An unfinished gangster strategy from the genius of shooters.
Similar in spirit
Yes, the style is really okay here. But with everything else …
Empire of Sin is a rare case when the title of the game fully reflects its main goal: the player needs to take on the role of a crime boss and build a real empire of sin in Chicago of the 1920s. It sounds intriguing, I admit it, and the setting deserves all the praise. Roaring Twenties, Prohibition, felt hats, Tommy Guns, incendiary swing in the background … Damn stylish. But, unfortunately, it also needs to be played. And in terms of gameplay, we are offered a combination of only two elements: a simple 4X strategy and tactics in the spirit of XCOM.
Each game begins with the choice of a “ruler” – just like in Civilization… Among the fifteen gangsters, there is the legendary Al Capone, and some tattooed circus performer, and a bunch of racist stereotypes: Irish, Mexicans, French … I don’t want to choose, except that there are not enough Russians with balalaikas. Moreover, unlike Civilization, our criminal genius does not just look after things from somewhere from heaven: he personally negotiates with competitors, walks the streets in real time and, of course, knocks out people’s brains with his own hands.
The authors refused from the random generation of bandits. Each mercenary has his own appearance, biography, strengths and even relationships with other gangsters: from heartfelt love to burning hatred
And this is an extremely sensible decision. In particular, this approach made it possible to introduce a plot into the game, and each main character received his own story in the spirit of a gangster movie. For the narrative, this is a huge step forward compared to most similar strategies, and in addition to the personal “central” task, there are additional tasks that soon begin to pour in from literally everywhere. The guardians of morality staged a picket near the brothel – you need to quickly deal with them before they attract the attention of the cops. The blind moonshiner promises a batch of his best drink, but first demands a thousand dollars for a container – to give or not? The Maple Syrup Producers Association of Canada has heard of a new entrant in the alcohol market and offers a dangerous but tempting deal – help them or not get their hands dirty?
During battles, seemingly authentic jazz begins to growl with electric guitars. Anachronism, of course, but it sounds very cool
More on Gambling
And everything would work fine without errors. But no: the characters regularly fall into each other, instead of pistols they shoot directly from their fingers, and sometimes they completely stop responding to commands
Moreover, the local economy (already elementary) works mostly somewhere behind the scenes and does almost without visualization. There are “breweries” (in fact, they are, rather, universal wine and vodka factories) that produce alcohol, and there are establishments that distribute it. The main thing is that the quantity and quality of the booze meet the needs of the public – that’s all. The noble don does not have to think about other trifles. There is no need to create supply chains, look for ingredients and equipment, or hire workers: we just choose what to produce and what to sell (and at the district level at once) – and enjoy the money flowing into our pockets. At least until someone tries to take our business away from us.
*** 05_EoS – Meeting a new gang is like meeting a new civilization in the corresponding series. Only the difference between competitors is much more modest.
Organized crime, unlike more or less civilized businessmen from other “tycoons”, does not like to conduct business honestly. It is worth showing weakness, and thugs of some “Viceroys” will break into your favorite bar to make a brawl. However, opponents can always be repaid with the same coin. The dark side of Chicago should be ruled by only one king, and the other contenders for the throne need to be dealt with by what methods.
And all would be fine, but the strategic part of the gameplay breaks down into one simple moment. Artificial “intelligence” and in the tactical mode is not particularly strong, but in the strategic one generally behaves like an unbalanced puberty teenager. He either proposes new agreements, then dissolves them, then declares war, then begs for mercy, then bares his teeth, then sulks. Doing meaningful business with such a genius and building long-term commercial relations is almost impossible.
Chicago looks good up close (if you don’t pay attention to cloned pedestrians), but from a bird’s eye view everything is completely boring
The controls in the dialogs are arranged strangely: on the right is the previous NPC replica, and on the left you can choose an answer to it. And for some reason, subtitles disappear when our hero speaks
Underground empire statistics. Continuing along the same lines, there will soon be problems with the police, which will not make the game much more fun either.
I admit, I was waiting for Empire of Sin, but it turned out to be smaller, more boring and worse than I expected. For a story-driven game, there is too little story and too much unnecessary running around the city, for a gangster strategy there is not enough freedom and opportunities, and for turn-based tactics there are not enough own ideas. Honestly, it would be better if Romero made Daikatana 2.
- style and music;
- unique gangsters without random generation;
- bosses with personal storylines.
- flat strategic part;
How we played
In what: the key is provided by the publisher.
On what: PC.
How many: 15 hours.
Buy a distillation cube and organize your own underground alcohol empire.
Only the text has been translated. There are no particular complaints, but, in my opinion, one could do without words like “boggle”.
Mediocre strategy and second-rate tactics that are sorely lacking in sensible game design and sound quality control. The only thing that Empire of Sin can pull out is the setting. Do you remember when Romero turned from a trendsetter into an epigone?