Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunless Sea

Remember (Sid Meier's) [i]Pirates![/i]?

If you liked that game and have been complaining for 25 years about the lack of any true successor, here it is. Sunless Sea is fantastic.

This is a game about exploring distant and mysterious lands, where the disconnection from history, which was the brilliant but inherently limiting foundation on which Pirates! was built, gives the authors the tools to surprise us and to create the best seafaring game ever made in an unexpectedly original mix of Lovecraftian and Vernian atmospheres. As I mentioned, it takes a while to understand what the hell is going on with the UI and what is it with the inventory and quest log (?), but once you crack the surface of what was originally a clever browser game ([url=]Fallen London[/url]) you'll probably sink in the Sunless Sea and won't come out until you'll have explored every port at least once.

This game does an incredible job in making you feel like an epxlorer of unknown lands, and I can't remember any other game where I felt the urge to discover [i]just another[/i] port only to see what stories it had to tell and what secrets or treasures or weird culture it could hide. This is the biggest strength of this game: the dark, bloody impenetrable underground sea rewards you with the best pioneering experience to date, as the hand-crafted locations, even when painted with broader strokes, are masterfully rendered and meant to inspire, unsettle and make you giggle. All at the same time.

Eventually, it is also a game about surviving. Making sure your boat is fueled, your crew is fed, and you don't go crazy and start eating your folks instead of leading them. It's a game about giant monstrosities, about romance, and not getting lost in your nightmares, not being killed by evil and unnameable forces, and not disappear without leaving a trace. It's not just another sandbox where you like the premises but can't expect a complete package for another three years. Sunless Sea politely asks you for your goal when you start playing, and then invites you to find the solution to the searing enigma that you created for yourself inside its pitch black pit of haunting maritime prose.

But is it fun? If you like reading, exploring, and exploring while reading, then yes, it is some of the best fun videogame money can buy.


Post a Comment

<< Home