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Abandon Ship adds some downright inhospitable oceans

Why did we sail to the Stank Islands?

All things piratical are in vogue, as are FTL-likes, making Abandon Ship a game easy to get excited for. Developers Fireblade Software released a big update today for the early access game of oceanic adventuring against the odds, adding three new extra-murdery regions to explore. There's volcanic death-gas to navigate, ferocious blizzards ready to knock crew from the deck and (of course) an entire ghost-stricken archipelago. So, not a gentle weekend cruise, but there's some fancy plunder to be earned, and a bunch of new features. See the update trailer below.

The three new regions introduced in the Shattered Empire update are apparently the new standard which they plan on updating all past zones to. The Howling Seas is an aggressively cold and windy arctic region. Your ship's deck becomes slippery, and when the winds pick up during combat, you've got a chance of losing sailors to the freezing waves. The Forsaken Seas are even worse, just covered in toxic volcanic gas that drains health for everyone, friend or foe alike. It kinda makes me wish I could play as the ghost pirates in the titular Shattered Empire. This sounds like the most complex area by far, featuring a multi-route story and a plague colony to exploit or aid.

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Lighthouses have now been implemented, and in a nicely logical way. No matter where you are, if there's a lighthouse, you can see it, on account of it just sticking up over the horizon and being all shiny, as lighthouses do. Reach it, and it clears the fog of war from the zone. Exploration in general is simpler thanks to the newly added compass - it'll lead to the nearest point of interest on the map, though you'll not know whether it's a trick, treat or treasure until you head out there yourself. Lastly, the 'Friends and Enemies' system will add a chance of you bumping into NPCs that you've aided or wronged again - karma balances itself, after all. It's all good changes to a game I hope to make a little time for over the weekend. You can see the comprehensive patch notes here.

While still in early access, Abandon Ship is currently on sale on Steam, knocking it down to £10.04/€13.39/$13.39.

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