A new indie RPG is coming out this fall, this time spearheaded by several industry veterans.

Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates is a new isometric RPG by U.S developer Coin Operated Games, which features a team of developers from across the world, including former members of Crytek, Codemasters, Gameloft and Creative Assembly.  The game is set in an alternate New York setting in 1911, where the entire city was flooded by rising oceans. The citizens of New York must now learn to cope with the water everywhere, with none of it being fit to drink. The player will go on a journey to search for a fresh water supply source, and along the way pick up companions and fight against different threats, both human and inhuman, on their quest for water.


Much of the game is taking it’s setting and bringing a dash of historical accuracy to it, attempting to recreate stories and objects that would be found at the turn of the century in New York. Most of this is done to create a probable Neo-Victorian time period, where steam-punk styled elements mix with historical realities.

“One of the things we strove for when designing Empyre is authenticity during an ‘Age of Technical Wonder’ in the United States, the Gilded Age,” stated John Randall, Creative Director of Empyre. “For example, the New York City we all know is the city in this game, and history buffs will recognize many iconic locations that existed in the city during the 1910s, but with a unique, waterlogged twist. People and society exist and act as they did in the early 20th Century. We feel this level of detail will give players a one-of-a-kind experience that they haven’t seen anywhere before.”

The historical authenticity, of course, is just part of the game’s charm. The crux of the game is also its gameplay, which will be a hybrid real-time/turn-based system, in the same vein as story-driven RPGs of the 1990s. The hybrid system adds a new feature, a new Planning Mode. Planning Mode allows players to choose actions for each character in their party while combat is paused and then lets the player’s party perform their actions simultaneously when unpaused. Effectively, this allows a streamlined combat system that eliminates waiting for characters to act in sequence and gives the player complete control over their party and their actions.

Empyre will be Coin Operated Games inaugural title. The game will be available for the PC and scheduled for a release on Steam in the fall of 2017.

What are your thoughts on Empyre? Looking to play a new RPG? Leave your comments below. 

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.