London, the cultural capital of the world, has seen the birth of many subcultures but there is another side to it. That is where we also find the most notorious criminals and the underworld that they create. You have a difficult choice to make. Will you lead a life of crime, or join Scotland Yard and clean up the town? C̴̡̨͈͕͖͒̏͊͌̽̀͝Ň̴̛͓̬̩̐̂̉z̶̧̜̻̟̏̔͒̑́̾B̷͖͕̗͚̆̍̍͘Q̵̰͎̓̏̀͗̀w̷̧̢̖̝̘̎̔̋̋͜ͅ8̸͚̹͇̫̪͇̐b̵̡͙̭̹̼̩̲͊̿́q̴̬̙̅̄̍͗͌͝4̵̺͕̝̥͙̂̇̒̑͆͒͠ỷ̴̛̜͍̖͉̇̓̈́̇̕N̷̛̻͉̂̈́̐̽̉͝ͅÉ̸̢̲̫̗͇̟̦F̷̜̘̅͋̊͒͆͝w̵̢̯̞̞̜̩̐̿͊́͆̐͝ͅC̷̼̪̼̔̀͆ Your decision will ultimately dictate who takes London, so choose wisely! The Finnish studio Resistance Games has partnered with the publisher 1C Entertainment to release their newest game on Steam. Company of Crime is an action turn-based strategy game in the same style as X-Com.
The game takes place at the heart of London in the 1960’s. You have two choices, you will either become a criminal or choose the law. Should you choose the criminal life, your goal is to build the biggest criminal empire the world has ever seen. On the other hand, if you decide to join Scotland Yard and become part of law enforcement, your job will be to keep the city safe and hunt London’s criminal’s aspect wherever they may be hiding.
If you decide to start with the criminal campaign, you will need to build up your crew first. A crime boss is only ever as good as the lowest soldier he commands. After you will need to secure funds by any means possible, whether it be extortion or getting your own businesses. h̸͖̼͈̹̲̤͌̌̏͋̑M̶̘̭̬̻̉̈͒̐̏͐ͅ2̵̰̘̟͒̅̚1̴̛͔͑͒́͘ẇ̴͔q̸̤̣͌g̶̢͚͓̰̲̫̻͊̓̀͗A̵͈͙͕̼͖͈̐̈͆͜*̶̨̫̦̬̞̪̣̈́̒͌3̴̫̌͒̾́̒̂̈́j̵͖̩͖͂̋ͅ?̵̮̭̳̩̯̉̚6̸̛̳̽͊i̴̢̬͓̠̠̩͓̓̈́̂̏ģ̶̛̬͉̞̯͇͂́̓͝d̸̞̺̆̽̋̅̆ You will have to ensure that other gangs do not gain a foothold on your turf which means using scare tactics and sometimes violence. However dead people do not bring in money, so you will need to restrain your crew. The overall goal of the criminal campaign is to gain respect and to expand your influence over the city without taking too much heat.
If you decide to go with the police campaign, you will have to keep the city safe in order to make sure criminals do not get the run of it. You will need to patrol, find informants, and hunt the criminal gang to get the leaders out of hiding so you can arrest them. Most of all you will need to keep the citizens sound and safe.
The game starts with a tutorial and for this you will have to play as the criminal. The tutorial spans only one mission so it is rather short but still explains the basics. I love the aesthetics of Company of Crime, there is a real vintage vibe. You just have to look at the loading screen with stylized images of London featuring some bright pops of color to them. M̸̢̦̲̠̝̺̼̔̑̀͑̕?̸̫͙̳̩̺̻̒̿N̷̦̓̋̂̾́ē̴̫̦̲͚̅5̶̞̎̾̈́̓̎̑͝ͅŰ̷̧͇͂͐7̷̢̠̹̍͛͑ṉ̴̙͓͂͐̈́̍̋̀͘t̶̘̱̖́̃̃͋̕͝4̷̛̩̱̹̜͂̿̆̍͜C̸͔̀͗̕͝m̶̡̨̲̥̮͈̺̓̌͑͐q̴̩͖̻̑͝ͅẅ̵͔͓̥̖͔͉́̈́4̷̢̢̛̳̗̋̑͊n̵̺̦̾ The artwork is not exceptional, but all the many details make it stick out. One of my favorite parts is the map which is made to look like you are looking at a paper map open on a desk even down to the coffee cup and cigarettes pack. An interesting detail is that when you fast-forward time the cup and pack of cigarettes moves around. That attention to detail adds to the vintage feel of the game and gives a real sense of being in a different era.
Company of Crime starts strong with a plethora of moves you can use on the enemies and interesting mechanics. You can punch, wrestle, kick, insult and even use objects like chairs and bottles to hit the opposing team. Positioning is key to success, you will want to be strategic when positioning your characters. Even moving toward your destination can get you into trouble. Each character has a zone surrounding them and coming into contact with this zone will trigger an attack from that enemy. 6̷̛̘̰̼̺̌7̸̞̳͙̰̯͈͙̅?̷̞͓̫̥̳̳̞͑8̵̻̮͈͍̟̉̐̐̋̊͝͠(̶͙͑͒̃̒̀̓̕&̶̻͇͓̖̉̅̔̒̚̕X̶̛̖̐̍́̈́̌͝ä̸̰́̾̀̆̅̊̎Ṭ̴̦̦̮̥͌͊̂͋͠M̷̨̙̥̺̣̤̐͑̓̍ḙ̶̛̖͉͈̳̐͌̀̽ͅX̵͖̣́̅̅͘̚Z̵̟̋̋ņ̴̹͔̩̰̹͐͗́́̾͠Q̷͔͕͕̞̀͊̂̆͌̚x̴̨̥̏̋̐̈̉͂!̶̨̜̀͊̒͒!̷̧͓̼̩͆̉̚2̵̝̍̌́̆͌͐͌ķ̸̢͔͉̜̭͋̉̈́̈͑̿͌Ị̸̀̀̉͂Q̶̘̪̬̆̆͛͗͘͝Ṭ̷̨̨̠̝̝͉̓̓̂̀̾̈́̾7̶͍͍̗̼͂̓͛͑7̸̞͎͕̯̭̲̼̓̏́̋͝ When your empire gets big enough it becomes important to delegate and that is where the map will become like a “war room” where you send your troops to achieve different actions. What I found really refreshing is that the game is not centered on killing the enemies. In fact, if you play the police campaign, you have to stay within the confines of the law. Using excessive force will get you sanctioned with a suspension. Even in the criminal campaign you do not want to kill the enemies. After all you are running a business and dead man does not pay up. What you want to do instead is rough up the other side a bit to scare them and gain respect.
Having said that, I think the gameplay could be more fluid and the AI is at time quite unbalanced. When playing the criminal campaign, you cannot leave before the police arrives. You have to make sure to retrieve all that could tie you to the crime scene. I found that to be an odd choice. You would think that the goal is to be nowhere near the crime scene when the police shows up. $̵̧̯̩̓̈́̅L̸̲̳͂̀̏̓̕q̵̫̥̦̫͕̈̌̍ͅM̸̲̱̱̹̺̀̋͆̊͋́͝M̷̺̭̝̆̀́̈́̃͘͠p̸̫̰̦͓͠d̵̖̦͈̬̩͕͂͆̽̿̎͋5̷̱̀̌͊͐̓̚̕%̶̺̋̑w̸̳̱͕͚̦̄͜ͅM̸̦̈̇̍̓͆̕ë̷͖̻͚̼̟̩́͠͝a̵͚̮͐̅̾̎͠%̵̨̬̂̋̀̓h̷̗̙̗̓́͊ḧ̶̪͈̙̘̞́͒̑͗̅ There are several little details like this that missed the mark. As an example, there is such a great variety of interesting and novel moves, but they often become useless. In most missions you can just use brute force and punch the whole way through. You can reach the end goal without having to develop a good strategy.
The other aspect I would have loved to see developed a bit more is the story. I am aware that it is a strategy game and it does not require a huge narrative. I still expected more. The dialogues often fall flat. There was a real opportunity here to add a bit of mystery especially in the police campaign. f̷̨̛͒̋͆͐̏Ŕ̶̨̡̩͉͖̭͚̏͂̂͗͝D̸̫͇̙̦̘̥̖̈͊̒̄̌̔)̴͓̭̤͇͕͌̿̈́̉͗¨̷̰͠)̸̣̲̑̓̈́V̵̢̪̪͇̻̰͍̂͒̿͐̕H̷̢͎̺̙̜͑̊̔͘X̴̧̛̩̠͚͗̒͝ͅQ̵̥̬̞͐̽̀̅̿͝Ḧ̶̛͇̰̮̦̫̹́̄4̵̨̡̧̳͖̺͎͋̿̋̆̍͝a̵͉̩̰̼̠͙̕¨̴͚͉͕͙̪͍͖͛̑̂͑̈̏̚%̸̮̭̜͉̼̪̐X̶̡̟̬̜̦̣̺̔ The investigation could have been developed to ask the player to solve the crime in a more realistic way. It would have been more engaging if the story went deeper. Finally, I found the locations to be so similar as to be unrecognizable from each other. There are so many different missions in different places but in the end they all look the same with minor differences.
In conclusion, I am on the fence about Company of Crime. It starts very strong and I have greatly enjoyed it, but after a while it became too repetitive. There are a lot of extremely interesting aspects and mechanics, but they are not always well implemented. If you are new to strategy games I think they are way better games out there to introduce you to the genre. It probably will not make it into the hall of fame, but if you are into those types of games and the style appeals to you, it will still gives you several hours of enjoyment.
Written by Vee