I Preordered The Sinking City: What To Expect?

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I don’t preorder often, and I know that some people have taken a firm stance against it.  If you’re interested in my personal take and why I might indulge in preordering once in awhile, I’ve written a small note that lays it all out.  With that said:

So I preordered The Sinking City, which was pretty impulsive for me.  I honestly had not heard of the game before reading some E3 recaps.  I was immediately captivated by the premise though.  You take control of an investigator placed in a dark, dingy town where everything is flooding.  It’s all directly inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I’m an enormous fan of his stories, and as an added bonus, the game promised Sherlock Holmes-esque investigation mechanics.

There are some games that just feel like they’re made for you, and this might be one of them for me.  While the Call of Cthulhu game did interest me, I ultimately held off.  I watched a bit of gameplay and for whatever reason I just didn’t feel like it was going to hit the spot.  This is a bit unfair though since I rarely watch gameplay footage, and didn’t do so for The Sinking City.

Perhaps I’d enjoy Call of Cthulhu, and maybe I’ll try it down the road.  This is not meant to be an indictment of that game though.  The point is that The Sinking City just looks like it has some kind of extra panache and creativity to it.  The trailer is gripping and it nails the exact disorienting, surreal nature of Lovecraft’s work.  At the same time, it had a way of making the game feel confident in itself beyond the source material.

If you didn’t watch the trailer above, seriously.  Please do so.  Even if the game isn’t for you, I think you’ll appreciate how well it was composed.  The confusing environment, the spooky imagery, the intimidating enemies, the looping “narrative”.  All of it shows me that Frogwares knows what they’re doing from a thematic standpoint.

These are the same devs responsible for the last couple of Sherlock Holmes games.  Now this fills me with confidence and also slight trepidation.  As of Frogwares’ involvement in the series, I felt that those games became a little too “Hollywood” if you will.  The series drifted somewhat away from hardcore puzzle solving and clue-finding and more towards Detective Mode-style mechanics.  To me those additions hindered what I thought was a purer experience in previous games.  There’s also the concern that Frogwares hasn’t done a lot of combat in its previous games.

I’m not too concerned though.  The added mechanics may be a symptom of simply feeling forced to pile on features since the series had been around for awhile.  The combat thing is a bit worrisome, but I would hope that devs these days can at least do it competently.  This type of game is not going to be known for a deep combat system anyway.  You just don’t want it to be a point of contention.

The graphics don’t look as good as something like Spider-Man on the PS4, but they look good for this gen.  Character models are my only big question mark here.  The main character looks fine, just not great.  Another shot of an NPC looked a little Fallout-ish as far as level of detail.

Again, I try not to watch gameplay videos.  I know that can be dangerous, but I think the risk is worth the reward.  The big hurdle is being okay with the idea that my money might not go as far as I’d like.  If I watched those kinds of videos I’d probably have a far greater idea of what I was in for.  Then again, you also can’t get a great feel for a game without playing it.  This is especially true when you may only be viewing a 10-15 minute snippet of gameplay.

At any rate, check the game out.  If you like horror, especially H.P. Lovecraft, it should be on your radar.  It had the most impressive non-gameplay trailer of E3 in my opinion.  The game should be getting more looks.  It’s somewhat disappointing to me that everyone feels obligated to talk about a game like Cyberpunk 2077 endlessly when this game gets no coverage.  I want that game too, but I’ve not heard one video game “pundit” even mention this one briefly.

I preordered The Sinking City on an informed whim, which is unusual for me.  Do you preorder without much info often, or do you usually know what to expect? Over the coming weeks I’m sure to have my own impressions of it written here, so stay tuned.




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