Is there anything Jay-Z can't do? Apparently, "helping inspire a Facebook game" can be crossed off the list of possible answers, as the man has done just that. In Happy Giant Media's Empire on Facebook, you'll rise up from the streets of the Marcy Housing project in Brooklyn to find fame and fortune while never letting your ego grow too big to remember those that helped you in the past.
As you make your way through the game's chapter-based story, you'll complete both mandatory quests and those that allow you to choose from various options towards success. Your very first choice, for example, will allow you to either hustle someone at the local basketball court for money, or get a real job. You'll earn less money by taking the honest route, but your karma rating won't take a hit either.
Karma plays a big role in Empire, as you'll earn or lose points based on your actions throughout the game. If you choose to spend time hanging out with friends instead of writing lyrics to a new song, you may earn positive karma, but you won't advance your own career, and vice versa. Along the way, you'll be able to enter into Rap Battles with other story characters, with these acting as tests of your five main skills: timing, style, dissing, rhyming and creativity. Unfortunately, these battles are handled automatically, and are simple comparisons of numbered stats between your own avatar and the other players.
At any time, you can enter into your Crib which can be customized with decorations, and you can also visit other players' cribs to see how far they've advanced in the storyline. All of this, of course, can be experienced with a constant Jay-Z soundtrack, via an interesting utilization of the music service Spotify beneath the gameplay area.
There are some odd technical issues within Empire, like one that sees the game's graphics ending abruptly, but you still being allowed to scroll around the gray, empty area. This is likely due to the game's new status on Facebook, as the game itself proclaims that it's only in "private beta." We, however, had no problem getting in without an invitation, so if you'd like to explore another rags to riches story on Facebook, feel free to try and get into the Empire yourself.
Click here to play Empire on Facebook --->
Have you tried Empire on Facebook? Was the game full when you attempted to join, or were you able to jump right in? Sound off in the comments.