by Camrin Santchi
previewed on PC
Maybe Crime Does Pay
When it comes to management games the scale can range from a rollercoaster park to a massive army or civilization, and later this year City of Gangsters offers a new addition to the turn based strategy genre, putting gamers in the shoes of someone preparing to start their own crime syndicate.
City of Gangsters operates on a seed system where there is a random start value assigned whenever a player boots up a new game (Gamers are able to input specific values as well, if they so choose). This randomizes aspects of the city that they are based in including what businesses are where, the backstories of the people in the city, and the player’s name and even nationality. All of these can be altered easily, with the current cities available as Detroit, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, harkening back to old mobster films for any who are fans of the mafioso genre.
Tools of the Trade
Players have access to an abundance of information when going into City of Gangsters, and it may take a turn or two in order to process it all. On each turn, gamers have both movement and actions that they can take, with the actions able to be taken depending on where in the map the character is. For an example, you can’t talk to your cousin Bimmy about protection at his barbershop if you aren’t BY the barbershop, so gamers will have to plan things out in advance as they attempt to build a crime family from the ground up by working the pavement, calling in favors, procuring and selling off goods of a less than reputable nature, protecting the turf you’ve carved out, and much more as you work to bring your chosen city under your thumb.
For all the options that are available City of Gangsters makes certain that gamers can interpret and make use of the wide array of menus and commands, and with the game being turn based players can comfortably take all the time they need in order to plan out their moves as strategically as possible, rather than struggling against the clock as well as trying to learn the incredibly detailed amount of controls and options within the game.
Unfortunately this level of detail comes at the cost of making the game difficult to learn and intimidating to witness for those who are unused to the management style of games, or even those who prefer a more ‘hands off’ version where at least some of the things under the gamer’s control will occur on automatic. Though this becomes a lot more, well, manageable as time passes in the game and the player accrues more resources. Games of City of Gangsters start with very few resources, so the player themselves needs to have a boot to the pavement approach of drumming up ‘business’ for themselves before they can hire goons to take care of that side of the business. So in a way, its more of a feature than a flaw, showing how strategy can change as the crime syndicate grows in size.
Sentiments To The Don
In all, City of Gangsters is an in-depth management game that challenges players to build their own mafia from the ground up, an interesting switch from the almost memetic concept of starting as a grunt in a syndicate and working/cheating your way to the top, allowing gamers to witness the changes in the way that they approach things as they grow more powerful, until they can potentially become the power behind the city that you’re based out of, so long as you’re careful not to burn yourself by taking too much heat before you’re ready for it. For anyone that is interested in the management style of games or the crime/mafioso genre in general, you should keep an eye out for City of Gangsters sometime later in 2021!