Mafia Wars meets CityVille (sort of) with Urban Warfare on Facebook

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Urban Warfare
Enjoying CityVille, but in search of more competition? Well, Blue Shell Games' first effort on Facebook hopes to bring social gamers the best of both worlds with Urban Warfare. With both city-building elements and Mafia Wars-style battles with friends, Urban Warfare is a jack-of-all-trades of sorts, allowing players to both maintain a sprawling town while defending it from invaders. However, this game is certainly not without its flaws. In fact, it has those in spades.

Take a look behind the break to get a detailed look at whether this game might interest you (but probably not).
Urban Warfare Battles
Urban Warfare throws players into a war-torn world where every city is required to have a full-blown military to defend itself, which would be absolutely badass in most situations (fictional, of course). It's too bad that this game doesn't bring much in the fun department. Sure, Urban Warfare is functional, but that's about where development seems to have tapered off to a point. For instance, the image above is what every battle looks like. And that's it. (Well, aside from a blank loading screen that simply reads, "Battling!")

So, don't think you're preparing for full-scale war here. Battles operate almost exactly like those in Mafia Wars, but with less detailed artwork and it's the bland soldiers you train that decide the outcome rather than collected items. Not to mention that Battles can be repeated over and over again with no real benefit or penalty. You'll almost immediately catch on to the trick of finding a weak player pummeling him repeatedly to level up at lightning speeds (due to the lack of animation), but what's the point?

City building
Not much really, though in order to compete at later levels you'll need to build out your city with coin-generating businesses, residencies that boost your population and barracks to train more soldiers--all of which cost coins. The balance between generating coins and population via plopping buildings on the grid and training an army is simple enough. In fact, it's probably too simple. In my short time playing the game, there are really no perceivable setbacks aside from losing a Battle and the excruciatingly long time it takes to train soldiers.

Despite its many shortcomings, Urban Warfare does get a few things right. Take Quests, for example. While they've surely been done before, it's somewhat reassuring to know that Blue Shell at least realizes that these have essentially standard to guide players along in social games. Taking a cue from games like CityVille, players can visit their friends' cities to provide them with boosts to supplies. Alright, I'll admit it: that's all I can think up. For Pete's sake, the game allows players to pay coins for decorations that have no benefit whatsoever besides a sliver of XP. I can get more XP in an instant by pummeling Random Newbie #27.

The game offers a paid currency known as Reward Points (sound familiar?), but I would strongly recommend you not spend your hard-earned dollars on a game with little to no animation or interesting artwork and a gameplay dynamic that doesn't feel complete before really getting to know it. It's a shame too, because the initial premise is spot-on and has loads of potential for the next big social game, which Blue Shell deserves credit for. Unfortunately, it's in the execution that Urban Warfare goes AWOL.

Click here to play Urban Warfare on Facebook now>

Have you tried Urban Warfare? What do you think of the potential of a Mafia Wars-meets-CityVille social game? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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