The portal to the Dreamlands has yawned open, a once in a millennium event (other than during videogame marketing cycles), and we are at last granted a clearer picture of what to expect from The Sinking City, an open world investigation/shootybangs game based on the Lovecraft mythos, and assembled by Sherlock Holmes studio Frogwares.
So far, they’ve been a little coy about showing off how things work – although demo builds were on show at Rezzed – but a new teaser and a recent set of q&a vids answer some of the ry’leh pressing questions.
Here’s the teaser. Only the briefest snippet of in-game thingers, so far as I can tell, but it gives us a good sense of the kind of vibe they’re going for, as well as our gaunt hero. Part of me bristles at the idea we have to have a Gunbloke as protagonist, given Lovecraft’s own stories tended to star freaked-out and frail academic sorts, but at least his cheeks are almost as hollow as his haunted eyes.
Rather more can be gleaned from this trio of dev blog videos, released earlier this month, in which Frogwares folk directly field some of the key questions – including about the investigation/combat mix, the open world aspect, how much Lovecraft vs new lore there is, the length of it all, and the improvements they’re making to gunfeel after some early grumbles about it, as well as showing off quite a few clips of actual in-game footage.
The Sinking City certainly looks and sounds highly ambitious, and anyone who’s played Frogwares’ Holmes games will know that they work hard to do interesting things with investigation, even if the execution is about as consistent as a schoolboy’s spelling of ‘Cthulhu’. Let’s hope they’ve got the time and money required to make The Sinking City float.