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Empire of Sin (XCOM-like strategy title set in Prohibition era Chicago) - Information Thread, update: reviews from OpenCritic posted

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Polygon impressions of E3 demo


Combat mode is familiar XCOM territory. I take a top-down view, and I make my moves, positioning some characters behind cover, using others to flank enemies, and spending movement points to fire off shots. At every turn, I can see my percentage chance of success, which I maximize using smart strategies.


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Empire Of Sin Is The Gangster Game Brenda Romero Always Wanted To Make (Kotaku)


Empire of Sin, a complex tactics game about running a mob empire in Prohibition-era Chicago, is the game Brenda Romero always wanted to make.  When you talk to John Romero, the renowned creator of Doom and now part of the husband-and-wife team Romero Games, he gushes about Empire of Sin. It’s a complex web of social interactions and turn-based combat that he calls “mechanic soup.” That, he said, is the reason that Brenda was the perfect person to make it.


Empire of Sin runs on alcohol and you can use it to poison rival businesses (PCGamesN)


Empire of Sin is the collaboration between leading strategy studio Paradox and veteran game designers Brenda and John Romero. It’s set in Chicago during prohibition, and accordingly, “Money and alcohol are the two most important resources”, says Romero Games developer Ian O’Neill.


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John Romero’s great-grandma – an actual 1920s crime boss – is a playable character in Empire of Sin



Brenda Romero’s upcoming turn-based strategy game Empire of Sin features one particularly unique playable character: John Romero’s brothel-owning great-grandmother.


In a new video for the Prohibition-era strategy game, the Romero’s introduce the inspiration behind the 70 year-old crime boss character – Elvira Duarte, a real world Mexican crime boss born in the 1800s.



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  • Pikachu changed the title to Empire of Sin (01 December 2020) - Information Thread (Update: Pre-order Trailer)
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Game Information

Game Title: Empire of Sin


  • Xbox One (Dec 1, 2020)
  • PlayStation 4 (Dec 1, 2020)
  • PC (Dec 1, 2020)
  • Nintendo Switch (Dec 1, 2020)

Developer: Romero Games

Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Review Aggregator

OpenCritic - 64 average - 35% recommended

Critic Reviews

Windows Central - 4.5 / 5 stars

A seamless blend of genres and high replayability make Empire of Sin and excellent choice for strategy gaming fans.

TechRaptor - 8.5 / 10

A refreshingly deep and customizable turn-based tactics game lets you reign supreme in a 1920s criminal empire.

33bits - Spanish - 80 / 100

Empire of Sin offers a long and varied game that mixes management, strategy and tactical role with great success. With the 1920s and prohibition as a scenario, Romero games allows us to create our criminal empire in a fairly simple and addictive game, but at the same time deep in its gameplay and mechanics.

GameBlast - Portuguese - 8 / 10

While the flaws in Empire of Sin are significant, they are not enough to take the shine away from this Romero Games title. The bold proposal to mix different genres and moments in a game only ends up making the experience varied and interesting, especially for fans of the theme and genres contemplated here. When you spend time with the game, you get the impression that it would benefit from a little more development time. Still, creating and maintaining an empire of respect is as fun as it sounds. Honestly, I hope that the developers and the publisher continue to support the franchise - there is undeniable potential here.

GamesBeat - 4 / 5 stars

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.

IGN Spain - Spanish - 8 / 10

Fantastic mafia management game with a good combat system. Employee relationships make up for bad artificial intelligence and some illogical situations.

Saving Content - 4 / 5 stars

While Empire of Sin is not the first to tackle the era or the setting, but it is the best realized version out of any of them. There’s a few bugs to be rid out by Romero Games, but what exists is not detrimental to its enjoyment. Becoming something from nothing is no easy task on the streets of Chicago, and there’s plenty of views and systems to understand where money and resources are going, and how to improve your rackets if they’re not performing well. There’s exciting possibilities for DLC and expansions, but the existing roster will keep you busy well into next year. Empire of Sin blends several genres together for a mafia game that’s infinitely replayable.

Shacknews - 8 / 10

There’s a lot going on in Empire of Sin. Romero Games and Paradox Interactive build quite a hybrid of business management, character growth, and turn-based combat, and the 1920s Prohibition-era backdrop makes for an interesting story. The gang leaders are varied in so many ways between their business, combat specialties, and personal stories. Meanwhile, the overall flow of business expansion, hostile takeovers, and diplomacy or confrontation with other gangs also makes for a mostly engaging gameplay loop.

COGconnected - 79 / 100

The complexity of the interlocking systems in Empire of Sin feel like more than the game can handle. For every time a story emerges about love and loss as I described above, there are times when your speakeasy suddenly starts losing money and the game doesn’t communicate why. I’m sure through hours of play a pattern will emerge, but for now too much is too opaque and difficult.

Spaziogames - Italian - 7.7 / 10

An RPG, a grand strategy, a tycoon game and with a final touch of turn-based tactics, this is Empire of Sin, a game that skilfully manages to keep its various souls together.

Hobby Consolas - Spanish - 75 / 100

Despite a couple of negative aspects, if you are fans of the mafia genre, strategy and management, Empire of Sin will make you an offer that you will not be able to reject.

The Games Machine - Italian - 7.5 / 10

Empire of Sin is a competent hybrid that borrows mechanics from tycoon games, turn-based tactics and RPGs. Unfortunately, the game is plagued by numerous bugs and glitches that risk compromising the experience.

3DNews - Russian - 7 / 10

Not quite the single malt, but not the cheap swill either.

Checkpoint Gaming - 7 / 10

The way Empire of Sin combines diplomacy, turn-based combat, and narrative gameplay mechanics is incredibly ambitious. While there’s plenty to keep you engaged, the format doesn’t always work, and sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stats and missions. Even though the game has its shortcomings, its atmosphere, characters, and environment are fantastic. And if you decide to persevere, there’s plenty to love in Empire of Sin.

DualShockers - 7 / 10

Empire of Sin brings X-COM-style combat and in-depth strategy to 1920s Chicago in a package with tons of great ideas, but a lack of real focus.

GameWatcher - 7 / 10

The game has solid tactical combat and RPG elements but is let down by a weak strategic layer.

IGN Italy - Italian - 7 / 10

Empire of Sin isn't a bad game, just a simple game, not deep enough to catch the attention of the genre's veterans. The organized crime theme is, as always, interesting, but it could have been developed better: as it is, Empire of Sin looks more like XCOM-lite with gangsters than a true mafia simulator.

PCGamesN - 7 / 10

It's hard to ignore the need for a little extra TLC to smooth out the edges, but the fundamentals of an arresting tactics-and-strategy game about building a criminal empire are in place.

Wccftech - 6.5 / 10

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.

Cultured Vultures - 6 / 10

Though the foundation is laid for a great game with excellent presentation, style, and robust gameplay systems, the horrid user interface and vast number of bugs and glitches keep Empire of Sin from being a great game.

Guardian - 3 / 5 stars

As a prohibition-era mob boss, you're at war with rival gangs as well as the police in this ambitious, if uneven, gangster sim

New Game Network - 60 / 100

Empire of Sin gets lost in a maze of design decisions that lead to an unfocused and sprawling game. The management and RPG mechanics cannibalize each other, meaning that neither works on its own and they definitely don't work well together.

PC Invasion - 6 / 10

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.

Screen Rant - 3 / 5 stars

All the chaos of a gang war, for better and worse.

Gameblog - French - 5 / 10

Despite of it's very successful atmosphere and its interesting management mechanics, the game suffers from many bugs. Moreover, the fight is not dynamic enough and not interesting enough to captivate the player over time.

PC Gamer - 49 / 100

Empire of Sin's many bugs, balance issues and competing systems undermine what could have been a novel mob management game.

IGN - 4 / 10

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.

Nintendo Life - 4 / 10

Empire of Sin is undoubtedly an excellent idea, a clever meshing together of management sim and turn-based tactical action that's set in a hugely compelling era of Chicago's criminal history. There are some cool mechanics here, too; the well-executed overworld map of the town, the gangster black book with its complex relationships and those tense sit-downs with rival ganglords. However, all of this promise is held back by copious technical problems, game-breaking bugs and management and combat systems that feel half-baked and scrappy. There are more patches and updates planned and we desperately would like to see this one sort itself out but, as things stand, it's virtually impossible to recommend – and it remains to be seen if future updates can bash it into shape.

Metro GameCentral - 3 / 10

The potential for an exciting period strategy game is clear but that only makes the buggy mess of unbalanced combat and simplistic tactical decisions all the more frustrating.

Push Square - 3 / 10

Oh dear. Empire of Sin has a fantastic idea at its core, and the jolly soundtrack perfectly complements the over the top character designs. But the game is a technical mess, littered with a spectacular array of bugs, and crippled by poor design choices that derail whatever little momentum the game may otherwise have had. Empire of Sin? They should have called it Buggy Malone.

Chicas Gamers - Spanish - Unscored

Empire of Sin is a great conjunction of different genres perfectly balanced each in its own right. It is a deep, dynamic game that can satisfy strategy lovers, fans of turn-based fighting games and fans of resource management alike as it has rarely been seen. The truth is that I find it difficult to find a similar game to compare his great mix of mechanics.

Digital Trends - Buy

Empire of Sin delivers a clever, genre-melding experience that perfectly marries the world of 1920s organized crime with strategy gameplay. Bugs and a lack of combat speed or automation options can grind its pace to a halt, but it does a stellar job of putting the player in the mindset of a mob mastermind (or a gun-toting buffoon) with streamlined speakeasy management.

Eurogamer - Recommended

A charismatic and enjoyable gangster sim that gets a bit bogged down in admin.

GameOnAUS - Avoid

With some more time ageing this could have been a cult hit, but right now playing Empire of Sin is an offer you probably should refuse.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Unscored

The sight of a gang leader brutally shotgunning several enemy goons is only improved by some sick swing high-hat hits on an old fashion kit while horns parp happily. In these moments Empire Of Sin is a world I want to live in, but ultimately not a world I really want to manage.


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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Empire of Sin (XCOM-like strategy title set in Prohibition era Chicago) - Information Thread, update: reviews from OpenCritic posted

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