Oh boy, it has been a while since I have played an RPG of this style. EMPYRE: Lords of the Sea Gates takes place in 1911 New York, but in an alternate universe where the city has been flooded and is now split up into several city-states.
The amount of work put into this game is made clear quite early on. Just taking a look at the variety of characters and traits available, the amount of levels in the game, and how detailed the combat system is makes this quite evident, with several of the game’s features having a lot of depth to them.
Despite this, I was not a fan of the game’s combat. It felt clunky, repetitive, and just uncooperative at times. It takes so long just to queue up simple actions and I was very disappointed when I found out that the stealth mechanic is not as involved as I thought it would be. I picked the character with the most points into stealth just so I could sneak around enemies, maybe backstab them if need be. I found out early on that enemies must be dispatched before moving on, no sneaking around them allowed. Silently killing them was not something I was able to achieve, so I spent a lot of time restarting the first level just trying to clear it. I also disliked the fact that enemies cannot actually be seen until they are close to you, sometimes even right next to you. It makes planning movements difficult, but does make sense in that the characters would have no idea an enemy is there until they are close.
I do not think I will be finishing this game, as the hours I have played thus far have been rather lackluster and the game is lengthy. I would say to check it out if you are a fan of the genre. Otherwise I would recommend avoiding this one.
You can buy EMPYRE: Lords of the Sea Gates here on Steam.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write these impressions. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.