Game Over Online ~ Gangsters: Organized Crime

GameOver Game Reviews - Gangsters: Organized Crime (c) Eidos Interactive , Reviewed by - Cyrus

Game & Publisher Gangsters: Organized Crime (c) Eidos Interactive
System Requirements P-166, 32MB RAM, 2MB Video Card
Overall Rating 69%
Date Published Friday, December 11th, 1998 at 10:28 AM

Divider Left By: Cyrus Divider Right

In life, there are some things that, no matter what your age, are still cool. Such items include Star Wars, Pac Man and the Mafia. For me, the mob and gangsters has always held a place in my heart. Needless to say when I got ready for this review, I was psyched. I thought, what could be better then running my own mob? I was not disappointed... too much anyway.

Gangsters, from Eidos, is a game much like Theme Park. You are one of four mob bosses in a city. Your goal is to accumulate as much wealth, power and territory as is possible. You achieve your goals through shrewd investing, intimidation and bribery. You build your empire by ordering your thugs, lawyers and accountants to commit illegal activities or to make it seem like you are honest. Everyone is able to be bought or controlled. It is your job to find how. The game is managed in week long increments. You plan the week ahead in your "gangster organizer" by giving orders to your thugs, accountants and lawyers. You are also able to purchase guns, bombs and cars or rig elections. The second half of the game is played in the actual city from an overhead view. You are able to watch your gangsters carry out their orders or you can keep an eye on rival gangs. Both views combine to create a solid game.

The graphics in Gangsters are fairly good but unfortunately they're a little bit low-res by today's standards. I would have liked to be able to choose higher color depths. It is possible to choose higher resolutions but I found the game to move somewhat chunky in 800x600 mode. The city graphics are not 3d accelerated, but there is no need for them to be. Each building, car and character are well drawn and well animated. I do find it disturbing that there are only one or two different types of characters on the city board. I think this is for easy identification of types of people, but I still feel that a little variation is needed. The insides of the buildings look pretty cool when you go over them and that's a nice detail that is not often included. The gangster organizer is well laid out and nice graphically but nothing special. I find the gangsters mug shots to be somewhat ugly. They should have spent a little bit more time on those. The graininess of the organizer was also somewhat disturbing considering that there is no animation involved and higher color depths are available on almost all graphics cards. Overall smooth graphics with some nice touches and parts that need a little bit more time.

The sound is okay. The speech effects on the tutorial which helps to explain the game are perhaps the most annoying that I have ever heard. It is this annoying supposedly mobster voice which is very poorly acted. Besides that the speech effects in the game are well recorded but it there are small breaks when they start or end. I feel this is a problem with poor recording and something that should not happen. Besides the speech, the other sounds are pretty stock both in quality and originality. The explosion sounds are very repetitive and could use a couple variations. Overall the sound is okay but lacks some of the attention to detail that is needed in today's games.

Multiplayer is supported through Microsoft's DirectPlay which means that any type of connection is available. The game plays the same as the single player and therefore I found it somewhat pointless to play against someone else when the computer is hard enough. I noticed very little lag but I was playing over a LAN so lag is not really an issue. It is also possible to choose different scenarios to play, the scenarios were fun but they felt like they were missing something.

The gameplay in any simulation is its heart and soul. I have mixed feelings about Gangsters. I like the concept and about three-quarters of the implementation. The quarter I don't like is stuff that I feel can be removed because it makes the game too complex. I feel like there are way too many things that you have to manage in this game to make it fun. I found it very hard to succeed when I had to control eighty different options every week. I did find the interface to be straight forward and well laid out which showed that some effort was definitely put into it. The one part of the interface that I found confusing was the thug management system. I often wanted to send teams out on a job and found it cumbersome to assemble them. I also found the game to become highly addictive as my empire started to expand. The learning curve is very steep but any hardcore sim-lover should be able to conquer it very quickly. I liked several of the actions that you are able to perform. Things such as extortion and firebombing are very fun, especially with the speech effects. The tutorials and slide shows helped to acquaint me with the game and are very helpful. I am confused by the exact purpose of the city view as it seems that anything I wish to accomplish in it can be done in the organizer. Overall Gangsters has good gameplay, its just a little complex.

Fun Factor:
This is a mixed bag. This game will be fun for those who love sims but I found it a bit too complex for my taste. It is a fun game because it has that mob mystique to it and a good concept. I would have found it a bit more fun if there were a couple more options to control the way the game plays.

Overall Impression:
My feelings are mixed. I am historically not a simulation fan but I still found this one to be quite enjoyable. I feel that it needs a little bit of polishing as well as a couple of more options. Once the virtual cornucopia of menus have been ironed out, I expect this game to get even better. Overall, it's a good job with a couple of quirks that turned me off. If you like sims, you'll probably get a kick out of Gangsters.


See the Game Over Online Rating System






Screen Shots
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

Back to Game Over Online