There’s only one thing stopping you from playing Gangsters 2 and that’s your middle name. If it’s Mark, John or – heaven forbid – Brian, you can forget it. It needs to be something like “the shark”, “lightning”, “hands” or “derringer”.
Y’know, like Marty “the blade” Cappuci, or Luigi “the cornetto” Higgs (feared and known by his calling card of a generous splodge of thick raspberry sauce, sprinkled liberally with hundreds and thousands). As they say in the doorman trade – if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in. So after a swift trip to the Town Hall to change our moniker to something suitable by deed poll, we sat down to test out this sequel of a strategy affair with business overtones.
Gangsters 2 is, on the face of it, very much like Gangsters 1. The visuals and interface are pretty similar, with extra goodies tacked on here and there, but as with many sequels the core has been kept pretty much the same.
This time round you play an embittered tough guy who has just lost his father to a mob hit. Needless to say, this doesn’t go down at all well and revenge is very much on the strategy menu. The single player game consists of a campaign broken down into 20 missions, and it’s not particularly easy to complete; indeed, it’ll keep you busy for some time. Gangsters 2 boasts a decent 8 player multiplayer mode as well.
Changes have been made to the core of the gameplay. Now, when you recruit gangsters into your mob, they can be kept on from one mission to the next. In fact you rank them in a gangster family tree, earning experience points in the missions to spend and improve your top guys’ skills. This brings an excellent added dimension to the proceedings.
The action now plays out in real time, twenty four hours a day – in the original you planned your turns in advance, then watched them happen, making adjustments where and when you could. This time round you have complete real time control over everything. The addition of night-time adds some smart visual variance and extra tactical emphasis. Obviously this is when you would to pull off something really dodgy like a bank job!
An in-game advisor now offers advice and tips to the would-be mob boss and there are detailed newspaper reports to keep you up to date with happenings in the city. The interface has also been streamlined, although it is still a little quirky.