I’ve got Feds breathing down my neck, a friend I need to betray, employees getting into love triangles, and rivals making big plays—no wonder mob bosses end up a bit high-strung. There are times when Empire of Sin’s missions and emergent chaos collide to create a cyclone of compelling mobster drama full of intrigue, booze and bullets. Unfortunately, it mostly just gets in its own way, with systems tripping over each other or bugs dragging them down.
My attempts to become the biggest mob boss in 1920s Chicago haven’t been foiled by the cops or my rivals, but by corrupt saves, broken missions, and vanishing employees. Two campaigns ended up in the bin because of two entirely separate game-breaking issues. Even with access to the day one patch, I’ve encountered some significant problems, and they go a lot deeper than bugs.
Empire of Sin makes a good first impression, though. It’s clearly born out of a fascination with the prohibition era, and as a management game it tries to capture the breadth of the illegal businesses and shady deals that kept these underground empires going— but it’s even more interested in the people that join and run them. It’s as much an RPG, and each boss has their own storyline and missions that lets you shape the kind of crook you want them to become.
NEED TO KNOW
WHAT IS IT? Character-driven mob management in 1920s Chicago
EXPECT TO PAY $40
DEVELOPER Romero Games
PUBLISHER Paradox Interactive
REVIEWED ON GTX 1080 Ti, Intel i7-8086K, 16GB RAM
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