Murderous Pursuits is the next multiplayer assassination game from The Ship: Remasted devs

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Oooh, now this is intriguing – The Ship: Remasted devs Blazing Griffin are taking another stab at their ‘murder party’ formula. Today they announced Murderous Pursuits, a game about hunting (and being hunted by) other players. You have to sneak up on your quarry by pretending to be one of the AI characters milling around, just like in the old Assassin’s Creed multiplayer modes but without all that silly jumping. It’ll be out in March.

What’s new this time round? Well for starters, you’re on a flying boat that’s packed with alternate reality Victorian time travellers.

Here’s the premise:

“Set in an alternate reality Victorian era in which time travel is a way of life and the upper crust gallivant across the skies in elaborate ships, a mysterious benefactor known only as Mr. X has prepared a Machiavellian new cat-and-mouse game for the ages.”

Just like in previous iterations of The Ship, you’ll be assigned a target for you to hunt down and murder. Of course, someone else will be hunting you in turn – so you’re always simultaneously trying to find and eliminate your prey while keeping an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously. While blending in as an AI was part of those games, it looks like it’ll play a much bigger role in Murderous Pursuits. It’s a bit like a fancy, 3D version of local multiplayer game Hidden in Plain Sight.

To help sell your disguise you can approach “vignettes”, which are “special locations that allow nearby characters to participate in a variety of highbrow activities, like appreciating art and discussing foreign economics”. I’d guess that those have been inspired by the similar system in Spy Party, another game about disguising yourself as an NPC. It’s a natural fit, and could be exactly the sort of thing The Ship needs to take it from being quite good to excellent.

On the flip side, I am a little worried that they might have taken too many leaves from Assassin’s Creed’s murder book, in that the press release mentions “flash bombs and counters”. Special abilities like those were the downfall of AC’s multiplayer, so I can only hope that the abilities in this are less powerful.

Depending on how you measure it, you could consider this the fifth Ship game. Here’s Alice with the history:

“It began life as a Half-Life 2 mod in 2004, graduating to a full commercial release with a single-player campaign in 2006. Developers Outerlight turned the Hollywood-set sequel into 2010’s Bloody Good Time, and then shut down. Blazing Griffin picked up rights to The Ship in 2011 and tried to crowdfund a sequel, but only drew £18,247 in pledges towards their £128,000 goal and so got nothing.”

Due to the lack of funds, The Ship: Remasted ended up just being a remake.

I like the idea that every Shiplike game spans some form of multiverse where events always play out in a similar way. To (mis)quote Bioshock: “There’s always a boat. There’s always a bloke called X. There’s always a suspicious lady with a frying pan creeping up behind you.”

Murderous Pursuits will be out on Steam some time in March.

9 Comments

  1. Syrion says:

    They just won’t let up, will they?
    I dig the concept, had a lot of fun with The Ship and I thought it was cool that it was kind of adopted in the Assassin’s Creed games.

    But, one thing seemed to become apparent in all the years, that the concept alone probably won’t interest all too many players. The trailer doesn’t make me hopeful that this will be very different from the previous “failed” attempts.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      The landscape has change quite a bit though. For one, most multiplayer PvP in 2006 was team-based, and trying for a plain deathmatch scenario was relatively antiquated. Nowadays, with all these Battle Royale-type games bringing FFA Deathmatch back into vogue, there may be a new audience willing to try a contract killing deathmatch game.

      I don’t foresee it being a runaway success, but it seems like it could garner a dedicated following.

    • Jalan says:

      Seconding that final thought. Going multiplayer is a gamble, going multiplayer with a niche concept is likely risking financial ruin. In the current gaming market anyway. So many multiplayer games are ghost towns, despite best efforts to retain dedicated players. It’s hard to be optimistic about them, unfortunately.

      • MrEvilGuy says:

        If it’s an amazing game it should do well, but yeah it’s a risk if it’s anything less.

        Those early days of the ship were glorious, fond memories.

  2. Kollega says:

    The character designs look vaguely Dishonored-esque. And honestly? I dig that.

  3. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Spy Party has been in development for so long I kind of feel like it was first supposed to come out on the Amiga.

  4. Gomer_Pyle says:

    Looks interesting. I never played any of The Ship games, but I’ll be keeping on eye on this for sure.

  5. borkboi says:

    Seeing as their first game died quickly and they abandoned their second before it was finished, I don’t have high hopes for this one.

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