by Howie Howard
reviewed on PC
Shadow Government Expansion
City of Gangsters the crime management game by developer SomaSim and publisher Kasedo Games was originally released in August of 2021 to much fanfare. That first game did a fine job of patterning itself after the booze running criminal activity in major American cities during prohibition's Roaring 20's. Our review of the base game scored a two-thumbs up for the way it presented the era along with its fine game play. This new expansion, Shadow Government continues the tradition of what City of Gangsters started.
It has been about a year since the original release of City of Gangsters and the developers have been busy adding content to the game during that time. The initial module called "Bourbon Bootlegging" was based on the distribution of illegal booze in a major American city. The next addition named "Atlantic City" introduced the ability to build a criminal gambling enterprise in - you guessed it, Atlantic City. Then a mod called "Criminal Record" which contained a map of Philadelphia and enhanced gameplay with the ability to recruit new mob crew member captains. These new Captains were able to dream up their own ideas on how to expand the entire criminal enterprise controlled by the player. There is also the option for the boss to have an off-shore hideout.
City of Corrupt Politicians and Rigged Elections
This newest addition to City of Gangsters is called "Shadow Government" and it takes the game player for a ride on the corrupt political and election rigging merry go round of bribing politicians and fixing elections in order to benefit criminal activities. The intent of this content seems to be to mimic the problems of corrupt elections and politics in America today. In the real world, the holding of rigged and corrupt elections really does have consequences. In real life, citizens suffer economically along with experiencing the lessening of freedoms because of corrupt and power hungry self serving politicians. In City of Gangsters, the entities that benefit are of course corrupt politicians and their cohorts in the mob; so greasing political palms is what counts in this latest addition.
The Shadow Government expansion puts emphasis on the city of New York and gives players a new map which is very large. Using New York is attractive, as New York City is often known for it's vices, corrupt police, crooked politicians, mob presence, dirty unions and acceptance of everything corrupt. This is realistically portrayed in City of Gangsters to the point that paying off cops and politicians is the best way to ensure a criminal enterprises' success. Building and using a network of associates is the way to find out which cops will be acceptable to being on the take and which politicians will readily accept bribes. Choosing a cop or politician that can't be bribed will have the opposite effect, thus hurting your criminal family.
Tax Breaks and Defunding the Police?
The influence purchased due to greasing the pipes of government will get you bigger tax breaks along with having the police defunded. Of course less police on the streets means less scrutiny of a criminal enterprise and then the big guy can get a bigger cut due to having to pay less taxes! Just like in real life, influencing high profile elections will gain you more power, more money and more of everything else that is corrupt! One of the reasons why the Shadow Government expansion works so well is that, unfortunately, these mechanics feel entirely believable today. In game however, before you know it you’re not just running a criminal empire, you are also controlling the city from behind the scenes.
Shadow Government is a lot more expansive than the previous downloadable content for City of Gangsters. Plus it comes with one of the most iconic maps that could have been added and that is New York City, the city that never sleeps! This new expansion is a must have for those that are fans of City of Gangsters. In fact the entire game along with all of its add-ons are worth the price of admission. If only this game was a work of fiction rather than a commentary on current events...
Realistic in the way election rigging is implemented in the game. The city map is massive.