It was only a matter of time before the Sim management genre championed by EA left the happy environment of neighbourhood watch and headed down gangster route in downtown crime land. Even less surprising was that Whiptail, the makers of Postal 2, would be at the helm of this would be violent twist on a family genre.

The storyline is simple. You’re one of four Sicilian brothers working his way up within a mob family with the hope of one day running your own empire and being the big boss man. The game plays out as real time strategy (RTS), with a top-down isometric viewpoint that allows you to control your character and his heavies through a sprawling downtown cityscape. Money and level progression is earned by running rackets and completing tasks for Uncle Vinnie. As long as you behave yourself, you’ll get better jobs and eventually a piece of the pie.

Shoot-outs are also played out in real-time and there is some skill in positioning yourself and your bad guys in the right position as to not get killed. Dying (which is rather easy) currently results in starting the game from the beginning of the mission - something that is can be really annoying if you've almost completed the level. Whiptail Interactive through excitement to get the game to meet its release date forgot to include an auto save or even manual save in the game. Hardcore fans of Cannon Fodder, Syndicate/Wars and Commandos won’t mind but the more busy among us may want to save our progress and return to the level later. It’s an issue that they are aware of and fixing, but still annoying nonetheless.

Verdict

Structured like Grand Theft Auto but without the same emphasis on vehicles, this game is still detailed enough to offer plenty of playability. Because of its similarities however, you can't but help feel this is just another imitation of an already successful title albeit from a Sim-based angle. If you really want more GTA but aren't fussed about the cars nor waiting for San Andreas then this will fill the void, but our advice is wait a month before the save patch is available to download.