Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 49
  2. Negative: 5 out of 49
  1. Dec 20, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a love-letter to the old-school design of Bullfrog games. Part management sim, part RPG, part XCOM (with gangsters), it achieves its goal to bring different elements together into a cohesive and enjoyable unit. Its shortcomings and few bugs did not affect how much fun we had testing this game.
  2. Nov 30, 2020
    A seamless blend of genres and high replayability make Empire of Sin and excellent choice for strategy gaming fans.
  3. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin is one of the most accessible strategy titles I’ve ever played. It allows me to play the game in a way that’s in line with my playstyle while offering up rich and in-depth gameplay for those with more experience in this genre.
  4. Dec 8, 2020
    Empire of Sin has the core of a good game that blends three genres in cool ways. I am especially fond of the man-management and the ways the various mobsters work with one another and react during combat. But the current implementation, especially that of the battles, is frustrating. Romero Games needs to make management more important and to bring the characters to the front more. Patches also should include auto-resolve and a big balance update. Empire of Sin needs all of this to begin to realize its clear potential.
  5. Dec 1, 2020
    Romero Games’ step into this strategic genre is a brave and bold one that has certainly paid off. Empire of Sin perfectly captures the feeling of Chicago in the 1920s and delivers a tight, tactical experience that plays itself in such a way that this title will easily be spoken about in the same light as XCOM – but perhaps even beyond that, due to the deep, unique tycoon elements, it has to offer.
  6. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin has its bugs and some rough cinematic moments. But Romero Games pulled this project off with a team of just 30 people. For a game of its ambition, that seems like a small team. It’s pretty much an indie project, or perhaps “double-A,” compared to other games that are more polished but have hundreds of developers — or even more — working on them. What I also liked was that the game feels smart. I felt like I was playing against other crime bosses who were figuring out how to outthink me or double-cross me. And that’s what you want in a gangster game.
  7. Nov 30, 2020
    Fantastic mafia management game with a good combat system. Employee relationships make up for bad artificial intelligence and some illogical situations.
  8. Nov 30, 2020
    More than just adding another unique backdrop to the strategy genre, Empire of Sin brings tycoon and tactics gameplay to being a 1920s Chicago gangster in very fun and interesting ways.
  9. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Feb 17, 2021
    John and Brenda proved that they still have the skills to make a passable game, but with a duet like that, we’ve expected a lot more creativity. [Issue#251, p.60]
  10. Dec 7, 2020
    I deeply believe that there are the bones of a good game buried here. And the fixes might be easy. Or they may never come. As it stands now, I had quite a lot of fun with Empire of Sin, but I couldn’t get a groove going. It’s hard to recommend before a bit of an overhaul. But stranger things have happened in gaming! And in real life. Remember when alcohol was illegal in the United States? That feels pretty crazy right now.
  11. Nov 30, 2020
    An RPG, a grand strategy, a tycoon game and with a final touch of turn-based tactics, this is Empire of Sin, a game that skillfully manages to keep its various souls together.
  12. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a great strategy and management game, that manages to capture the essence of its setting, even with its shortcomings.
  13. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a competent hybrid that borrows mechanics from tycoon games, turn-based tactics and RPGs. Unfortunately, the game is plagued by numerous bugs and glitches that risk compromising the experience.
  14. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a practically unique title in the current video game scene. The combination of role-playing mechanics with turn-based combat, together with the empire management system and diplomacy, makes this a very particular game. It has really been a fun experience, it is a pleasure to role-play a mafia boss who is gaining notorious points as his dominance over the city and the other gangs grows. However, I have the feeling that many of its mechanics are not exploited in the most appropriate way, as the whole of its proposal has not been able to coalesce as would have been desirable. However, it is a title to take into account of which I would like to see a continuation that knows how to take everything it proposes one step further since, on the table, it has enough ingredients to be more than just a good game.
  15. CD-Action
    Jul 23, 2021
    Set in atmospheric Chicago in 1920s, Empire of Sin puts you in a role of a crime boss aiming to become the biggest fish in the underworld. It borrows from many genres and all its intertwined gameplay mechanics (business management, RPG elements, turn-based combat that bears a striking resemblance to the XCOM series) are deep enough to create an engaging experience that requires constant attention. Apart from shallow diplomacy and unsophisticated enemy AI, Empire of Sin’s problem is that while it was skillfully put together from tried-and-true components, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. [02/2021, p.56]
  16. Dec 15, 2020
    So while I had some fun here and there, and while I can see some potential if I squint just right, Empire of Sin is a tough game to recommend. You’re much better off waiting for some patches and DLCs, and certainly for a price drop, before investing any of your time or money in it.
  17. Dec 1, 2020
    Ultimately, EoS is not a bad game. But the lack of content within its strategic layer holds it back from living up to its full potential. With that said, I think the tactical combat and RPG elements are pretty solid. If you are drawn to lots of X-Com style tactical combat and some over the top Prohibition themed hijinks, you will find some fun within EoS. However, people looking for a deep strategic or tycoon focused experience, will likely be disappointed.
  18. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin delivers a clever, genre-melding experience that perfectly marries the world of 1920s organized crime with strategy gameplay. Bugs and a lack of combat speed or automation options can grind its pace to a halt, but it does a stellar job of putting the player in the mindset of a mob mastermind (or a gun-toting buffoon) with streamlined speakeasy management.
  19. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin isn't a bad game, just a simple game, not deep enough to catch the attention of the genre's veterans. The organized crime theme is, as always, interesting, but it could have been developed better: as it is, Empire of Sin looks more like XCOM-lite with gangsters than a true mafia simulator.
  20. Nov 30, 2020
    There were moments where I had an absolute blast, but the entire package is a bit lacking.
  21. Nov 30, 2020
    It's hard to ignore the need for a little extra TLC to smooth out the edges, but the fundamentals of an arresting tactics-and-strategy game about building a criminal empire are in place.
  22. Dec 1, 2020
    Empire of Sin offers solid turn-based tactics, a swag 20s gangster setting and an economic layer; however, it lacks depth and polishing.
  23. Dec 8, 2020
    Empire of Sin could have been a nice XCOM like with a nice management layer, where we take care of multiple businesses like casinos and brothels. But the UI is a mess, and the truckloads of bugs are ruining the fun. We hope patches will make things better.
  24. Dec 2, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a rather seductive mix of turn-based strategy inspired by XCOM and Prohibition-era thug management games. The game experience is varied enough and the city of Chicago lively enough for the player to have a good 20 hours of fun, but don't expect to invest much more in it as the situations you will face during the fights, in the management of your empire and in the relationships with other gangs will repeat themselves quite quickly, giving the feeling that you've gone around pretty quickly and not really making you want to restart a game after reaching the end credits.
  25. Nov 30, 2020
    While it is not a bad game, Empire of Sin is sometimes disappointing in that it fails to give shape to complementary ideas that could have been good. If the first hours in the game are rather pleasant and that we take pleasure in growing his empire of crime, once the management mechanics are assimilated, the game goes on autopilot. In addition, he proves too unconvincing in his fights, conventional, sometimes buggy and which often seem interminable, because too repetitive and not very nervous. Not uninteresting then, but not as balanced or entertaining as one would have hoped.
  26. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a sincere love letter to a fascinating moment in American history and delivers all the style, swagger, and Tommy-Gun-inflicted violence you’d expect. Unfortunately, somewhat shallow sim elements, pushover AI, and a serious lack of polish means this probably won’t be your next great strategy obsession. That said, if you love gangster stuff, Empire of Sin might still be an offer you can’t refuse.
  27. Dec 17, 2020
    Empire of Sin wanted to be more than it could be and, although artistically speaking it is beautiful, it fails in many of its systems or by being too simplistic in other aspects. Most likely, many of the problems will be fixed with patches and, as is customary in games published by Paradox, with an uncountable amount of DLC's and mods from the community that will not allow it to go into oblivion so quickly.
  28. Dec 16, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a good game held back only by a lack of variety in ways to win, leaving most forms of diplomacy and expansion feeling useless long-term. This makes it feel like the game is punishing the player for playing slowly and methodically as enemy factions will only get stronger as game continues, though it lets players keep each playthrough unique by varying how deep they go into the intricate systems the game provides. However, the combat system is lot of fun and prohibition era Chicago has never felt more alive, so many will find it worth their time diving into the unique setting.
  29. Dec 11, 2020
    Empire of Sin has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it's buggy and full of odd design choices, never really reaching the heights it sets for itself. My only caveat would be to keep an eye on patches and feedback. If the developers stick with it, Empire of Sin could evolve into a comeback kid. Wait for a sale if you're desperate for mob action, as it's not in great shape currently.
  30. Dec 2, 2020
    It’s unfortunate that Empire of Sin has arrived in town with holes in its waistcoat, but I don’t believe its problems are beyond fixing, and it’s got moxie that ultimately shines through the flaws.
  31. Nov 30, 2020
    Despite an overwhelming number of strategic options and features, many of Empire of Sin's mechanics just don't mesh well or they can be completely ignored. Playthroughs will feel roughly similar to what you've done previously, and it becomes a repetitive affair and a chore to see what else you could do.
  32. Nov 30, 2020
    Though the foundation is laid for a great game with excellent presentation, style, and robust gameplay systems, the horrid user interface and vast number of bugs and glitches keep Empire of Sin from being a great game.
  33. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin offers strategical depth, managerial challenge and, only occasionally, tactical fun. Lack of boldness in the tactical department, some technical glitches and an amateurish interface, keep this title from becoming a true classic.
  34. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin gets lost in a maze of design decisions that lead to an unfocused and sprawling game. The management and RPG mechanics cannibalize each other, meaning that neither works on its own and they definitely don’t work well together.
  35. Nov 30, 2020
    The struggle of this duality leaves the player with a game in Empire of Sin that's easy to have fun with but doesn't quite live up to the potential of all of the innovative qualities it tries to implement.
  36. Dec 21, 2020
    Empire of Sin successfully captures the atmosphere of the roaring 1920’s, but some solid narrative elements and an innovative character relationship system are tarred by slow game progression and an unbalanced tactical battle system. If you’re specifically craving some gangster goodness, give it a go, but be prepared for some hiccups and frustrations along the way.
  37. Dec 1, 2020
    Exploring these characters is by far the most enjoyable thing to do in Empire of Sin.
  38. Jan 26, 2021
    This game has systems aplenty, but, unfortunately, the balance is broken, and it feels like the developers didn’t know which parts to fix.
  39. Dec 15, 2020
    Empire of Sin has potential, and I look forward to revisiting it after six months of patches that will hopefully address some of these issues. As it stands today, the game is buggy, poorly balanced, and blatantly half-finished. The initial strong presentation quickly fades to frustration as playing correctly is a fool's errand and cheating the system is the only way to play. That might be appropriate for a Mafia game, but not for this title.
  40. Jan 15, 2021
    Ambitious but broken. Beautiful but full of mistakes. That is Empire of Sin, a disappointing mobster tale from the days of the Prohibition.
  41. Edge Magazine
    Dec 31, 2020
    In borrowing from stories that are so often about one kind of ambiguity, Empire of Sin creates another: the ambiguity of too many numbers and systems for any to feel significant. [Issue#354, p.114]
  42. Dec 15, 2020
    Empire of Sin is a promising strategy game but one that feels woefully incomplete. I can't recommend it, but I can recommend following it's hopeful transition into something genuinely wonderful.
  43. Dec 3, 2020
    Despite its very successful atmosphere and its interesting management mechanics, the game suffers from many bugs. Moreover, the fight is not dynamic enough and not interesting enough to captivate the player over time.
  44. Dec 2, 2020
    Empire of Sin has some great concepts, but it rarely feels good to play – be it as a role playing game or a strategy game. In time it might get patched up.
  45. Dec 12, 2020
    Empire of Sin contains a lot of good ideas and intentions that are squandered by a mediocre, unbalanced execution and an inadequate finish. Nothing to Sin here.
  46. Nov 30, 2020
    Empire of Sin's many bugs, balance issues and competing systems undermine what could have been a novel mob management game.
  47. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 12, 2021
    All around a very mediocre gangster strategy game. Its greatest strengths are its greatest problems crowned with way too much repetition and unbalanced difficulty. [Issue#309]
  48. Jan 8, 2021
    Great idea, a great base for a potentially good game, but in this state, it is unfinished, unbalanced and buggy as hell.
  49. Dec 1, 2020
    Empire of Sin's criminal management sim and turn-based tactical combat combo sounds brilliant on paper, but it completely fails to live up to its aspirations due to major imbalances and bugs.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Nov 30, 2020
    A charismatic and enjoyable gangster sim that gets a big bogged down in admin. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. It’s a shame, because it’s a wonderfully ambitious mashup of systems wrapped around a lovely, if extremely cliched, caricature of the golden age of gangster fiction. When negotiations break down and you end up in a shoot-out with enemies that look like they’re dressed for a wedding, Empire Of Sin feels like a farce worthy of a Coen brothers movie.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 123 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 123
  2. Negative: 43 out of 123
  1. May 25, 2021
    This game has definitely come a long way!!

    There's been a lot of fixes and improvements. I've been happy to watch them come into the game.
    This game has definitely come a long way!!

    There's been a lot of fixes and improvements. I've been happy to watch them come into the game.

    From what I can see, the game's direction is heavily in favor of the community. There's lots of emphasis on feedback. Although these things take time it's clear to me that there's been A LOT of that put into the upcoming DLCs. I'm excited for the future of Empire of Sin, and my opinion has changed greatly from what it was in December on release. The panels convinced me that this game is going in the right direction, and I think everyone should at least give it a try.
    Full Review »
  2. May 12, 2021
    This game is so good! I had no idea that a mobster / gangster style game would be so fun, but it's so complex and interesting. Every time IThis game is so good! I had no idea that a mobster / gangster style game would be so fun, but it's so complex and interesting. Every time I play I learn something new as I start to understand the different screens that manage my empire and relationships. The combat is really great and it's a lot of fun. For useless fights you can even opt out of them by choosing to auto resolve them quickly. Going to war against other factions, making business deals, taking over an opponent's racket and building your empire is such a fun, seamless design - I'm surprised to see how well a turn-based strategy game merged with RPG design with missions and characters would turn out. It's actually amazing, check it out. Full Review »
  3. Dec 2, 2020
    America 30th with woman and afroamericans in gansters? Game destroying real hystory.