The Sinking City: Frogwares’ Lovecraftian Investigation

Here’s a pleasing combination of words: Lovecraftian open-world investigation. Roaming around a town where something unspeakable is afoot, trying to solve the mystery without ending up a gibbering wreck? That’ll do for me. That’s The Sinking City [official site], newly announced by Frogwares. The Ukranian studio, best known for their Sherlock Holmes investigate ’em ups, had been working on a Call of Cthulu game for publisher Focus Home but… well, another studio is doing that. But! Now Frogwares have their own Lovecraftian game, and this does actually look more interesting.

Rather than a direct adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, The Sunken City is “inspired by” his writing. Frogwares explain:

“The player incarnates a private investigator in 1920s, who finds himself in a city of New England, Oakmont Massachusetts. It’s currently suffering from extensive waterflood, and its cause is clearly supernatural. The city trembles on the brink of madness. Can you investigate this beleaguered town and untangle the tragic extent of its failings or will you be driven beyond madness yourself?”

But here, check out all this concept art. Sure, concept art isn’t a clear indication of what the final game will be like, but I like the look of these things which seem unlikely to appear in more faithful Lovecraft adaptions.

What’s under those waves? Awful tentacled things:

Sometimes not even under them:

Floods of lampreys in a sunken subway? And at a Lovecraftian university? You’re spoiling me:

I trust these combative fellows are outliers, and most people who see something like this will simply curl up and never stop screaming:

See full-size versions of all the piccies on Frogwares’ site.

Frogwares are no strangers to eldritch dimensions and unutterable horror. Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened popped its finger into the Cthulhu Mythos, their puzzle-platformer Magrunner glooped open eyes in places eyes should not be, and we’re still not sure what manner of extradimensional being wore the skin of Watson (ah, don’t worry, they joined in on that joke too).

No firm word yet on when The Sinking City will launch.

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14 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I think they both look fun, but in different ways. As I said on the other game, funny how like with Warhammer we went from no Cthulhu computer games for years to suddenly lots announced.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I tried finding out who owns the rights to Cthullu and all this Eldritch horrors stuff. For the most part it seems like Lovecraft’s works are public domain. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. It appears to basically be an IP that anyone can use. If you are making a horror game you may as well slap some Lovecraft onto it and get the notoriety that brings.

      • klops says:

        For some reason I’ve been blocked to answer this particular thread. Testing.

      • dethtoll says:

        I think the Derleth family might own some of it? Don’t quote me on that though.

      • Punning Pundit says:

        It’s the same reason people use Unify or unreal as a games engine: no need to invent everything from the ground up when so much of the work has been done for you already.

  2. slerbal says:

    I’m intrigued :)

  3. Anthile says:

    Call of Cluethulhu.

    • Lacessit says:

      Oh please, it’s obviously time to go Holmes!

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Frogwares doing Lovecraftian stuff? If that’s Watson the menu, then I’d like to order it.

  4. Hakkesshu says:

    I’m sorry, the developers are calling it The Sinking City, but the article says The Sunken City.

    I’m afraid I’m only interested in cities that haven’t already sunk.

    • GWOP says:

      Well, you should include that info in your dating profile. No need for sunken cities to waste their time on you.

  5. Buggery says:

    One thing I’ve never seen addressed anywhere (even when I brought it up on the forums for the game) was in Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened where in the first few minutes you are meant to go investigate the traces of a Maori somewhere in London–you find a bit of text in a book as part of the investigation that is meant to be about Maori culture and it gives a perfect description of Aboriginal Australians instead.

    It wasn’t intentional, but it still felt like someone should have done a google before they pressed the game disc and potentially offended people here (luckily I doubt many NZers played it). Really bugged the hell out of me for the rest of the game and made me dislike it for some reason.

    • crusselrow says:

      I think I’m the only New Zealander in existence here, but that moment truly was a spectacular satirical commentary on postcolonialism in modern media. I tip my hat to Frogware.