The Sinking City (PS4) - PlayStation 4
- Day One Edition includes the Investigator Pack - exclusive private investigator outfit, permanent access to a first aid kit and antipsychotics, and initial supply of crafting resources; map of Oakmont
- An oppressive atmosphere and story inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft
- A vast open world that can be explored on foot, by boat, or even a diving suit
- An arsenal of weapons from the 1920s with which to take on nightmarish creatures
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From the manufacturer
High replay value thanks to an open investigation system: each case can be solved in a number of ways and has different possible endings depending on what you.
A vast open world that can be explored on foot, by boat, or even a diving suit.
Manage your mental health to untangle the truth behind the madness.
An arsenal of weapons from the 1920s with which to take on nightmarish creatures.
The Sinking City is an adventure and investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of horror. The game is being developed by Frogwares, a studio that has won many awards for the Sherlock Holmes series. Half-submerged, Oakmont is in the grips of supernatural forces. As a detective, you have to uncover the truth about what is possessing the city... and the minds of its inhabitants. The limited Day One Edition includes The Investigator Pack which gives you an exclusive private investigator outfit, permanent access to a first aid kit and antipsychotics as well as an initial supply of crafting resources; A map of Oakmont.
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The water damaged city is fully brought to life with the sounds in this. Everything is so wet , and damaged, and combining with the look of the city feels so damp and gross. Creepy background music and the monster sounds fill the city. Absolutely top notch atmosphere.
-Cases - This games version of missions or quests. You actually have to place the quest markers for yourself , based on evidence you find and your best guess based on the directions you're given. There is also a "Mind Palace" , this holds your clues to be combined by you to gain evidence. No hand holding. Much of the game then of course is running around trying to figure out where to go , but as I said Oakmont looks great and so that didn't seem the usual chore to me. Quick travel is done in phone booths that are rather plentiful as well cutting down on the running back and forth. Some of the cases even have multiple outcomes depending on what you pick , creating replay value.
The main character has some psychic vision you can enable to help find hints, but doing so drains his Sanity. Yes , in addition to a standard health bar you also have a Sanity bar .. when it goes low your vision distorts and you begin seeing all sorts of things. This is very trippy and also caused by looking at the monsters , making it hard to shoot them at times.
A few times you also have to go underwater , and do some diving. This is very fun and creepy. I was expecting this to be a poorly done side thing, not so. It's a completely fun and a solid part of the game. With your slow movement , limited visibility and weaponry you feel vulnerable and unsettled and this is exactly how a horror game is supposed to make you feel , well done.
-Combat – I admit when I first started playing I thought I made a mistake in buying this game .. The early combat is BAD. But from gaining XP and buying the various skills and just figuring it out , it became more enjoyable. You're not a super soldier or anything , just an ex navy man who can use a gun sure, but still pretty regular otherwise. Getting past that initial hump might be rougher on some players than others, but it gets better I promise you.
The player has a variety of guns to use , but ammo is scarcer than in other games , and you can't buy any , only find it or craft. You'll craft so much ammo. You can craft everything really , ammo , explosives and medpacs for your health and sanity. Scavenging as you go through the map you find the resources , and you always have just barely enough for what you need , so running away is encouraged. A few enemy encounters sprouted creatures everywhere , so I'd often take one look at that, go NOPE , and throw a grenade and get some XP for the smaller creatures and leg it out of there. There is stealth but it seems limited , maybe it slows down the creature spawns but when they are spawned they always know where you are. Running away is always better if you can't take them down with what you have on hand.
Back to the XP and skills you have the usual kinds of things to spend your Lore points, gained while leveled , on. Better damage with a certain gun , more melee damage, more health, more sanity , chance to save materials while crafted .. etc etc. The game becomes much easier when you gain some Lore points , so again hang in there.
Story – Private Detective Charles Reed travels to Oakmont to find the source of visions he's been having , believing it to be here. The city has been damaged by an event called the Flood , causing some of the city to be underwater , also bringing strange creatures and visions that drive people mad with it. After the bombing of Innsmouth by the government, the citizens flee and arrive in Oakmont looking for shelter. The strange fish looking people are very unwelcome , but so are all newcomers really. An investigation to find out what is happening was conducted before Reed arrives , but the members have been driven mad , and are missing or dead. Stepping right into this situation , Reed uses his private eye skills and supernatural abilities to get to the bottom of everything ..
Summary – With amazing atmosphere , story , and world design The Sinking City is finally a Lovecraft game done right. If one can work with the weak combat , they will have a great time running around, solving quests and meeting the game's colorful characters. Highly recommended to all horror and or Lovecraft fans.
This game is also home to a lot glitches, some that are quite hilarious actually. I saw an NPC in a T-pose fall to the ground dead, then another NPC came over and looked at the body in sympathy, only to have the "dead" body get up and walk away, while the mourner stood there acting like it was still dead.
I give it a three, because while the combat is tacked on and clunky and it lacks a lot of polish, the investigation portions are actually very interesting, especially the story behind some of them. That honestly is the games biggest selling point. With very little hand holding and having to go to certain locations to browse archives and gain evidence, you feel a bit like a real detective.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in Mexico on October 24, 2019