Paradox Interactive have had a stellar(is) year, with Crusader Kings III being some PC players’ choice for game of the year, and Stellaris: Console Edition continuing to release content packs. Both have a burgeoning community, and it’s all due to incredibly deep systems, fantastic design and a determination to keep adding content. So we come to Empire of Sin, squeaking into 2020 and Paradox Interactive’s latest toybox. It is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.
If you’ve just come off the back of Mafia: Definitive Edition and 2K’s remastered trilogy, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is familiar territory. We’re in Chicago in the 1920s, deep in prohibition and with the Mafia taking advantage.
That’s about where the Mafia comparisons stop, as Empire of Sin is a turn-based strategic take on the era. You’ll choose from some real-world gangland icons like Al Capone and Goldie Garneau, forming a ragtag band to own the underworld. Paradox then layer on roleplaying systems that allow you to finetune and progress your character.
Gameplay takes a couple of paths. There’s combat, which is an X-Com-like affair, with you ducking behind upturned tables and spraying opponents with Tommy Gun fire, in the hope of catching a limb or two. Then there’s some empire management, as you consolidate the establishments you’ve earned, turning them into speakeasies or running protection rackets.
While the visuals are not up to Mafia: Definitive Edition levels of polish, Empire of Sin is slick enough, and conveys the period well. We’re eager to see how well it immerses you in the heyday of corruption and vice, and whether the story holds up too. Our review should hold the details once it is live.
Empire of Sin is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £33.49 for the Standard Game. You’ll also be able to grab the Deluxe Edition for £41.74, which includes the Mobster pack, Golden Weapon set, and the Curb Stomp Execution kill animation (also available for £9.99 by itself). Further, the Premium Edition will set you back £58.49 – it includes everything above plus the Expansion Pass (£20.99), which in turn delivers a couple more post-launch expansions and instant access to the stylish Al Capone’s Fur Coat costume.
It’s also out on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Empire of Sin is a new strategy game brought to you by Romero Games and Paradox Interactive that puts you at the heart of the ruthless criminal underworld of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago. Slip into the shoes of one of the fourteen real and historically inspired mob bosses such as Al Capone, Stephanie St. Clair or Goldie Garneau and assemble a rag-tag gang, build and manage your criminal empire, and defend your turf from rival gangs. It’s up to you to hustle, charm and intimidate your way to the top and do whatever it takes to stay there – break a leg!