The wind has caught the sails of naval FTL-like Abandon Ship, moving it out of early access and into its 1.0 release. I never thought seafaring was particularly safe, but I wasn’t quite expecting the dangers in this trailer. Fighting other ships, sure. I’ll even take a horrible kraken creature. But volcanoes? Spiders descending from nowhere? That just seems unfair.
I do like the option to customise your ship with not one figurehead of a glowing, technicolour skull-horse, but three.
Alec poked through its FTL-y foundations a year or so ago and wasn’t so sure about setting sail. Its exploration, in particular, he found lacking:
“You’re not jumping from point to point – you click to steer your ship around a large and roiling ocean, prettily presented as if within a vast and animated picture frame. Each new area is occluded by a canvas-like fog of war when you enter, which you clear by slowly and painstakingly moving through it, increasingly desperately hoping you’ll uncover one of a handful of icons before you enter a fugue state. It looks very nice, but, like catching an overnight ferry from Dover to Calais, the initial excitement gives way to an abiding tedium. Some of those icons attain needle/haystack status – it desperately needs more of them, and perhaps for them to be roaming ships rather than static icons.”
But that’s ideally what early access is for, and the developers have added a number of major updates. Alec was already somewhat pleased by the difficulty changes and improved crew systems in their first update, and since then they've added a motley collection of other features, including sea forts to break up the sailing a bit more, new regions, a whole cult, and those aforementioned spiders. “There is most definitely a platform for good things here,” said Alec, so hopefully it’s now been built up into something a little more seafaring.
Abandon Ship’s 1.0 release is available now on Steam, with a 10% discount good until Tuesday, 29th October making it £17.99/$22.49/€20.69.