses, to forging connections, and managing your reputation but the game does a good job of keeping track of everything and teaching you how to play.
-Personalization. You can make your money from extortion and thievery or under-the-table dealings. Establish yourself as a pillar of the community or as a crime lord not to be crossed it’s up to you. You can even create your own backstory in a “Mount&Blade” style start-up in which you choose your own adventure in order to distribute your stats.
-Patience testing. Time is a balancing mechanic in the game. If one member of the team is out on assignment he can’t be used until he’s done. If you've recently raided an independent brewery than you’ll have to wait a while until you can hit them up again. While there isn't really anything wrong with this mechanic it will test your patience a little at first until you have a full squad and a lot of enterprises to keep track of. Also while there are opportunities for combat the game isn't exactly action packed.
-Pricey. Checking out at an average $40.00 you may think twice before clicking purchase. Kalypso doesn't have the best track record with the games they publish so it’s understandable if gamers are reticent to shell out forty bucks for this new title. Yet their partnership with Haemimont has done fairly well with other management games like “Tropicio”.
Luckily the game is being released in a relative low-point for the gaming industry and even better has released a decent demo. Definitely try out the game before buying it to make sure it’s for you.
Download the demo here and try “Omerta - City of Gangsters” for yourself. Its definitely one of the most interesting games of its genre that can have you hooked for hours as you re-enact your favorite scenes from ‘The Godfather’. Stashing horse heads in the beds of your enemies isn't an option though, at least not in the demo.