One of the film directors we like most is Francis Ford Coppola, for everything he did in The Godfather. Anyone who likes movies has hardly stopped being impacted by the world created by the American, always very well detailed.
In the gaming world, Mafia he is a strong representative, but he lacked a game that included management and turn-based combat with mastery. One such attempt was Omerta – City of Gangsters, launched in 2013. Developed by Haemimont Games, the title captivated lovers of the genre, even though it left some gaps.
When Empire of Sin it was announced, with the company of Brenda Romero and the sieve of Paradox Interactive behind it, we opened our eyes and imagined: we would finally have a game that would completely address the mafia world.
Empire of Sin is a turn-based management and combat game with the mafia world as a backdrop. Your objective is to command one of the most terrifying groups of the time and control the underworld of alcohol, gambling and violence.
The title brings to the digital world 14 characters with unique characteristics. The protagonists have distinct skills as a chief, diplomacy and empire bonuses. It is possible to choose people from different social classes and cultures, such as lords full of money, charming women, Irish people crazy to break your face and even Mexican and Italian tycoons.
Before starting your journey, you can customize the entire adventure and choose between six levels of difficulty, the number of neighborhoods and the number of enemy factions. You start the game in a neighborhood with famous names found in mobster movies, like Little Italy and Chinatown.
Currently, Prohibition is understood as a period when drinking is prohibited, especially during elections. But in the 1920s, in the United States, the ban was so heavy that many establishments operated irregularly to quench the thirst of the crowd.
If you’re wondering why we’re talking about it, it’s important to know that alcohol is the driving force behind your empire. It makes customers happy and drunk and serves as a bargaining chip between criminal factions.
The management system is one of the great highlights of the game. With regard to the drink, it is possible to improve its quality, increase its storage and even make a good advertisement for it.
Unlike other Paradox games, the action based on turn-based combat is simple to perform and resembles what is already seen in games of the genre. In Empire of Sin, each character has two action points that can be used or not. Certain skills cost two points and some attributes can give you more points, like a watch, for example.
Each character has a development tree that can give him special actions. Cameras and ways of walking and shooting are very reminiscent of what is seen in XCOM, but with a slight difference: the scenario does not end up hindering the vision and gives an excellent immersion for the combat.
It is interesting to think that confrontation is not the main focus of Empire of Sin. This does not make it any less important, but it does show that for the success of the empire it is necessary to focus on other issues, such as the various forms of management.
Bright minds are also used for evil. Great criminals in history knew how to deal with everything around them; thinking about that, Empire of Sin brings a multitude of managements to make the whole adventure happen.
As described, the goal is to be the mobster of the piece. For that, it is necessary to conquer places and turn them into real money-making and laundering machines. It can be a hotel, a casino, a bar … you take a place and define what to do with it, you can destroy it or just loot it.
When you kill all enemies in an invaded room, you can choose between some rewards at the end of the mission: controlling the location, looting, damaging or destroying. If you decide to turn it into a business point, be prepared to spend good money to improve it.
You can manage it in four ways: taking care of security (increasing the number of guards), laundering money, changing the environment (which increases the number of customers and consequently the money collected) and advertising. Upgrades take days to happen, but you can speed up the process by investing more money.
Unfortunately, we ended up finding a bug in this part after about 10 hours of play. Upgrades were free, which we confess that spoiled everything we had built. We even restarted the game to get back to having a big challenge with another character.
To help in the adventure it is necessary to hire henchmen who appear on the streets and in stores and have different characteristics. One of the important items is to check their relationship with other mafias and criminals, as this can directly impact the service. If your cronies work together for a long time, they can fall in love, and this can directly influence the turn-based battle.
Another way to acquire criminals is through the market. There is a specific one to sell and buy items for the adventure, like special weapons, grenades and health recuperators. Every 90 days a new stock of items occurs, making everything change from one hour to the next.
For the adventure to unfold, each character has a headquarters called a safehouse, in which all actions are done. If you lose it, the game is over. Another way to lose in the game is to have the character killed in a confrontation.
An important point of the safehouse is that if you lose all the other money collection points it can function as a brewery, generating a little profit.
Understanding with bosses
Another very important interactivity in the game is with the bosses of other mafias. You don’t have to be their enemy; it is possible to create strategies to improve their business, using the expertise of other mafiosi, and even to propose different situations: paying bribes to the police, entering into a joint war against another mafia or paying a journalist to speak well of his business.
There is little care. It is necessary to study statistics and understand the relationship between all criminals in order not to end up in a real trap. The game is made easy by the fact that it shows everything that can happen when dealing with a crime boss or a thug. It would be nice if we didn’t know what exists between them, so that the surprise factor would appear more.
The graphics of Empire of Sin leave much to be desired, especially in CGs. At certain times, we notice the gross traits of the characters. As excellent as the optimization is in 4K, there is little variation of enemies.
On the other hand, the scenery was very beautiful, portraying the difference between day and night, with the excellent use of light, especially during the rain. The locations are very detailed and different, leaving aside a possible repetition in confrontations with enemies.
Music manages to create an immersion in the Prohibition period, both in key moments, when the shooting runs rampant, and in a brief walk through the neighborhood. The famous Jazz Era was very well represented throughout the game.
Empire of Sin brings several possibilities of plots throughout the adventure. If you have that in mind, get ready to have a lot of fun with the game, which provides a wonderful replay factor. And when it comes to Paradox, get ready for a flood of DLCS.
Empire of Sin was kindly provided by Romero Games to carry out this analysis.
Finally came the opportunity to be a real gangster in the gaming world