Empire of Sin, the strategy game from romero games and Paradox interactive, puts you at the heart of the ruthless criminal underworld of 1920S prohibition-era Chicago. It's up to you to Hustle, charm and intimidate your way to the top of the pile and do whatever it takes to stay there. This character-driven, noir-inspired game puts players smack dab in the glitz and glamor of the roaring 20S, all while working behind the scenes in the gritty underbelly of organized crime.
Empire of Sin is a love-letter to the old-school design of Bullfrog games. Part management sim, part RPG, part XCOM (with gangsters), it achieves its goal to bring different elements together into a cohesive and enjoyable unit. Its shortcomings and few bugs did not affect how much fun we had testing this game.
Empire of Sin has its bugs and some rough cinematic moments. But Romero Games pulled this project off with a team of just 30 people. For a game of its ambition, that seems like a small team. It’s pretty much an indie project, or perhaps “double-A,” compared to other games that are more polished but have hundreds of developers — or even more — working on them. What I also liked was that the game feels smart. I felt like I was playing against other crime bosses who were figuring out how to outthink me or double-cross me. And that’s what you want in a gangster game.
Empire of Sin is a great strategy and management game, that manages to capture the essence of its setting, even with its shortcomings.
Empire of Sin is a sincere love letter to a fascinating moment in American history and delivers all the style, swagger, and Tommy-Gun-inflicted violence you’d expect. Unfortunately, somewhat shallow sim elements, pushover AI, and a serious lack of polish means this probably won’t be your next great strategy obsession. That said, if you love gangster stuff, Empire of Sin might still be an offer you can’t refuse.
Despite an overwhelming number of strategic options and features, many of Empire of Sin's mechanics just don't mesh well or they can be completely ignored. Playthroughs will feel roughly similar to what you've done previously, and it becomes a repetitive affair and a chore to see what else you could do.
Empire of Sin successfully captures the atmosphere of the roaring 1920’s, but some solid narrative elements and an innovative character relationship system are tarred by slow game progression and an unbalanced tactical battle system. If you’re specifically craving some gangster goodness, give it a go, but be prepared for some hiccups and frustrations along the way.
Empire of Sin's criminal management sim and turn-based tactical combat combo sounds brilliant on paper, but it completely fails to live up to its aspirations due to major imbalances and bugs.
February 18, 2020
Empire of Sin has been delayed until autumn 2020.
March 21, 2017
The swiss online store WorldofGames lists Assassin's Creed Empire and sets the release date for October on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Read more