From the Game's Introduction:
Criminal Element is a role-playing game set in that dark and seedy underbelly populated by gangsters, thugs and hoodlums, a genre that can be seen in popular films and novels as well as other pop entertainments. Here we explore what happens in the dark recesses and the hidden places within our societies. Players portray characters that fully believe that "who dares wins" and are willing to put everything on the line to prove it.
All that you will need to play Criminal Element is some paper and pencils, a standard deck of playing cards without jokers, a set of poker chips to represent Drama Points in play and an active and devious imagination.