Empire of Sin Review


You’re a boss of a gang in 1920’s Chicago, and the air is bustling with drinks and jazz. As you’re introduced to the city, your mission is to build a crew of underlings during the prohibition era and create an empire of criminal rackets. Along with all the guns, gin and glamour, you find yourself within the heart of a ruthless rivalry between numerous gangs. Your goal, take over their rackets and become the strongest gang in Chicago. 

For this game review, I reached out to one of the content designers for game developer Romero Games, Luke Brennan, to learn more about the gameplay, storyline and other elements which gives Empire of Sin its mafia elements. 

Empire of Sin is a turn-based game, closely following a chess format that encourages players to interact with their surroundings and create a predetermined plan in order to neutralise enemies. I questioned Brennan as to why this strategy was preferred over others, the answers mostly boiling down to the player flexibility. “The strategic elements are about balancing and focusing on multiple factors. You need to think about the enemy AI and predict their moves while also focusing on the places where you can find cover easily to move around your enemy and reduce the chances of getting shot”. Overall, the unique game style adds a new level of difficulty for players who enjoy strategy games but seek something more than just the traditional, and often repetitive strategic game styles. 

For a RPG like Empire of Sin, storyline is crucial to bring out the role playing aspect. “The story was developed after the initial stages of creating the bosses, 7 of which are based on real gangsters and 7 created for the game. Each boss has personal missions which give them a background and add to the aspect of realism”. In addition to characters, there are multiple side missions that the player can choose and explore, which creates a level of replayability. The realistic characters and multiple side missions add a dimension of authenticity, further expanding the setting of the game.

Bringing the 1920’s Chicago’s jazz vibe was important for Romero Games to bring to life in order for the game to suit the mafia storyline. “We were able to bring out the 1920’s atmosphere by creating a soundtrack which was based on jazz. We paid special attention to the costumes of the mafias, ensuring they matched the era the game was based in. This took a lot of research on our side, but we feel that we were able to do justice to this era and ultimately create a suitable atmosphere”. The prominent ambience of the 1920s is one of the many key aspects which make the game realistic and add to the players’ immersive experience. 

For the future, Empire of Sin is hoping to fix its primary issues such as bugs, and hopes to include more maps to make the game feel fresh every time you play it. “Our latest patch improves police AI participation. New DLCs are focusing on adding more gangsters and maps so we can keep the game experience new for the player and ultimately draw them towards the game”.