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Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Sinking City is an adventure and investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of Horror. The half-submerged city of Oakmont is gripped by supernatural forces. You’re a private investigator, and you have to uncover the truth of what hasThe Sinking City is an adventure and investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of Horror. The half-submerged city of Oakmont is gripped by supernatural forces. You’re a private investigator, and you have to uncover the truth of what has possessed the city… and the minds of its inhabitants. Expand
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The Sinking City - 'A Close Shave' Official Gameplay Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jul 1, 2019
    85
    The ambitious, fascinating yet flawed The Sinking City establishes itself as the new Lovecraftian title to look at. A joyful horror theme park that encourages you to fall in love with the gentle touch of the tentacle.
  2. Jul 1, 2019
    80
    For fans of Lovecraftian horror, The Sinking City is filled with... fishy details and lore that is used to enrich the world that Frogwares has created. Private Investigator Charles Reed must voyage through the deepest and most disturbing parts of his mind, as well as Oakmont itself, to find a way to rid the town residents of their visions. Doing what he does best, Reed must investigate and solve crimes while battling the horrors that jump out from the dark. While it lacks a bit of polish, The Sinking City is an otherwise weird and mind-bending journey, bundled with all the ingredients for a great experience.
  3. Jun 28, 2019
    75
    FacebookPost TwitterTweet EmailEmail CommentComment Frogwares has made a name for itself with wannabe detectives through a run of imperfect-but-entertaining Sherlock Holmes adventure games built around deductive reasoning. However, the developer’s interest in this unique brand of puzzle-solving extends beyond the world-famous consulting detective. The Sinking City is Frogwares’ latest and most ambitious adventure game to date, setting players loose in a Lovecraftian open world with a journal full of twisted cases. The expanded scope and greater emphasis on action introduce issues, but as a whole, The Sinking City still presents a mystery worth unraveling. Players take on the role of Charles Reed, a private detective whose horrific visions have brought him to Oakmont, the titular sinking city ravaged by a mysterious flood and the supernatural terrors it has unleashed on the beleaguered population. As you undertake cases for various influential families and factions, Reed is quickly ensnared in Oakmont’s politics and power struggles. Like everything in Oakmont, no case is ordinary or straightforward, such as helping the rich and strangely simian Robert Throgmorten track down his missing son, or investigating a faction of fish-like Innsmouthers whose generous food donations to starving citizens may hide an ulterior motive. Once again, Frogwares exhibits a deep understanding and appreciation for the source material, touching on many of the tenets of Lovecraftian horror while weaving its own unique tale. You gather clues from various locations and crime scenes, and then piece them together through deductive reasoning to solve each mystery, much like the Sherlock Holmes games. You may find yourself with only a name or a scrap of a letter to go on, and it’s up to you to figure out how to proceed. Perhaps searching through patient records at the hospital will give you another lead, or cross-referencing dates and locations in the local paper might turn up another witness. These player-driven puzzles and deductions are the heart of The Sinking City, and are just as entertaining and rewarding without the deerstalker and calabash pipe. This time around, some of the deductions are also subjective, requiring you to make a call and live with the consequences. Is that character a cold-blooded murderer, or was he possessed by some cosmic horror (a real possibility in Oakmont) and not responsible for his actions? Should you turn him over to the authorities, or let him go free? The consequences of your decisions aren’t particularly far-reaching from a narrative perspective, but they are often memorable, and your inability to get through every case without getting your hands dirty fits with the grim world and themes. While Reed himself remains a bland and forgettable cypher, the evolving mystery behind Oakmont’s curse and its eventual fate kept me engrossed for the long run. While that world-building and atmosphere is where The Sinking City really shines, traveling around said world isn’t as fun. Getting from one area of the city to the next is a time-consuming process, often requiring hopping between roads and boats to get where you’re going. And you always have a lot of places to go; in addition to the aforementioned hospital and newspaper headquarters, you’ll be visiting the police station, city hall, and library to drum up more leads, and it’s not always clear which location you need to visit. Fast travel helps with this process, but it isn’t particularly fast, requiring you to first find and run to a phone booth, then wait through a lengthy load time. As you’re traveling to various locations, eldritch monsters occasionally spring up, leading to survival-horror combat. Simply put, the stiff and sluggish gunplay is not fun, and frustrates more than it excites. However, the grotesque enemy creatures introduce an ever-present threat and tension that heighten the Lovecraftian world you’re exploring. Ultimately, The Sinking City’s combat is a necessary evil that I’m glad Frogwares included, even if its implementation leaves a lot to be desired. The Sinking City also suffers numerous technical problems. In addition to the long load times, screen-tearing is a persistent distraction from exploring Oakmont’s creepy locales on console (Frogwares says it’s working on a patch to correct this), and uneven voice performances and cutscenes also take their tolls on the immersion. The main quest is a little too long for its own good, but those who can overlook the game’s shortcomings will find a wealth of solid side quests to keep them hanging around. The Sinking City shares all of the same problems of Frogwares’ previous games, but it also capitalizes on the same strengths. Reed’s cases offer up surprising twists and memorable moments, and flesh out a twisted world and cast of characters that I enjoyed learning about. The combat and repetition may elicit the wrong kind of madness, but fans of Lovecraftian horror should still consider visiting The Sinking City.
  4. 70
    The Sinking City is easily the best H.P. Lovecraft game yet, throwing players into a well-realised but characteristically melancholy town that’s coming to terms with its cosmic fate. It’s a classic detective game through and through, which rewards smarts and isn’t afraid to let you explore and immerse yourself with no handholding. It’s just a bit of a shame that’s hindered by some rudimentary combat, shoddy technical issues and an open world that’s a little too big for its own good.
  5. Jul 8, 2019
    68
    The Sinking City offers a captivating Lovecraftian detective adventure, with some good mechanics but hindered by a too repetitive gameplay and a lacklustre technical production.
  6. Jun 28, 2019
    60
    Its supernatural elements aren’t unnerving, its noirish elements rest on characters who are simply shady as opposed to morally complex and its technical shortcomings don’t do it any favors.
  7. Jun 25, 2019
    50
    The Sinking City is a certifiable mess to play. The impressively omnipresent screen tearing took forever to get used to, loading times seemed to drag on longer and longer the further I got into the game, and the framerate could be best described as sluggish at worst and choppy at best.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 26, 2019
    10
    As for AA game without 10005000$ budget this game a really good. I have a question to narration and open world. But, generally it is totallyAs for AA game without 10005000$ budget this game a really good. I have a question to narration and open world. But, generally it is totally worth to buy. Expand
  2. Jun 25, 2019
    9
    Verdaderamente bueno y desafiante a la hora de investigar con buenas mecánicas, aunque un poco flojo en la fluides de los movimientos de losVerdaderamente bueno y desafiante a la hora de investigar con buenas mecánicas, aunque un poco flojo en la fluides de los movimientos de los personajes. Expand
  3. Jun 28, 2019
    9
    The Sinking City is a deeply immersive and compelling story line that rides like Sherlock Holmes was written by H.P. Lovecraft keeps TheThe Sinking City is a deeply immersive and compelling story line that rides like Sherlock Holmes was written by H.P. Lovecraft keeps The Sinking City afloat. You play as Charles Reed, an Ex-Marine gone Private Eye from Boston, on his own investigation to find the source of his deeply disturbing visions, and dreams, to find secluded Oakmont, a place plagued with problems all seemingly connected to the images that hunt his mind. The game quickly dives into Charles' unique gift that gives him an edge over other sleuths, but has it's drawbacks on his sanity. The game play focuses on Investigation and Deduction, placing you in some dark situations where neither path feels right. Though not focused on Combat, there are many harrowing situations, you will draw your gun for. The stunning visuals, and intensely gloomy atmosphere combine to create a gripping environment, riddled with clues to discover, and dangers, most of the time, best avoided. Find the clues, then deduce their connections, and meanings to solve cases, and make morally deep decisions that could impact everyone in Oakmont, maybe the world. Think like a gumshoe and utilize the Library, Town Hall, and News Paper to help you find people and places in this half sunken place, where 'Newcomers' aren't usually welcome. A Deep, Gritty, and Heavy story I highly recommend for anyone that enjoys H.P Lovecraft, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works. Expand
  4. Jul 6, 2019
    6
    "The Sinking City"
    Reviewed by: Carless Yen
    Developer: Frogwares Published: Big Ben Interactive Platforms: Xbox, PS4,Switch, Windows
    "The Sinking City"
    Reviewed by: Carless Yen
    Developer: Frogwares
    Published: Big Ben Interactive
    Platforms: Xbox, PS4,Switch, Windows

    First off I will say sorry there is no video to go with this. I try to do them every time now so people can get a visual feel for the title. Some reason though the game developer doesn't allow their videos to be uploaded to Xbox Live or Upload studio so written is all you guys will be getting.
    This is a action adventure mystery title brought to you by the guys that did the Sherlock Holmes titles. So your getting the same type of game where your choices matter, and where your deep into a mystery that keeps you thinking the entire time. It's inspired by Lovecraft which has been very common in videogames here lately. This how ever is one of the most fun of those I've played to date. You play as Charles Reed a private Investigator and War veteran, and your trying to find out about these weird visions and dreams you been having. You head to Oakmont a town recently flooded, and full of strange happenings. Soon as you get there your rushed into a case. Like Sherlock Holmes you have special abilities to see things regular people wouldn't, and put the clues together. it is fun using these skills, and I enjoyed solving the mysteries.
    Another thing you will notice right off the bat is the games really creepy atmosphere, and wonderful characters and voice acting. The town really looks like it's seen a disaster, and really looks lived in. It's open world, and the map is pretty large. The traveling system is unique because you have to travel between sections of land because of the floods. A lot of the places you must go is on water, and you use a small engine john boat to get between the areas. You are actually in the boat a lot , because most of the places are under water. I understand that it was flooded , and that goes into that but I get's old driving the boat so much. If It was a little less I would have enjoyed it more I think. It got repetitive. Yes there is fast travel by finding phone booths.(Those are phones that are outdoors for the public for any one that wasn't around for those) They just aren't always easy to find. I wish they were marked on the map so I'm not running around areas I don't need to looking for them.
    You craft your own bullets , and health by items you find searching. The only thing is your better off melee everything because it seems stronger then the bullets. I always felt like i didn't have enough ammunition, and like my weapons were under powered. I get that that can add to the horror of it not having enough ammo, and being under attack. When you swing a shovel like Thor swings a hammer it really doesn't make you worry any. I wish I could have had more ammo, and a gun that actually felt good to shoot. The combat really dropped the ball as far as I'm concerned. Which sucks because the story, the characters, and the environment all are amazing. It takes off from the start, but just gets really stale. It's not bad, but it just gets really boring, and after awhile I was just wanting to be playing some thing else. The traveling and just glitches really started to annoy me. I got stuck under docks with my boat many times, stuck inside of areas of houses, and stuck in quests, because people that were supposed be there weren't.
    I hate saying negative things about this game, because at first I really enjoyed it. The first few hours were a blast. The first part of the island I was really enjoying myself, but when I was able to advance things started going down hill for me. To be honest I'm actually stuck at about the 8 hour mark, because my game saved on a part where I'm stuck in the environment, and no way i want to start over.
    So is it for you? It could be if you enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes games like I did. I love them I own them all. Just don't expect the exact same experience.

    Pros: Creepy and Wonderful Atmosphere
    The Environments look worn down and lived in
    Great characters and voice acting
    Puzzle solving and finding clues is enjoyable

    Cons: Very Buggy
    Horrible Combat
    Traveling and Game grows Stale.

    Overall: 6.0 The Sinking City takes off from the jump delivering a lot of fun and puzzle solving and then loses it's appeal as the combat and traveling around the map increases.
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