It’s time once more, the stars align, strange eons come to
pass and death may even die. It began with the flood, and will end with The
By Lovecraft, For Lovecraft: The Sinking City is not just an open world investigative action/adventure/horror title, it’s also a love letter to the Lovecraftian mythos. There are elements of Lovecraftian fiction in every aspect of the city, its cases, its characters and of course, the plot itself. Streets named after important locales, avenues sharing names with important mythos characters and even advertisements for a certain medical doctor all Lovecraft fans will recognise.
Weird Tales: The cases and the main plot in The Sinking City are wonderfully weird, twisting and twisted. There are characters that seem closer to primates than humans, other closer to fishes (that gorgeous Innsmouth Look), sacrifices, rituals, good ideas that backfire, bad ideas that go horrendously wrong and weirdness galore. Best of all is the main character becomes rather savvy in the madness taking place around him, even if and especially because he’s also descending into insanity. By the end, when faced with the weirdness he will casually state “you’re rather normal, at least by this crazy city’s standards,” when meeting an NPC. I love this. Also, in case it needs saying, the story is gripping and fun.
It’s a Mad World: The Sinking City is a bad place, it’s despair-ridden, maddening and incredibly cold towards outsiders. People in the city are at their wits end, and even the help you provide in solving their cases doesn’t make their lives any easier. In fact, on learning the things you discover, their lives are more likely to take dark turns. I love this, it’s pure Lovecraftian goodness, as are the grotesque apparitions, both the spectral and the physical monstrosities you encounter.
Fear is the Mind Killer: As with every Mythos game, there is a sanity meter and fun things happen as it lowers. The most common are audio-visual hallucinations, visions of creatures and your own grim future—seeing yourself hang from a noose—but as it gets worse, you’ll eventually have to contend with the figments of your deranged imagination in physical ways. This was a genius decision in my opinion, having your insanity sometimes spawn new enemies that aren’t really there but can still hurt you. Best thing is that if you take the sanity medkit aka anti-psychotics, they vanish instantly.
Fortune favours the Bold: There are infested areas in the Sinking City, where the Wylebeasts, the monstrous creatures that came into the city with the flood, have taken over and created nests for themselves. These areas are full of loot and crafting materials but are deadly to explore. But if you’re clever, lucky, brave or all of the above, you can make a killing without getting, well, killed.
Sherlock meet Lovecraft: Frogware is, of course, the wonderful people behind the Sherlock Holmes series, one of my absolute favourite video game series in the world and The Sinking City inherits many elements from that series, from deduction boards to scene reconstructions. This is a game where exploring every corner in a crime scene is recommended as it may just yield the right clue. Best of all, you can set the difficulty of the detective side to expert, where there are no hints on how to proceed, truly challenging your detective instincts.
Find your own way: Clues, important locales, crime scenes, houses and nests are all over the city, but it’s up to you to find them. You have the map of the city and often vague addresses, meaning you gotta open the map, find the right streets and place a marker for where you think the objective might be. But after that, it’s all exploration, on foot, on boat, whichever way you can.
Underwater Slog: I think the intent was for the underwater segments to be tense, dangerous and uncomfortable but they’re really just boring. There’s very little to do but walk or fall or climb your way to the glowing exit and occasionally shoot some horrific fish thing in the face to stun it and leave it behind. There’s very little tension.
Survival Horror Syndrome: Your first encounter with the Wylebeasts will be horrible, especially when you first encounter the really big onces with multiple limbs and teleportation abilities. But as with every other survival horror game, once you’re a walking armoury, there’s very little to fear. Hell, the moment I unlocked grenades, I didn’t fear a single thing. Also, Lovecraft is more about fear of the unknown, and with so few enemy types, the unknown doesn’t last too long.
Elementary Watson: I find cases are too simple in The Sinking City, at least compared to previous Frogwares games. Cases are more or less a series of trips to visit locales, pick things up, maybe uncover something with your third eye and then piece together the clues in the deduction board—which more often than not is click on everything with everything. There aren’t any juicy puzzles to create new clues, like the stuff in Crimes and Punishments and The Devil’s Daughter. It’s a shame.
It’s not Inns-Mouth, it’s Inns-Muth: Ok this is just nit-picking and a personal gripe but the correct way of pronouncing Innsmouth is INNSMUTH, like Plymouth, Dartmouth, Portsmouth. Inn’s-Mouth is just wrong and caused me to lose more sanity than the horrors in the game.
The world ended, blew itself up in war. Now, some live on
floating cities while others waste away on the surface. In this post-war world,
conflict is once again rearing its ugly head. This is Project Nimbus – Complete
Fast, Fast, Faster!: Project Nimbus is a fast-paced mecha combat game. On every given mission you’ll be flying around zipping around avoiding missile barrages and other weaponry while you try to pick off other enemies and take care of mission objectives, which might include a one on one duel with another ace pilot. The gameplay is fun from the start and the more you advance, and the more you improve, the better and more fun it becomes.
The Path to Ace: Project Nimbus is easy to learn but the controls and gameplay are so deep it takes a lot to master them but it’s so satisfying to progress and improve your piloting skills. At the start you’re taking tons of fire and missiles, but by the end you’re likely to be taking out entire battalions without so much as a scratch on you, just on skill alone.
Battles of the Goddesses: Hands down, the best moments in this game are the two one-on-one duels between the two female protagonists. These battles take the best of the game and turn the dial to eleven and force you to act far more strategically than in other circumstances.
Conflict on All Sides: The best thing about the Project Nimbus storyline is that much like the way the Gundam anime series do it, they tell the story from all possible angles, switching your point of view character every few missions so you learn what’s happening on the other side of the war. This in turn makes the characters much deeper and complex, and shows that it’s not a simple case of good guys vs bad guys.
Down to the Wire: Some of the best missions in Project Nimbus are those where you have a time limit or a health bar for something you have to protect. It turns the intensity up quite a notch and just makes the win feel that much more exciting.
Mecha Goodness: I love the mechas in this game. All of them. Well, not the first one you run with which is kinda boring and low-spec but once you get the prototypes and the Skull Squad convertible fighters, then things get really fun and really over the top and awesome.
Lock Awful: If there’s one thing in this game that threatened to ruin my fun is how finicky the lock on function can be. It’s so easy to lose your lock that it really gets silly, especially with multiple enemies or during those really fun one on one duels.
Bad First Impression: The first few missions don’t really sell you on Project Nimbus. You’re piloting a boring mech in some very dark environments where enemies are so far away from you they’re just red outlined bits in the distance. Personally, I’d have done away with these missions and skip ahead to the Mirai launch mission, where things really get interesting.
I’ve been critical in the past of the reboot Tomb Raider franchise and at least once, the series proved me wrong. So, despite my criticisms at the ridiculous notion that Shadow of the Tomb Raider was still part of the origin story for Lara Croft, I was hopeful for this new entry in the series.
I disliked the first season of Iron Fist, I thought it was boring, focused more on corporate shenanigans and nebulous villains than on the martial arts badassery the character deserves. So I came to the 2nd season a bit dubious of how good it could be and gotta say, it pays to have low expectations!
I’ve had Hob installed on my PC for months, since last year in fact, and it’s a game I’ve been putting off constantly. It’s been on my list and every time I see the icon on the desktop I think “oh yeah, it’s that game!” but it wasn’t until last night that I decided to have a go at it, perhaps because I couldn’t find more excuses.
I love a good murder mystery, don’t you? A body, a place, motive and a weapon, the ingredients for a delicious assassination. But what if killing the intended victim precipitated the end of the world? Well, in Omensight it means a time bending investigation at the hands of the Harbinger! Continue reading Review – Omensight
I love a good action platfomers, the tougher the better. There’s nothing like playing some old NES era title that does nothing but punish you and throw impossible odds at you. It makes finishing them a wonderful experience, as you stand over the game triumphantly, your glam-rock mane and cape flowing in the wind…Ok, that image is perhaps too much. Glam rock hair in the wind is enough, the cape is unnecessary.
But I digress. As I said, I love a good action platformer game and among them there’s a series I consider the epitome of the genre, developed by Capcom. Everyone knows it, most have played the games in the series and all who have know how frustratingly fun they can be: Ghosts & Goblins. So how does the newcomer and indie successor, Fox ‘n Forests stack up? Read on to find out! Continue reading Review – Fox ‘n Forests
It’s been years since their last outing, but Hana’s crew of adorable psychos is back to dealing with theft, espionage and world-ending supernatural threats, this time of an Inuit flavour. This is Fear Effect: Sedna.
Over the years of writing reviews for games, both those with codes received from developers, publishers and their PR people and those I purchase myself, I believed I had become immune to press release hype, that I had read enough of these to see beyond the promises and not let them influence me.
When Christmas Eve and Day come, no matter where we are and who we are with, alone, with bad company or annoyed at having to spend time with relatives we only see once a year, there will be copious amounts of food and then that period where you’re so full your body will almost shut down, depositing you on the nearest sofa or bed and making it impossible for you to move. Your brain will follow suit and leave you in a state where intellectual pursuits are nigh impossible. Board games will be too complicated for you. You will only be capable of watching stuff. Why do you think there are so many boring Christmas movies and shows? Because they know they can peddle them to you when you’re in this state. Continue reading Dungeons & Dragons Christmas Binge