The mafia strategy game ‘Empire of the Sin’ has been announced. After ‘Mob Rule’, ‘Omerta – City of Gangsters’, ‘Gangsters 2: Vendetta’ and ‘Gangland’ over the years, ‘Empire of Sin’ is set to create a niche for itself in the complex tactics game genre.
Set in the Prohibition-era Chicago, the game is a single-player strategy game where one can play any of the 14 gangsters trying to take over Chicago. ‘Empire of Sin’ will launch next year on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC and Mac with a mix of gang management simulation and turn-based tactical combat.
In an E3 demo, the Romero Games (developer of the game) played as Al Capone, an American gangster and businessman who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit, who was popular by the nickname “Scarface”.
“Most people know Capone as the 1930s big-shot mobster where he’s already created his empire,” said Ian O’Neill, associate game designer at Romero Games, quoted engadet.com. “Very few people know the 1920s ‘Hey I just arrived in Chicago, I don’t have anything, I need to establish myself’ Capone.”
John Romero, founder of Romero Games in an interview to variety.com said that the game is about trying to take over rackets (a total of 6, from casinos to brothels) from other bosses and build rackets from the ground all the while recruiting playable characters to fight for the player.
“You’re basically trying to manage people while you’re trying to take over the city,” he added.
Brenda Romero, wife, fellow game designer and founder of Romero Games had the idea in her head for over 20 years before turning it into reality. She is leading the team as the game director for both Romero Games and Paradox Interactive.
The combat in the game will be familiar for fans of ‘X-COM’ as the working mechanics are mostly the same. Characters move around on a stylishly grid-based map and exchange grenades and bullet fire one turn at a time.
Enemies can be executed which comes along with brutal animation with blood coating the player’s camera. You can recruit up to 16 teammates- as lieutenants, soldiers, or an underboss – from a world of 60 characters.
In each playthrough, they will have random relationships with each other as potential friends, enemies or lovers which could affect how easily they can be recruited; if sent to fight their significant other, they might refuse.
Another game element is the “sit-down,” which is how diplomacy is conducted between gang leaders. In the demo, it mostly consisted of choosing basic dialogue options resulting in a deal or a typical back alley shoot-out.
Other historical figures in the game include Stephanie St. Clair and Dean O’Banion.
Brenda Romero is the lead game designer on ‘Empire of Sin’, though she wasn’t present at the E3 demo.