Lovecraft and fish people. It’s wacky and awesome.
In life, many things are a match made in heaven. Peanut butter and jelly, Todd Howard and video games, trials and tribulations, and now Lovecraft and mystery. The latter arrives in the form of The Sinking City from Frogwares Studio, developers of the Sherlock Holmes series.
You inhabit the role of Charles W. Reed; a private investigator searching for answers concerning his lost memory on the East Coast of the United in the 1920s. Disturbing visions of a foreign world lead him to the decrepit city of Oakmont. An abnormal flood has swept the city, and it’s populated with human beings and human/fish hybrids.
Whether on foot, by boat, or swimming through the depths, Charles can explore the derelict town and discover its many hidden secrets. Along the way, you can accept multiple cases and solve them in a variety of ways. Solving cases in a drowning city won’t be easy, however, as you’ll face off with horrific mutant creatures and deal with the hysteria consuming the city’s inhabitants.
I had a chance to witness the game in action at E3 2018. If the idea of L.A. Noire meets H.P. Lovecraft piques your interest, you’re bound to enjoy what Frogwares is cooking up with The Sinking City. I’m intrigued by the grim setting, the quirky art style, and the option to explore the city and solve cases at your leisure. During the demo, Charles followed a series of clues through several locations to solve a murder. During the case, he met a myriad of townsfolk and laid waste to some spooky fish beasts. The character performances seem splendid, and combat appears to be rather standard for a third person game. But seeing as exploration and case solving is the focus, I’m not entirely concerned with the average looking combat.
Overall, I was impressed with the design of Oakmont and the nature of the case. The story features over 30 hours of gameplay with extensive replay value due to the Open Investigation system. That’s a whole lot of Lovecraft goodness. The Sinking City launches on March 19, 2019, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.