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Gangsters 2: Vendetta Review
publisher: Eidos Interactive
developer: Hothouse Creations
P266, 64MB RAM, 650MB HDD, 4X CD-ROM
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jun 05, 01 (released)
|» All About Gangsters 2: Vendetta on ActionTrip|
Branislav "Bane" Babovic
"As far as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster" - Ray Liotta, Good Fellas
After several years of waiting, the sequel to the one of the most interesting strategic simulations ever is finally on the market. I have to admit that I never expected the sequel to be this different from the original, but all changes turned out just great, all from gameplay improvements to the graphic design. People have long been fascinated by gangsters and their frequently short, yet interesting lives. Of course, it is best to enjoy such an experience on your PC, and this is exactly what Gangsters 2 has to offer.
Gangsters 2 contains several game modes. There's the campaign, the multiplayer and tutorial mode. Be sure to complete the tutorial before you start playing the campaign, as it will point out some crucial elements that you could otherwise get to realize too late. When I say too late, I mean that some missions have time limits, Multiplayer mode supports all known network protocols and playing on Eidos' server on the net.
The campaign is the heart of the game and it has rather an interesting plot. It takes place in an imaginary US state called Temperance in the late thirties of the twentieth century. Just the right time for gunfights, smuggling, racketeering, and altogether dealing in crime. The father of the main character, one of local Dons, gets killed in one of the shoot-outs. You assume the role of Joseph Bane (He's not Italian?! - Ed.), a young gangster who wants to avenge the death of his father and rule Temperance. Joey Bane starts off with pretty limited means, but he is driven by vendetta.
The map of Temperance is crammed with points (cities) that represent your potential targets for spreading your area of influence. The story unravels through chapters and you'll feel as if you were reading a good crime-story. As you advance through missions and complete given objectives, your status will rise and the missions will get more complex and more interesting.
The first thing I got to like about this game is the simple interface, rid of complicated elements that would hinder gameplay. The upper part of the screen contains animations of your gangsters at work, and the left hand side of the screen contains detailed data about your currently selected gangster. This is where you can add bodyguards to your current gangster. This feature seemed pretty interesting: if you have sufficient funds you can hire "muscle" to help your gangsters in fights. And as long as all the bodyguards are alive, your gangster cannot be hurt. Bodyguards' default weapon is the handgun, but if you by any chance happen to have any other weapons in your stash, they are sure to take it. This way, each gangster represents a potential group of mercenaries that will protect your territory. You can set the aggression level of each gangster in order to control his reaction upon encountering an enemy. If his aggression is high, he will immediately start shooting, if it is set to low, he will run away. The bottom of the screen contains your councilor and the newspaper, which holds information about gangsters and specialists for hire (which seems a bit silly, but never mind), latest gossip around town and FBI most-wanted charts. The rest of the gangster commands like guard, patrol, flee, tail, and so on are also situated here. This is about everything you will use in game. This doesn't mean the game is simple, though...
Bane finances his vendetta by dealing in various things, primarily racketeering stores and hotels. When you shift-click a site, you will get complete insight in its business and profit perspectives. Practically each site will give you an hourly profit and the more sites you have, the more money you'll get. Perfect opportunities for making money are sites where you can run an illegal business under a legitimate company; for instance, you take up a hotel, which deals legally and has its own manager, and build a distillery in its basement. You can also control many other structures like a gambling den, brewery, or speakeasy in order to provide sufficient cash for your campaign.
8.9 Very Good
Interesting story, good design, great atmosphere and easy resource management;
A bit chaotic when you have to control several sites at once, the police tends to attack you first and the moral aspect of the game :-)