Sunday, February 3, 2013

Omerta City of Gangsters: Let's (Not) Play

I was all pumped up to do a let's play of this game, but then I had to go ahead and ruin that idea by actually playing it. It's not that it's a bad game (yes it is) it's just that it can be frightfully dull in places and the tactical combat isn't very good (it's worse than that). Those who are saying it is 'like X-Com' need to be dragged out and beaten with an actual strategy game (I recommend Battle Isle just so I can get in an obscure reference) until they relent and admit they are very, very wrong. Omerta is 'like' X-Com in the way that Chess is 'like' Monopoly because they are both played on boards. If you're not sure what Chess is, but love Monopoly, then shut the PC down and never, ever read my blog again.

Is this what those of us who love actual strategy games have descended to? Is this a product of the 'consolation' of gaming? X-Com isn't even that bloody good and here I am using it as the marker by which to compare another (tactically) inferior game. Is thinking that much of a niche market? Is no one willing to make a game that requires us to do more than click stuff?

My first impressions of the game, then, are not great. It doesn't have a lot of depth and I find myself plowing through the single-player campaign desperately waiting for the easy tutorial-like bit to end (and it actually did over three mission ago). I looked at Sandbox mode but there is literally nothing to do: there is no AI competing against you so it's just you in that Sandbox. Multi-player hopes were also dashed when I found you don't actually compete to take over the city, you just play some of the 'tactical' combat missions against each other. Once you've seen these battles you'll know why that isn't really a good thing.

There are times when there is literally nothing to do and the fact that they didn't include a 'speed time' feature is mind-boggling. Near the end of one mission I actually left, made tea, played with my dogs, and when I came back I had 'won'. Needless to say I don't think this will lend well to a let's play video series (unless you like staring at nothing much while listening to me sip tea and throw a ball for my dogs though given some of the viral videos on You Tube that may be my first big hit). There are some Let's Plays of OMerta up on You Tube if you are interested but one of them won't be from me. I'm not an especially chatty guy and really don't think I could make such a series interesting. I will be doing a video review instead and maybe looking at the Sandbox feature as it does (despite the lack of any real opposition) highlight the main features of the game.

Oh, and while I'm ranting when you have the voice actor in the opening scene say 'Here I am in America, fresh off the boat' at least bloody well use a NON American actor or PLEASE have him fake an accent of some kind fer feck sake (see, not that bloody hard). You had all sorts of people pulling shitty Irish accents after that scene, why not one more? I especially like the one where the Irishman says he wants to change his life by buying beer and opening a pub. He's IRISH for feck sake, that's not much of a change, now is it? Anyway, rant over.

I still feel the need to expand my video offerings for both my own sanity, and that of potential viewers. I like WoT, but variety is nice. War Thunder, of course, looms large and many WoT You Tubers are overloading that particular band-wagon to the point of overflowing. I've never been much for following the crowd and the game, ultimately, doesn't compel me like WoT does. Once they add land and sea units I'm definitely interested but until then I will merely dabble. Maybe I'll do a 'ramming' series as that seems to annoy the crap out of the die-hards.

As for my next video offering I think I'll go back to a game I've neglected over the last few months: Gnomoria. My short post on Gnomoria remains my most visited post and I still get a hundred or so views a week on that so it seems there is some interest. It's also a game I like, and it is miles away from WoT so it will offer me a mental break.

I will likely be doing a few hours worth of play- nothing too crazy- just checking out the new crafting and monsters and providing some tips on getting started. If you don't know what Gnomoria is I like to describe it as a cross between Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft. It it is a Sandbox Village Management game with a top-down view and the ability to change every hex in the game (hence the mine-craft reference). And Gnomes, of course.

For my video channel groupies, er subscribers, I will have a channel update video and some new WoT content out over the next couple of days.


  1. Gank,

    "Is this what those of us who love actual strategy games have descended to?"

    This from the man who wimped out on Crusader Kings II.

  2. Crusader Kings II? Ah yes, I remember that. Isn't it a lineage simulator? There's more strategy in a soap opera than that game unless you consider hurling the greatest amount of troops at your enemy to win a strategy.

    There was a degree of strategy to it, yes, but ultimately it fell short. I did, however, give it 30 or so hours of my life and enjoyed it for a while.

  3. You'd be surprised. It's had a regular stream of updates and expansions. I'd class it as my game of the year 2012.