Godfather II has a good empire building system - I'm only a couple hours into it. You are starting your own family so you have to recruit family members with various skills to blow shit up, heal your troops, be bad ass, etc. I strongly - strongly suggest downloading this character:
- Jimmy Lira: The ONLY recruit who can ultimately be upgraded to have every specialty in the game! Jimmy Lira starts with the arsonist, engineer, medic, and safecracker specialties, and comes equipped with a level 2 machine gun: the MP38. He appears in the NY Don’s office when NY is first unlocked, and in your NY safehouse at all times after that.
You can boost the skills of each Family, making them more effective in combat and the like.
The main problem I have - with most crime syndicate games - is there's not enough micromanagement. That may sound insane but I basically want to play a "Syndicate Sim". I want to control markets, import/export, supply/demand, cost of whores/drugs/guns combined with diplomacy/intrigue/corruption/scandal. I bet that would sell, besides it'd be a lot more accurate in portraying gangsters as businessmen/politicians than goons. Sure there might come a time to crack skulls but ultimately that's bad for business.
For now though I am not playing that game so the Godfather II will have to do.