Title: The Sinking City
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Release date: 21/03/2019
The Sinking City is a third-person adventure game, inspired by the works of American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The player steps into the shoes of private investigator Charles Reed, who finds himself trapped in 1920’s Oakmont, Massachusetts – a city suffering from unprecedented floods of unknown (supernatural) origins. The player must uncover the source of whatever has taken possession of the city, and the minds of its inhabitants.
The “Roaring Twenties” setting is a very distinct, and often romanticised, period of time in American history with economic growth, the rise of consumerism, jazz, prohibition, gangsters and ethnic conflicts all playing their own part. Besides that, Oakmont is a very unnerving location with its fair share of dark and sinister secrets, not helped by the fact that the city has been mostly secluded from the mainland since its foundation in the 17th century. The locals are not fond of strangers, and are protective of their rules and traditions.
Players will experience The Sinking City through the eyes of a private investigator, who arrives in the city amidst the disaster. Exploration is a major part of the game, which is why the developers decided to go for an open world setting. Make no mistake though, Oakmont is not a sandbox where players will have to find their own ways to entertain themselves. Nor is it just a background for the main plot. In fact, it’s a foundation for the non-linear storytelling as well as the core gameplay mechanic – open investigation. Examine evidence and talk to people involved to determine your next step.
Looking for a missing person, but only have their name? Try asking at the police station or the hospital, maybe they know something. Frogwares are serious when they say there will be no hand-holding, no markers on the map, no instructions in your diary. You have to discover the evidence and talk to people to find something to push you forward.The player has the power to decide how to go about completing The Sinking City. You have the freedom to make your own choices while unravelling the mysteries of this twisted world. And should something go horribly wrong… well, you have your weapons. Shooting someone or something in the face might sometimes prove necessary. Just remember, more often than not, the investigator is weaker than the enemy. And witnessing supernatural beings or distressing occurrences can easily trigger madness.