Merchants of Brooklyn review

If only the dev’s house had flooded


  • Doesn't skimp on gore
  • "Unique" setting
  • Cheap price


  • Lame story and setting
  • Amateurish tone and execution
  • Riddled with bugs to boot

In the future, according to doomsayers Paleo, global warming will flood most of New York City, leaving it made of slumdogs and rich people in the high rises. This bewildering and barely elaborated upon concept is about as inspiring as the rest of Merchants of Brooklyn. Because we’re so bloody kind, we usually give indie developers’ work an easier ride, but MOB (as it demands to be known at times) is so amateurish, messy and offensive that we can’t help but kick it in the teeth.

MOB is essentially a poorly-developed FPS where you run around shooting or punching samey-looking enemies. These Neanderthals (yes, they’re called that) were cloned to build up the flooded New York, but now have nothing to do but crime. This muddied plot is lost in a cloud of cringe-worthy ultraviolence and terrible music that will make you push pens into your eardrums. You’re going to punch and eviscerate your enemies in over-the-top gore that’s at first disgusting and eventually boring.

Really – it’s rare to find a title that actually makes us squeamish, but MOB forces you to tear the limbs off enemies, set them on fire, and all manner of needless gore porn. This is strangely truncated by the game’s sounds, which are distant and disconnected from what’s going on in the game. A gigantic smack has all the sonic weight of tenderizing a pork chop. You’d think a robot tearing a man apart would sound less damp.

Even at its bargain bin price, MOB is frankly appalling. It’s got the spit and polish of a Quake mod and the story of anime fan fiction. It’s even buggy, with certain parts of the HUD not showing up, crashes, and even resolution bugs that meant we couldn’t get it to run properly over 800x600. If this is the future, we’d rather just give up now.

May 4, 2009

More Info

DescriptionOver the top violence and a unique setting doesn't help the fact that the game lacks polish. Available via Steam.
US censor ratingMature
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date17 March 2009 (US), (UK)