Despite some lacklustre combat bits, The Sinking City has an intriguing story and fantastic voice-acting that makes for an enjoyable Lovecraftian horror romp.
If you’re a fan of Lovecraftian-inspired horror, The Sinking City will be right up your alley. The third-person mystery adventure game from Frogwares (who developed the enjoyable Sherlock Holmes titles) are behind this one, borrowing from the investigation and interrogation mechanics from the Holmes games to create something unique in today’s gaming landscape full of high-octane shooters and multiplayer-centric releases
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Taking place in the fictional city of Oakmont, Massachusetts, The Sinking City picks up after a mysterious flood hits the region and unleashes some horrifying monsters. Playing as former Navy-officer turned private investigator Charles Reed, you need to get to the bottom of the supernatural happenings, while also exploring your own tormenting visions, which many of the city-folk seem to share. The story is really the heartbeat of the game, and the vast and detailed-world laden with lore is what ropes you in from the get-go. It’s a slight shame that the facial animations aren’t up to scratch with the voice-acting, but it doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience.
To take on said-mystery, players have to navigate their way around the large open-world of Oakmont, which is packed with bizarre characters and weird things to see. After examining crime-scenes or speaking with the locals, you’ll be given information to dig through in order to find some clues, which will set you of to your next destination. Solving the numerous cases is extremely satisfying, with many of them having multiple outcomes which can change the course of the game.
One of the most enjoyable elements of the game is its lack of hand-holding. After some introductory tutorial moments, the game essentially leaves you to your own devices, which causes you to use your own investigation skills and logic to work out what to do next. The only problem is the back-and-forth across the city, which would’ve been tremendously helped with a mini-map, as opening your full map in the pause menu becomes somewhat repetitive.
To mix up the more cerebral parts of the game, there are some combat segments of the game. During certain investigations, you’ll encounter some spine-tingling creatures, who you can dispose of using traditional guns, traps, and melee attacks. The shooting mechanics leave a lot to be desired, and the guns lack a notable ‘punch’, but it is a serviceable sideline to the core exploration elements of the game.
Despite some lacklustre combat bits, The Sinking City has an intriguing story and fantastic voice-acting that makes for an enjoyable Lovecraftian horror romp. If you’re looking for something a little different, it’s definitely worth a perusal.