Fans of Steampunk games and classic isometric style RPGs get an early Christmas present (or maybe an early visit from The Great Pumpkin) with the release of Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates onto Steam on October 4th, 2017. Featuring an original story by The New Yorker magazine staff cartoonist Paul Noth and developed by a team of industry veterans, this game serves as the inaugural title for indie developer Coin Operated Games.
Set in a fictional, alternate New York at the turn of the 20th Century, Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates depicts a New York build on the ruins of a submerged old city and plagued by warring city-states. Now a new problem has arisen, as the fresh water pipes have stopped flowing. Players must deal with warring factions that include pirates, mafia, and renegade naval commanders as they seek to solve the city’s water crisis.
Fans of isometric RPGs such as Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, and Pillars of Eternity will find combat instantly familiar. However, Coin Operated Games is bringing a twist with a hybrid RealTime/Turn-based system where players can pause the action to issue commands, then enter Action Mode to see all their characters perform their actions simultaneously. It sounds like an interesting take on the system, much like the V.A.T.S. interface of Bethesda’s recent Fallout games, or the way actions can be issued in FTL: Faster Than Light.
Creative Director John Randall said of the game “We are beyond thrilled to be sharing Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates with gamers from around the world. We strove to keep our games setting and themes recognizable but unique so that we could really let the story from our fantastic writer, Paul Noth, shine. We can’t wait for both old-school gamers looking to relive their 90’s RPG experiences and the next generation of gamers to get their hands on the game. We have so many more stories to tell in this alternate reality, this is just our first chapter!”
It appears that Coin Operated Games has quite a few plans for future games in this setting. Here’s hoping that they succeed. Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates is now available for download on Steam.