Set in 19th century Russia, the upcoming role-playing game The Emperor's Own is sounding like a real wild ride with "all the glory and all the horror" of a period "unlike quite any before seen in a computer game."
If you liked the grimy grittiness and utter zaniness of Kingdom Come: Deliverance but have been left wanting in the absence of a proper sequel, you might want to keep an eye on The Emperor's Own. At the start of the game, an alternate Russian Empire is licking its wounds from the severe losses with its Asian and European neighbours. The protagonist is an Imperial Secret Intelligence officer named Cornet Alexander Obolenskii, who has been recently promoted for his daring deeds and his very important family name. This Secret Intelligence unit answers to no one but the Emperor himself, and will precede over the fate of peasants and aristocrats alike. First and foremost are the reports of strange supernatural phenomena in the borderlands, attributed to the strife in the Empire, which is the primary purpose of Obolenskii's investigations.
This is where the non-linear and determinant elements of the game will shine. "Dissatisfaction among the peasantry is at an all-time high," explained the developer in a press release, owing to the Emperor's ill-advised policies to increase taxes and the terms of military service. "Yet, most members of high society choose to remain blissfully unaware of the serfdom's plight. The line that separates friends from enemies and truth from lies becomes thinner each passing day. The Empire is sitting atop a powder keg; all that's missing is a spark."
Cor. Well, I watched my housemate play hours and hours of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and a great many of his diplomatic encounters were resolved with the pointy end of a sword. God love you, Henry of Skalitz. Anyway, this is absolutely possible in The Emperor's Own, too, though you might want to think twice about the unforeseen consequences of drastic decisions. "Once you make a choice, you'll have to live with it, no matter the outcome," continued Volga Studios. "There are no right and wrong answers, and no one is ever safe. Any character, no matter how important, can die at any moment, perhaps even by your hand."
There is actually a playable alpha of the game available on Steam, if this is all sounding like it'll be right up your street. At the moment, there's no release date on the cards, but it looks like The Emperor's Own is progressing well.
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