Mafia Wars: Moscow , the second expansion to the mob-themed Facebook game Mafia Wars, lets players expand their criminal empire into brand new territory. Mafia Wars publisher Zynga gave us an exclusive sneak peek at the new expansion, set to hit a browser near you September 24.
The expansion's basic game mechanics will remain unchanged. Score cash and experience points by taking on missions and fighting rival mafias; use the cash to buy weapons, power-ups and properties; and use the experience points to level up your mobster's energy levels or fighting skills as you see fit.
The biggest difference in this expansion? Mafia Wars Senior Product Manager David Kahn says it will have, "a new look and feel," and, "will be much harder than other expansions we released before, more geared to higher level players, level 70-plus."
As soon as you arrive in Moscow , you're forced to choose sides. Will you help the the Vory v Zakone, a group of old-school Russian mobsters, or the Mafiya, former KGB and military officers who have learned that organized crime pays far more rubles than a government job? The loot items for the missions will be different depending on which faction you go with, so choose wisely.
Also unlike the other Mafia Wars scenarios, missions will be broken down into chapters, and you will not be able to see the next set of missions until you complete a chapter and defeat the boss at the end. Players will also have to rely on friends more than before to defeat these high-powered crime lords.
As for achievements, Moscow will have six new achievements, five new businesses, six new collections and 50-plus Russian-themed weapons, armor and vehicles. Some of those specialty items will include an AK-47 type gun, specialty night-vision goggles, and of course, classic Russian nesting dolls.
Of course, we had to ask, "Why Moscow?" Kahn says in addition to Moscow 's mobbed up history, they chose the city because that's what the fans wanted (via an online voting campaign).
The fans also picked the location for the next two Mafia Wars expansions -- Asia and the Western US -- but details are scarce since Zynga developers are busy asking players what features they want to see next. Now that's what we call social gaming.
Mafia Wars Moscow launches Thursday, September 24. As they say in Russia, Увидем Вас там! (we'll see you there).