reviews\ Jul 18, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Mob Enforcer - PC - Review

The good old days of gangsters, to some, would be 1920’s.  Before pop culture had the Sopranos, Godfather, Goodfellas or any other mob related media, there really was a big crime boss; Al Capone.  Besides not paying taxes, creating a “secret” vault, Al Capone ruled the streets of Chicago in the 20’s.  Mob Enforcer gives players the opportunity to travel back in time and work for Al Capone as his top muscle. 


You play the role of Jimmy “Machine Gun” DeMora, Al Capone’s newest and #1 enforcer.  The game is a first person shooter (FPS) and is set in the roaring 20’s.  Everything from the cars to the character outfits is from the 20’s.  Most of the locations within the game try to be close to authentic; in fact the game even includes replicas of the old time billboard.  You will be advertisement for companies that have long since disappeared throughout the city and the billboards are painted to the side of the buildings. 


The game plays out similar to other FPS games; you run around, shoot people and finish missions to clear the stage.  The missions vary depending on the level but are usually very simplistic such as take out a shop, or take out a specific person.  For gamers looking for the next thought provoking FPS, look elsewhere.  The developers tried to give you a little bit more to do than just running around blowing things up with the mission.  But the essential gameplay is tied specifically to shooting but the missions can be a little non-linear.  You won’t have to take out specific shops in a set order, as long as all of the shops are destroyed then you can clear the mission. 


At first everything seems to be OK with Mob Enforcer: you have a mission to accomplish and enemies to destroy.  But then you notice the AI and a constant pattern in how the enemy attacks.  The computer-controlled characters seem to have their own customized move sets and are resilient to bullets.  You will notice some character dropping like flies after you hit them with your gun and other characters standing right in front you taking shot after shot.  This didn’t happen occasionally but it happened all the time.  The enemies even had special moves they would perform such as rolling around on the ground to avoid getting hit.  Other characters would lie on the ground and fire.  Great moves, but it would have been nice if your character had the same abilities. 

The other big issue with the gameplay was the enemy encounters.  As I mentioned earlier the game is somewhat non-linear, where you can usually finish different missions in no set order.  Usually you would start out in a stage with no enemies near you.  But once you get close to an area that you need to clear, the enemies would attack.  Now this isn’t anything new when it comes to games but what Mob Enforcer does is something that old school players are familiar with.  The enemies would seemingly appear out of nowhere and start attacking you.  Now when I say out of nowhere, I literally mean out of nowhere.  I ran through several stages where I checked out every room and there were no enemies to be found.  But once I triggered a specific event within the game (by usually completing part of a mission) all of the rooms were now populated with the enemy.  Why didn’t I see them 30 seconds ago when I checked the rooms out?  Were they hiding under the bed, in the closet? 


Mob Enforcer is an entertaining game that, however, will leave some players with a fat lip.  The gameplay does what it’s supposed to do and the graphics replicate the look and feel of the 20’s.  But after a while the game gets repetitive and frustrating.  You have other enforcers popping up out of nowhere to take you out, even after you cleaned out a room.  If you’re looking for another FPS to hold you over until the next big title comes out than Mob Enforcer might be the game.  Beware, once you’re in debt to the Mob you’re always in debt.



Gameplay 5.5 

The controls are well done for a FPS game; you move the character with the “A, W, S, and D” keys and fire with the mouse button.  I did notice a slight lag when I would press the fire button to the game responding.  It was marginal and soon I noticed the game giving me some extra shots that I don’t remember pressing.  On occasion the aiming system would seem to have a mind of it’s own where some enemies were hit straight on, while others were being missed by a mile. 


You do have an option to crouch and jump in the game along with the ability to lean left or right.  But none of these options seemed to matter because the enemy would always rush after you, even if they haven’t spotted you at all.  I noticed the best option when taking out the enemy was to use the shotgun and stand right in front of them.  Most of the time it would take out an enemy with one blast.  During most of the shootouts you’re up against two to three enemies at the same time.  The best strategy was to find a place to hide, usually a door and then fire once the enemy would stop and reload.  The game includes 10 different levels and 9 different weapons. 


Graphics 6.0 

The first thing I noticed about the graphics was how impressive they were for a budget title.  Some budget title games usually skip on the extra frills of the graphics and try to stick with the gameplay.  Mob Enforcer looks really good with a nice amount of detail in the graphics.  The stages all looked great, with their own unique look and impressive textures.  During some of the missions though I would notice that each stage would become repetitive with the textures used.  It was hard to distinguish which building was which from time to time because they looked similar to each other.  The stages would show some damage because of the bullets, but not enough to really impress.  In fact I would notice that some items would blow up and show damage, while other similar items couldn’t be harmed.  For example if you tried to shoot a car, it wouldn’t show any damage. 


The character animations were nicely done as well, but you will notice the same characters appearing through out the game.  The frame rate was solid for most of the game but I did notice that the game would stutter a little when turning with the mouse.  Another problem would be that from time to time the game would get very foggy in order to prevent any pop-ups.  But this would usually occur after you’ve already been through that section of the stage. Now please be aware that this isn’t Half-Life 2 or Doom III when it comes to the graphics.  If there was a little more variety with the graphics you could add an additional point to the score.


Sound 6.0 

The sound effects for the weapons will be the first thing a gamer will notice.  The weapons sounded great and came across loud & clear.  You will even hear the bullet shells hitting the ground after they left the gun’s chamber.  Before each level you are presented with a cut-scene that explains the mission(s) of the level.  The voice acting during the cut-scenes were good, with your character and the person giving you the information sounding great.  However there is no music during the game and the only music you will hear is during the menus.  The music sounds like something from an old police show.  One area that was interesting with the sound actually effects the gameplay as well.  When you hear the enemy yelling out then you better be on your toes because the enemy would appear is just a few seconds.  I was always listening for the enemy in order to prepare myself in the game.  Now this became a benefit of the game but I’m sure it might not have been intentional.  The phrases voiced by the enemy were very repetitive and limited. 


Difficulty Medium to Hard 

The difficulty in Mob Enforcer can be very frustrating for some gamers.  The majority of the game isn’t that difficult, you are presented with a few areas that are very aggravating.  Most of the aggravation stems from the gameplay itself, not with the difficulty.  As you move closer to a key area in a level, the enemy attacks you.  But the part that bumps up the difficulty is the fact that the enemies appear out of nowhere and will consistently rush after you.  A common scenario within the game is you destroy 6 or 7 enemies and you’re running low on health.  As you keep moving through the level, you find a bulletproof vest.  But the bulletproof vest is near a key area in the level and soon another 6 or 7 enemies appear out of thin air.  So be prepared to replay the missions over and over again before completing them.  Luckily the game allows you to save anywhere and resume from that save.


Multiplayer N/A 

This is a single player only game.


Concept 5.5 

How many more mob-related games will be released this year?  How many First Person Shooters will be released this year?  The answer to both of those questions is more then most gamers will have time to play.  Unfortunately there isn’t much that distinguishes Mob Enforcer from all of the other games that have been and will be released.  It’s a solid FPS game that has a mob based story line, so it’s the best of both worlds for some gamers.  The one interesting part of the setting is the fact that you’re working for Al Capone, a key figure in history.  The gameplay and graphics bring nothing new to the world of gaming that hasn’t been already been done.


Overall 5.8 

In summary, Mob Enforcer isn’t a bad game.  In fact there are some great features about the game: the graphics are nice and the sound effects well done.  However the crazy AI and repetitive gameplay outweighs all of the positives.  I’m in favor of keeping the player challenged and on his/her toes, but the way the enemy attacks is a test in player’s patience.  This type of gameplay worked years ago but in today’s market it will be hard for anyone to be impressed with this type of gameplay.  But considering the price tag of the game, there might be enough to warrant the purchase of Mob Enforcer.  If you want a fast paced, violent and solid looking FPS then give the game a try. 






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