Capital City is part Mafia Wars, part CityVille

Crime games. They may just be the biggest genre on Facebook, even bigger than farming. So it’s a bit curious that MTV’s digital arm, MTVi, decided to launch Capital City on Facebook, yet another game that puts you in the role of a mob boss. That being said, from what we’ve played so far, it’s at least a solid and engaging take on the well worn theme.

At the outset of the game you’re in jail. After being released one of your trusted aids drives you back to your seedy hideout and gives you the lowdown on what’s been happening since you were locked up. Turns out another mobster has taken control of much of the city in your absence. Naturally, this won’t stand, and so it’s your job to regain your rightful place in the criminal underworld.

Capital City

Capital City

Surprisingly, Capital City actually has much more in common with a game like CityVille than it does with mob-themed role playing experiences like Mafia Wars or Gangster City. Despite the obvious thematic differences, Capital City is also all about building up and managing a city. The difference is the means you use to do that.

So you’ll be building businesses and supplying them with goods, as well as collecting rent from homes. It’s all relatively familiar stuff. But the criminal aspect changes how you go about this. You can gather supplies not by growing crops, but by hijacking shipping trucks or ransacking businesses. You’ll be destroying plots of land to erect pizza shops and pubs and you’ll take control over rival businesses.

Capital City is also, as you can imagine, a pretty violent game. Random thugs walking around can be shot by your own gangsters, which you’ll actually be able to see acted out on the streets. You’ll torch your enemies’ buildings and shoot any survivors that attempt to run away. Needless to say, this is a game for a more mature audience.

Capital City

Capital City

The game does have some interesting ideas, though. In addition to the larger focus on story, which takes place via text heavy dialog sequences, some of the missions are pretty clever. One early on tasks you with taking our your opponent’s home base, but first you need to stake it out to search for weaknesses. You’ll learn that the guards will change shifts in a few hours, and thus will need to wait for the right moment to strike.

Capital City is already shaping up to be one of the better examples of a Facebook crime game. The combination of simple, but engaging storytelling and CityVille-style city building makes for an enticing package, though the theme will certainly turn off some players. The game also has its work cut out for it: not only is there competition from the established crime games on the platform, but also from promising looking games that are coming soon, such as Crime Story.

Stay tuned to Gamezebo for our full review.