Omerta: City of Gangsters Review
Omerta: City of Gangsters Box Art
System: Xbox 360*, PC
Dev: Haemimont Games
Pub: Kalypso Media Digital
Release: February 12, 2013
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Alcohol Reference, Blood, Language, Violence

There are three main ways to play Omerta. The single-player campaign is essentially a string of micro scenarios, giving you a goal to reach and ushering you on to the next stage once you have reached it. Unfortunately, your actions in prior scenarios have no effect on your actions in later ones. You simply start from the beginning on a new map and go through the motions once more.

Sandbox mode is there for simulation buffs that prefer to create their own dream mob empire. Unfortunately, this also starts to get boring quickly. Unlike SimCity and several other simulation games, the map doesn’t change much in Omerta. At the start, you’ll see a grey-brown representation of a prohibition-era city, and when you have completed your grand conquest of all things mafia-related, you’ll see a grey-brown representation of that same city with some icons spinning over it. So there isn’t a whole lot to show for endlessly slaving away at the mafia life other than a few high numbers, which might be satisfying for score junkies, but it provides very little motivation for the rest of us.

Omerta: City of Gangsters Screenshot

The game also has multiplayer modes for both co-op and competitive play. However, you are literally getting only half of the experience. Multiplayer does away with the simulation aspects of the game altogether, focusing solely on the combat. While squaring off against your friend in turn-based battles is fun and the battles themselves move at a brisk pace, there are only four maps to play on, which makes you abandon multiplayer after only a few matches. It just doesn’t have any staying power.

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Omerta: City of Gangsters has a few things going for it: The soundtrack is pleasantly jazzy, the graphics aren’t the worst (even if they are boringly brown), the voice acting is actually well done and fun to listen to, and the backstory-driven character generation has lots of potential. However, the story of the character creation system is a good metaphor for the game as a whole: It’s a great idea that failed to capitalize on the potential it had. Omerta isn’t Haemimont’s best, and it certainly isn’t Tropico. It’s fun at times, but it drags too often and gives little reward. Perhaps this is some sort of insightful moral commentary on the criminal lifestyle, but even then it doesn’t make the game any more fun.

By
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: February 20, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
The graphics themselves aren’t bad, but most maps look exactly the same and don’t change much over the course of the game.
3.5
Control
I can’t argue with point-and-click PC interfaces.
3.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
For the first few hours, the jazz soundtrack is the best thing about the game, but as the game goes on, even that gets repetitive.
2.0
Play Value
Omerta is a great idea, but it drags too often and enthralls too little.
2.2
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Historically accurate representation of Atlantic City and its landmarks.
  • Strategic gameplay allows city overview, planning, expansion, and gathering of intel.
  • Turn-based tactical combat with a cover system and stealth action.
  • 15 unique player-controlled characters, each with unique personalities and backgrounds.
  • An RPG system for development of player characters and managing their equipment.
  • Competitive and cooperative multiplayer mode with persistent gangs.
  • 15+ hours of gameplay in a single playthrough.


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