XCOM-styled turn-based skirmishes between Chicago mob bosses during the prohibition era are not the only points of focus in Empire of Sin. In addition to the strategic board-play, developer Romero Games has also been steadily expanding on role-playing elements that can directly impact the narrative in a rather random format. The game may as well be aiming to trump the best of both worlds in time for the official release later in the year.
Speaking recently with PC Gamer magazine for the latest edition, game director Brenda Romero stated that while Empire of Sin is a strategy game, it also dips into role-playing territory. Beyond the classes, talent trees, special traits, color-coded loot, asset-management, and more, Empire of Sin has a few role-play-centric gameplay mechanics that will probably catch players off-guard and force them to rethink strategy outside of the traditional combat grid.
When it comes to diplomacy between gangs, players can choose from a plethora of options like conducting or disrupting trade, killing or saving gang members, requesting or offering cash, declaring war, and such. However, there will be times when a sit-down is suddenly called and where Empire of Sin transitions into a sort of borderline-noir experience where players can face-off against their rival gang leaders to either call for a truce, negotiate deals, or in typical Hollywood fashion, plan a shoot-out at the sit-down location.
These sit-downs though, can also be for other reasons. In Empire of Sin, based on random elements and the backstory of characters, moles can sneak into gangs to provide rivals with inside information. Moles can impact both the player and AI and in both cases, a sit-down can be called to either threaten or help each other in identifying the character in question. Empire of Sin will presumably offer clues to who the mole is but choose wrong, and there will be consequences.
When a gangster thinks that there might be a mole in your crew, you’re put in a situation where they all point the finger at somebody. They’re giving you their best guess, but they might be wrong.
Empire of Sin was set to launch in spring but had to be pushed back due to COVID-19. The pandemic has now forced publisher Paradox Interactive to look for a release window in fall 2020 instead, just before the holiday season begins.
Empire of Sin remains in active development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.