Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
When I first played Gangsters: Organized Crime [Wikipedia page] in the late 90s I didn’t really play strategy games. This one predated The Sopranos, so my grasp of epic gangster stories stemmed from Scarface, Once Upon A Time in America and The Godfather trilogy - all of which weaved deep and intricate tales over the course of just a few hours.
Gangsters: Organized Crime taught me that out you can’t assassinate a mayor on your first day on the job.
Which is why my first venture into the world of virtual organised crime was unsuccessful. After just minutes of assuming the hotseat I sent budget bandit Gabrielle ‘Joker’ Bekos to city hall where he immediately botched his first job. By taking down the mayor, I’d planned to take control of the city, yet instead Bekos’ legacy was a white chalk outline on Main Street. Perhaps my henchman’s nickname was telling, and I quickly learned that ruling the streets of New Temperance would require patience and perseverance.
I hired gangs of hoods, set up protection rackets, extorted local businesses and grew my territory into an empire. In Gangsters, success is hinged on one of four outcomes: going clean, becoming mayor yourself, forming an alliance with rival gangs, or wiping out the competition entirely. The latter, as you’d probably imagine, is the most satisfying and I never once kicked off a game without a leg-up from the I LOVE HANSON money cheat because I’m straight up gangster 4 life.
Gangsters: Organized Crime now lives on GOG which means you can avenge Beko’s death for just a few quid.