Kalypso Media, publisher of the popular Tropico games, has announced Urban Empire, a completely new kind of city-building sim. The game is being developed by Fragment Production, a studio based in Finland who previously worked on the Rescue: Everyday Hero series.
Urban Empire distinguishes itself from Cities Skylines and SimCity with one crucial twist. Instead of a god-like arbiter of people’s lives, or an urban planner, you control one of four influential families within the city. This means urban planning is only a part of the meat of the main game, which is currying favors and increasing and wielding political power. You can control the city by both legitimate and illicit means, Boardwalk Empire style. You could use basic diplomacy to get what you want, or argue it out in a public forum. You could also pad greasy palms with bribes if that’s more your management style. You could think of it as a mix of Cities and Tropico style gameplay.
Urban Empire promises over 800 dynamic events, that will play out in the 200 years that your family is exerting control and influence over the city. This includes events like the introduction of child labor laws, and the rise of women’s rights. Each family has five members and different interests. For example, the Kilgannons are human rights and self-identified social justice advocates. On the other hand, the Sant’Elias love science and the pursuit of knowledge.
Urban Empire will be releasing this Spring 2016 on PC. Kalypso has previously seen great success with Tropico 5, releasing it for PlayStation 4 in April 2015 and announcing an upcoming Xbox One release.