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Criminal Empire
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Criminal Empire

Release Date:  March, 2012
Publisher:  6 Waves
Developer:  
Genre:  Social Game
Sponsor:

Criminal Empire is a Facebook social game presented by 6 Waves, behind games like Astro Garden, Ravenskye city and zombie island. In Criminal Empire, you are able to experience the intoxicating life of a villainous criminal! You are no longer asked to advocate justice and tasked with the mission to sweep all the evils. Just indulge yourself to grasp, rob, steal and keep everything that catches your attention on the lush and resourceful island.

The polished tropical scenes as well as the relaxing and lively country music well match the title of the first chapter “Invasion to paradise” – the in-game scenarios looks and sounds really like a resorts paradise, which is on the other hand in sharp contrast with the “stealing and robbing” theme.

Under the guidance of the detailed tutorial, you assist in various crimes such as seducing the local idlers to help your construction work and robbing the hostel owner of his possessions. Upon the completion of each quest, you will be rewarded with coins, building materials and experiences, which are essential for your upgrade in the game. Follow the intriguing storyline, gather wealth and gather fun!

Review:

Criminal Empire puts you in the shoes of a mafia boss running a mafia family alongside the city dock. Like most other popular crime-themed games on Facebook, Criminal Empire is a mixed-genre game featuring both role-playing and city-building.

The game graphics are above average level and scenic design is nice, however, the game seems to be a shrunk version of those that we have got used to. It is completely without NPCs and players do not have their own controllable avatars. So there is no way for players to move their character to interact with NPCs such as shopkeepers or quest givers, which should be commonly seen in games of the same genre. Instead, accessing the text menus and click-to-collect jobs take up most of your ingame time. Quest icons are also neatly arranged in the left hand side as you can see in every plotless strategy game. Your sexy secretary will interrupt your gameplay to give you some advice on the quest accepted, but just like what I said, lacking NPCs of diversified characteristics and appearances can result in deteriorated gameplay.

As a new mafia leader, you must start from the very foundation of property management, like constructing a boutique or a casino, and collecting your revenue from them based on specific time intervals. You also need to arrange your men to handle the dirty freight cargos in docks. To do this, you need “gangster”, which works the same way as other games where you need “energy” to perform actions. You can take many contracts such as drugs, ammo or ore shipments.

Some quests require you to travel to your rivals’ turfs to rob their buildings or conquer them. So you will need to take out enemy gangsters from your sniper hideout. Actually, the combat system sounds more exciting than it actually is. The combat interface displays a cross hair, plus the statistics showing HP of the enemy and your attack damage which is determined by your stats and equipments. Each shot costs “Hero Power”, which replenishes by 1 point every 45 minutes with a cap capacity of only 5. Actually, the cross hair is just purely cosmetic and you won’t find anything here approaching the real-time combat aspect of an FPS. Several mindless mouse-clicking operations are enough. Enemies are just test dummies, which never retaliate, retreat or regenerate HP, so players can freely abort the combat to do other jobs and come back again when “Hero Power” is filled.

As an RPG, Criminal Empire also lacks the “world map” system which consists of some other explorable areas. Besides accessing NPC enemies’ turfs to take out some mobs, or visiting Facebook friends’ lands to lend some helping hands, there are no other places where you can hang out or expand your real estate empire and mafia business. You can only gradually expand your building areas in the starting map. To do that, you will have to hit a certain level and ask for your neighbors’ help in order to add a new square area of land in one of those shaded-out areas.

Overall, I don’t like this game very much. Story and NPC interactions in RPG’s are of great importance to me, but the game doesn’t have them. The building content is still not as extensive as other city-building games on Facebook. Social elements only cover the typical gift-giving system and the possibility to visit friends’ turfs and liberate their cities by removing gangs. While in city-building and combat aspects, you don’t get any multiplayer options. So the game is not recommended. A crime game shouldn’t be just a matter of spending energy and clicking mouse buttons. The game fails to keep players constantly doing something new or deliver diversified gameplay which allows them to play the game in their own ways.

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