Social game star Zynga, known for friendly titles such as FarmVille, is letting people unleash crime lord fantasies in Mafia Wars 2 tailored for play at Facebook.
Zynga has announced its first major game sequel, promising that Mafia Wars 2 will roll out globally in coming weeks.
"It is a fantasy to take on a criminal persona, smuggle things and take part in gang versus gang warfare - which you can't do at home," said Zynga lead product manager Ian Wang.
While popular Zynga games CityVille and FarmVille are based on collaboration, "my win is your loss" in the free Mafia Wars sequel, Wang promised while providing AFP a glimpse at the coming game.
Players start out as a character returning to Las Vegas after release from jail. It is intentionally unclear whether the time behind bars was deserved.
Players have a bleak home turf that they must revitalise with casinos, distilleries, gun shops, banks and other Sin City essentials.
"We took a graphic novel art approach and wanted to create an edgier world," Wang said.
Zynga imbued the game with console title action traits including tough "boss battles" to cap off levels, and letting players battle and rob one another.
"Immediately you see this game is quite different; you have people attacking you," Wang said. "If you have something valuable there is going to be somebody trying to take it."
Players can undertake side missions to get in-game loot or earn useful items like virtual body armour. There are hundreds of different animated weapons in the game including flame throwers.
A desert spot reminiscent of an army supply depot serves as a venue for picking fights.
There is a central story that unfolds as players progress.
In classic Zynga style, a player can enlist friends to watch his or her back and take on tough enemies.
Victories can be posted in Facebook news feeds, and bounty shared with social network friends that help out.
The game will launch in 16 languages including French, Chinese, Spanish and English. It is free to play.
The game trailer and other information are available online at mafiawars2.com.