Never has a game frustrated me so much while still making me want to play. Normally when a game is rubbish, as a reviewer, you can’t wait to get it over with and write the damn review. Or, if it's a great game, you don't want to write the review because it means you have to move on to the next thing. Here we have a game that isn't good, but one I still have trouble putting down.
Omerta is a turn-based strategy game set in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the prohibition era of the '20s. You play a “just off the boat immigrant” trying to make his way in the New World. Naturally, you opt for making a killing as a mobster and aspire to run the city as a Capo. This should be a winning formula.
Unfortunately, the execution is less than perfect in so many ways. But, let’s start off with positives. The soundtrack is stellar and I found myself playing the game longer than I originally planned because of catchy period music. In fact, at least at first, the music has a soothing effect when you are frustrated. Graphically, it isn’t bad either and it loads from map to map fairly quickly. The plot is clichéd, but interesting enough to cause you to proceed through it. The graphic novel style, think old Max Payne, cutscenes are well done. There is enough there to make me want to like the game.
Now to the bad. The turn-based combat is appalling in its execution. The gunplay is annoying and the AI “cheats” all the time by firing through walls, doors, and at very odd angles (ones you can’t use). The UI during combat is clunky, unresponsive, counterintuitive, and stiff. I find myself avoiding all but the mandatory combat by using the automatic function. You really wish they hadn’t bothered and just stuck with the “management” part of the game and expanded on that a bit.
Other problems include the fact that many of the maps are so small that you finish them too quickly. You then have to start over, establishing your properties and income from scratch. This quickly becomes tedious and frustrating. Frustrating enough that I found myself swearing in Italian and other languages under my breath.