by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
Part Turn-Based Combat (cntd)
Each character has a set amount of movement points and ability points for each turn, allowing them to move around and take shots or use abilities. These are greatly affected by the amount of morale the character has. The penalty for losing all of your health is not as harsh as in XCOM however, as there is no permadeath in Omerta. At the end of a combat mission, if one of your gang members is down, he is picked up by the police when they come to clear up the scene. They are healed and taken to prison, which means they will be out of action in the management section of the game until they are released or you bust them out. If you are not a fan of the combat, there is an option to skip playing it at the start of each mission, leaving it in the hands of the AI.
Coppers Are Out to Getcha!
Within each mission there will be independent businesses, people, and gangs to worry about at the same time. Your actions will affect their opinion of you. For example, if you perform a raid of an independent brewery, it is fairly likely that they will not want to sell you beer in the future. If you construct a speakeasy near another one, the profits of both sites will be reduced, and the independent one will be less likely to buy supplies from you. This is all tied to the efficiency of your premises and joints. A boxing venue will be aided in efficiency by a nearby pizzeria, however, this front for your illegal activities will make you more feared in the area. If you are feared, then your Ponzi Scheme will not make as much money, so perhaps you should build a soup kitchen to provide free meals, to help with your reputation. It is an exciting balancing act, and when you watch that profit rolling in it feels very satisfying.
The one complaint I have of these story missions was that I found myself having nothing to do while I waited for my gang members to finish their jobs. You can look around the map, and zoom in to watch people go about their business and hear the hustle and bustle of the city, but this wears thin after a while. It is possible that the earlier story missions are a bit lighter on the action however, so perhaps it picks up later in the game.
Of course, as a gangster you will always have to be on the lookout for the cops. Performing illegal actions like raiding factories or setting up a drive by shooting of an establishment brings heat on your operation. If this heat level gets too high, an your business will be investigated. You have several options when this happens. You can bribe the investigators, resetting your heat level to zero. You can hand over another known criminal to get the investigators off your back. Or if all else fails you can attempt to break into the police station itself and destroy the evidence, triggering a tricky combat mission.
On two separate occasions, I heard the line “offer they can’t refuse”, an homage to Mario Puzo’s genre-defining titular character of The Godfather, and that really sets the mood. The missions are a good length to be completed in one sitting, and it seems like there is enough variety between them to keep things interesting. There is also a sandbox mode for the player who wants to be less directed, where you create your mob boss and set your own goals. With so much to see and do already, a few more months of polish can only do wonders for Omerta: City of Gangsters. I, for one, cannot hardly wait.