Metascore
64

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
Buy On
  1. Jun 25, 2019
    84
    The Sinking City is paradoxically teeming with life and things to do while atmospherically making you feel alone and unsafe. The revamped investigation systems rely on your own powers of deduction and the combat is both tense and nerve-wracking. Save for the graphical issues, The Sinking City is heart-pounding, unrelenting, and addictive. Its powers of immersion and fear are not to be overlooked, and fans of eldritch horror, Cthulhu, and things that go bump in the night will definitely be satisfied playing in the dark.
  2. Jun 26, 2019
    80
    The Sinking City is obviously not a complete open-world action adventure title, but it offers enough to keep you engaged with some solid story and atmosphere, great characters, wonderful modeling of the city of Oakmont, and that strange feeling that you would expect from H.P. Lovecraft works. If you can skip past some of the game's shortcomings, you'll get to experience something that you never did before.
  3. Jun 25, 2019
    80
    It’s not a particularly pleasant experience—but it is uncompromisingly captivating.
  4. Jun 25, 2019
    80
    I had also hoped for a thrilling thriller and that's exactly what I got.
  5. Jun 25, 2019
    80
    The Sinking City struggles under the weight of its ambition, but it’s compelling mysteries and horrific world make it a compelling journey.
  6. Jun 26, 2019
    79
    There is so much to enjoy about the title that one can overlook the various combat blunders and need of day-one patches. Having received early access to the title for this review, The Sinking City has some optimization bugs to work out, but that doesn't impact the quality of the title (in the digital age, everything gets a day-one patch anyway). Despite these shortcomings, the title is a must-play for fans of detective thrillers, puzzle-solving, and cosmic horror. Dive into The Sinking City and welcome our Cthulhu overlords with open arms.
  7. Jul 1, 2019
    76
    When it comes to detective games, The Sinking City features some of the best gameplay that I've ever experienced in the genre. That being said, it could definitely use a lot more fine-tuning to iron out its less desirable qualities.
  8. Jun 26, 2019
    75
    Besides the primitive battle system and the technical shortcomings, The Sinking City is a solid investigation experience with a compelling story that provides hours of case solving.
  9. 75
    Some issues hold me back from giving The Sinking City full marks, but I still recommend it. Whether you’re a fan of Lovecraft, horror in general, or even a good old mystery, you may get a lot out of Frogware’s latest.
  10. Jun 25, 2019
    75
    Even if it doesn’t succeed at everything it’s trying, The Sinking City has a lot of personality. The investigation isn’t as free as we were promised it would be, and the fighting are weak. But it’s a strong game with good writing.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Jun 25, 2019
    Frogware's most ambitious title to date sees it take on the Cthulu mythos, but unfortunately it makes for one of its most flawed games too.
User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 125
  2. Negative: 33 out of 125
  1. Jul 1, 2019
    4
    The Sinking City is a detective horror adventure that would leave both Lovecraft fans and fans of Frogware's previous Sherlock Holmes gamesThe Sinking City is a detective horror adventure that would leave both Lovecraft fans and fans of Frogware's previous Sherlock Holmes games happy and excited to see what the studio is truly capable of. That is if they actually gave us a complete and functional title. Unfortunately, this game is not finished.

    Load times take over a minute on the PS4, manual saves don't load where you saved at and instead loads you at the closest point on the map you were. I know that gunplay is not supposed to be this game's strength, but even then it is not even subpar. There is no feedback on whether or not you are doing any damage to creatures, no real signs of damage nor feeling of impact. I fire point blank and I still have the lingering doubt that I am shooting through them, only when they drop do I know that I was hitting something. Some actual blood splatter and stronger impact sound effects would go a long way there. Movement, in general, is a chore as well. I get stuck on terrain constantly and climbing over things is inconsistent. The Field of View is also far too narrow and flat, and as is typical of most console versions of games, cannot be changed in the settings menu.

    The visuals lack polish in general as well. I am not expecting AAA animation and fidelity, but I am expecting something comparable to what this studio, Frogwares has done before. While the move to Unreal 4 is appreciated, the animations vary from jerky and robotic to constant waving and bobbing around. Some of the lazier and more automated animations were excusable in the past Sherlock Holmes games of theirs, but when you bump up your graphical fidelity and are going for an even more photorealistic look for your game, your animation needs to be able to back that up. Otherwise, work within your limitations and go for something more stylistic and appealing.

    The idea of an open city where you have to find clues and scavenge for crafting materials is a potentially interesting design choice. But the city is stretched way too much. It feels like I spend more time traveling looking for what I need to do as opposed to actually doing it. A smaller but more dense hub I think would have fit this game far better. That, or do what Frogware did in their past Sherlock Holmes games where you moved from point to point, that way you only have to go to places that actually serve some sort of purpose as opposed to walking around a bigger city simply for the sake of it.

    The only aspects that are effective really are the things left over from previous Frogware titles. Namely from the Testament of Sherlock Holmes and onwards. Up until then the voice acting and script writing were very much a dead giveaway of their budget nature if the graphics weren't enough to tip you off. Enjoyable in a so awkward that it's endearing kind of way. But from Testament and onward, the voice acting has been top notch. I am happy to say that the Sinking City does continue with this trend. And I am happy that the writing is of a quality seen in Crimes and Punishments, and not like the confused and inept Devil's Daughter. The actual detective work in the SInking City is the same found in Crimes and Punishments and Devil's Daughter, so if you know that system and enjoy it as I do, then you will be happy in that regard. Player choice and agency is of a similar level as well, you have to make sure you find and put the clues together correctly or else you may reach the wrong conclusions and have people suffer because of it. It is not afraid to let you be wrong in your conclusions and have you press on regardless. It is a design choice I greatly appreciate and respect in a detective adventure game. Only these games and L.A. Noire let you fail as a sleuth really.

    The problem is that in order to get to the parts of the game that really shines is that you need to, unfortunately, play the rest of the game. And because of those parts, namely the optimization, the combat, navigation, and overall polish cripple whatever chances this game had to be truly satisfying. Maybe some of the issues such as the long load times may be better on other platforms such as the PC or maybe the PS4 Pro or XBox One X, but the actual core of the game is inherently flawed. But as a fan of Frogware and Lovecraft, I would have loved to have played it on PC, I have the setup for it. It's a shame it won't be on Steam until next year. Maybe by then they can fix it up a bit and sell it at a discount and it will be worth it. God help you if you think the Switch port coming soon will even be able to get off the ground. It's a shame that in order for someone to think that the Sinking City is a solid game worth the $50 price point at this time, you'd have to be more insane than the citizens of Oakmont or anywhere else in the actual Lovecraftian mythos.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 4, 2019
    7
    I’ve got about 15 hours into the game. I’m really enjoying it. I am a Lovecraft fan and am enjoying the handling of the lore and the vibe.I’ve got about 15 hours into the game. I’m really enjoying it. I am a Lovecraft fan and am enjoying the handling of the lore and the vibe. The story is dope so far. The game is slow paced and is not a shooter game. If you’re not into that you definitely shouldn’t get it. I do really like it and the pro’s definitely outweigh the con’s but again. It is for a specific gamer. Downs... graphics aren’t stellar and there are bugs. Combat is chunky as many **** about but again it isn’t a shooter. It’s a bit of a let down when people give a game a “0”. It’s just not helpful. Nether is giving a game a “10” for “balance” Full Review »
  3. Jun 26, 2019
    10
    I can’t believe how low the reviews are for this game! I have played it, non-stop, for the last three days, and I popped on here to see howI can’t believe how low the reviews are for this game! I have played it, non-stop, for the last three days, and I popped on here to see how close to 100 it was. I love this game!! I am not a huge Lovecraft fan, but I am very thankful I bought this game without looking at the reviews. This game takes chances, and it definitely takes some getting used to, but I am so glad to see a game that doesn’t just copy Far Cry or The Last of Us. Full Review »