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Sunless Sea - Sailing, Lovecraftian Roguelike


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Just found out about this one this morning. It's been in early access on Steam for a while and comes out at 17:30 tonight. £14.99 and it's amazing from the short time I've played it so far

I know it's been mentioned in the Steam thread but now it's out it definitely deserves it's own thread

Eurogamer gave it 10/10

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-02-06-sunless-sea-review

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I've been playing it for a bit too and it's quite good.

It's a sort of sequel to a free-to-play browser game called Fallen London so have a look at that if you're not sure. (Sunless sea is better though because it doesn't have the turn restrictions and you can fight sea monsters)

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Does that mean they've fixed the combat? I remember the guys on the Crate & Crowbar podcast talking about it. The were originally very positive about it but a few months ago (I forget when) an update came out that reworked the combat system and apparently turned it into a borefest. They seemed to lose interest pretty quickly after that as they've never spoken about it again.

I can't remember exactly what the C&C guys said, something about it being very rigidly turn based with no real variety or options? Oh, and something about the light mechanic just being annoying.

I skimmed through the Eurogamer article and it doesn't seem to say much about combat which makes me think it's still a bit shit. The review seems very focused on the narrative, which is fine, but you've got to look at how it actually plays.

It probably sounds like I'm being a bit harsh but I really like the look of this so I'd love it if the actual gameplay holds up now too.

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It's very challenging. I keep running out of fuel. It reminds me of FTL a lot but more freeform.

It also seems to be able to connect to a Fallen London account and download fresh "Stories"

I also have no idea what I'm doing

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Yeah, I'm a bit sceptical too - British sites give obscure British game glowing review. No doubt an Edge 10 is forthcoming too.

Is it really one of the best games ever made, or is this a case of trying to generate loads of attention for a surprisingly great, locally made game that would otherwise have gone under the radar?

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Is it really one of the best games ever made, or is this a case of trying to generate loads of attention for a surprisingly great, locally made game that would otherwise have gone under the radar?

I'd say it's definitely the latter. It's very enjoyable and kept me playing well into the early hours, but wouldn't say it's top marks material.

The comparisons to FTL are spot on, this is essentially a high seas version with extra narrative (it also really reminds me of a top down space exploration game I used to play on the Amiga, think it was called Armada)

However after just 4 hours play It's already starting to feel like it's shown its hand a bit early, with few surprises left to offer. No denying that the atmosphere, style and gameworld are the real highlight. It creates a lovely opressive gameworld that you feel a part of from the minute you start playing.

It's also bloody hard! With the early game being a constant battle to keep supplies and fuel topped up. Already had a couple of close calls where I've managed to dock just as I had run out of fuel... with also the odd crew sacrifice's to keep hunger away (and the gods happy) ;)

So far it's a perfectly respectable 8/10 not 10/10

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Is it really one of the best games ever made(?)

Is it bollocks. I've just spent three hours on it and not only do I wish I had those three hours back, but my $17 as well.

It has zero game play, the writing is complete bobbins, the art is inconsistent, and I found it utterly boring to the point where I was forcing myself to go on just to try and find something redeeming about it all.

It's a big pile of pretentious wank-fuck. I wish I could give mine away to save other people the money.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well so far this game is incredible. I've probably but about five or six hours in so far and I still feel like I've only just dipped my toe into it's hostile waters.

It's pretty difficult to start with when you're learning how to play the game. I can't help but feel that the comparisons above to FTL go hand in hand with people not liking the game. It's almost nothing like FTL and if you try to play it like that you'll die A LOT. That's what I started out doing and my first few hours of playing were marked with little more than frustration and death. But once you realise what the game wants you to do it suddenly opens right up and relaxes a bit.

It feels more like one of the best Choose Your Own Adventure Books I've ever played but instead of making choices and turning pages you go exploring over pitch black Lovecraftian seas in a steam boat.

A few beginners tips. No story spoilers at all, just some hints to help people get started right at the start. Don't read if you want to learn the basics the hard way.

-The edges of the map (N,E,S,W) are fixed and never change. However, each time you die the islands in the middle are shuffled a little bit. They'll still be in roughly the same area, though.

-Don't try to make money by trading at first. You'll want to start earning money by exploring and gathering Port Reports. Going North is a good idea.

-Don't spend money on upgrades or extra crew to start with. Only spend money on fuel, supplies and (if you need it) repairs. This will give you more scope to go exploring.

-Try to avoid fights. Your ship's rubbish. Run away by hitting F and burning some fuel if you can't avoid enemies.

-Running with your ships light on burns a lot more fuel than keeping it off. It also uncovers the map more quickly. Switching it off though increases your terror level gradually (hit 100 and you die) but makes it harder for monsters to spot you.

-The Street Urchin is a good character to start with as his Veils are higher, making it easier to slip past enemies.

-As soon as you have the money, buy a Town House and a Will. This allows you to pass something on to your next character if you die.

So yeah, that Eurogamer review and it's 10/Essential is bang on in my book. I haven't been this engrossed in a game for a long time.

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Praise be to the maker!

 

I write this, my final post, from a crumbling boarding house on the harbour. I have been treated cordially, but the grim smiles of the crew I hired with ominous ease do little to hide their fear and suspicion. These degenerate coastal folk have a peculiarly oily aspect, and their odd speech has a gelatinous, globular sound that is offensive to my ears, and yet fascinates me in equal measure. For good or ill, our fates are surely intertwined, and their instinctive acceptance hints at an older, darker fraternity that none among us will voice. The air here is salty, as one should no doubt expect, but there is also an underlying presence, hinting at a fetid stench, as if the ocean beyond steadily rots. From my window I can see the worn sails of our boat. The eldritch designs emblazoned thereupon chill me, for reasons I dare not acknowledge if I am to retain my sanity.

 

We sail tomorrow.

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It seems very enjoyable. I was a bit put off by all the branching menus at first, I haven't played a 'PC' game in ages, I had forgotten what they can be like! But really nice vibe to the whole experience, even though I'm not too far in yet.

Although it did crash on me while I was voyaging slowly back after a fraught encounter, I'm a bit annoyed about that.

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