Available on console and PC.
Empire of Sin, Brenda and John Romero’s mobster-themed strategy game, will be making its way to Xbox and PC Game Pass on 18th March.
Empire of Sin, if you’re unfamiliar, drops players into the seedy side of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago and tasks them with building a formidable crime empire from the ground up. The ultimate goal is to become mob king or queen of the city – a climb that’ll require a blend of business savvy, intimidation, and, inevitably, violence.
Bribery and black market trading are perfectly valid tools in your quest for criminal supremacy, and you’ll also want to establish protection rackets or set up respectable fronts for all your dodgy business ventures – including speakeasies, breweries, casinos, and brothels.
Then there’s combat, and players – along with their loyal crew of cohorts, each with their own traits and relationships – will frequently need to hit the streets and get their hands dirty, indulging in turn-based tactical combat reminiscent of XCOM.
Empire of Sin received middling reviews when it launched at the end of last year, thanks to bugs, balance issues, and more serious underlying gameplay problems – some of which Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese highlighted in his own review – and developer Romero Games has been focussed on improving the experience since then.
Its latest patch, for instance, currently in beta, introduces combat auto-resolve to reduce the somewhat extreme amount of time players were previously forced to spend in battle.
Despite its issues though, Empire of Sin is an intriguing, and wonderfully characterful, blend of strategy game and management sim, and curious Game Pass subscribers can step into its deliciously evocative world of trilbies and Tommy guns starting Thursday, 18th March.