‘Omerta – City of Gangsters’ PC Game – An Insider Squeals
Omerta: o•mer•ta (-mûrt, mr-tä)
A rule or code that prohibits speaking or divulging information about the activities of a criminal organization.
San Francisco, Calif. – Amid increasing rumors about the impending release of Omerta – City of Gangsters, a strategy simulation game set in 1920s Prohibition-era Atlantic City, the gaming populace has been wondering just what this game will bring to their real-time and turn-based strategy gaming. A recently captured gangster-turned-stoolie braved a meeting of the top bosses to bring us this insider report with details about the development, along with a preview of what to expect when the game hits the streets in early February.
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According to court records, affidavits, and the sworn testimony of James "Shorty" Monroe, players will start out as a small-time thug, an immigrant fresh off the boat, looking to make that "American dream" a reality through whatever means available. In Omerta, those means happen to be through all manner of crime, primarily bootlegging (beer and liquor) but including everything from burglary and buying and selling weapons, on up to gambling, bank robbery, and "disposing" of rival gang members—or anyone else who gets in your way.
"But you’re not gonna do it all alone, see. No way." says "Shorty" Monroe. "You’re gonna have to make friendly with other thugs, find someone to watch your back. And if you’re aiming to be the Boss, you gotta have others to boss around, yeah?"
"Shorty" goes on to report that, as you’re gathering a gang, you’ll need to be aware of its members’ individual skills, such as who’s good with the Tommy Gun, who’s good at grifting, or thieving, and who’s just good at knocking people’s blocks off. To survive and make it to the big time, you’ll need these types of people to handle the jobs, "because the jobs are where you earn the butter."
Carrying out various jobs and tasks, particularly those of the illegal kind, are what "Shorty" is talking about. One district at a time, you’ll be faced with building up your organization to make it profitable. Players will be able to set up protection rackets, speakeasies, soup kitchens, boxing arenas, pawn shops, and a host of other fronts through which to earn profits—dirty money or clean money, it all spends the same, "Shorty" says. All the while, players will need to keep a low profile so as not to be noticed by law enforcement officials.
"Yeah, so, coppers got me. But only ’cause I gave myself up, see. Careful how you draw the heat! You can’t let ‘em get you, not if you wanna last long. Oh, sure you can bribe some of them off ya, if ya got the dough, that is. Maybe if you’re well-liked by the right people, got connections with an actor, politician, or one of them well-educated lawyers, you can get out from being investigated. But if not—well, look at me."
The stoolie also dished about knowing your weapons through and through, and having plenty of them available for your gang. "You gotta protect what’s yours, and on the street, that means packing heat. Better know that other gangsters are, for sure. Getting into a shootout with another gang, or the coppers—yeah, it’s gonna happen."
Written statements report that Omerta has a tactical turn-based combat system that allows players to use a variety of historically accurate weapons: pistols, shotguns, knives, bats, and even that most infamous gangster weapon, the Tommy gun. When a firefight breaks out, players will have to maneuver their gang members into the best firing positions, using walls, doors, boxes, furniture, and other items for cover. The enemy will be doing the same, so it’s up to the player to think and outsmart them. As "Shorty" Monroe says, "to see that they take the dirt nap, and not you".
Omerta was developed by the muscle of the Haemimont Games gang; the Kalypso Media crew will oversee distribution. Under oath, "Shorty" said development has been going on since March of this year, when the first word of it hit the underground bars and criminal types. Heavy influence for Omerta has come by way of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, classic movies like Goodfellas and The Godfather films, as well as other games, including X-Com and Dungeons & Dragons. RPG attributes have been added to main and supporting gangsters to flesh them out and give them more strategy options in combat.
He alluded to possible downloadable content in Omerta‘s future but didn’t know more than that. He did add that multiplayer and sandbox modes will be available, along with an achievement system.
"I mean it. What you got coming in Omerta – City of Gangsters is a game you can’t refuse. So don’t even try!"
About the Stoolie
James "Shorty" Monroe is the alias of Jim H. Moreno, a desperado who dropped his first quarter into a video game back in 1977, and has been avidly gaming ever since. He joined the Armchair General squad in 2003 and helped launch the Website and magazine, and remains a regular contributor of war, combat, and strategy articles. When he’s not working on an ACG piece, he’s writing other PC gaming articles for GameFront.com and for other sites and game companies, catching sci fi shows, enjoying a quality cigar or whiskey, or just being zen with his cat, Spritzer.