The Sinking City: A Lovecraft-inspired Open Investigation Thriller
The Sinking City is a third person adventure game, inspired by the works of American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. It is our biggest and most ambitious project up to date, in terms of gameplay, story and overall experience we are aiming for. We are building The Sinking City on three main pillars – open world, open investigation, Lovecraft – which define how it will play and feel.
You are in a strange land
The game takes place in the fictional city of Oakmont, Massachusetts, set in the famous American Roaring Twenties. It’s a very distinct and often romanticized period of time in the U.S. history: economic growth, rise of consumerism, jazz, prohibition, gangsters and ethnic conflicts. Besides that, Oakmont is a very strange place with its fair share of dark and sinister secrets. The city has been mostly secluded from the mainland since its very foundation in the 17 century. Local inhabitants are really not fond of strangers, and are protective of their rules and traditions.
Following the legacy of Vikings and Indians, who lived in these lands before, they practice often shocking religious rituals and ceremonies. Their isolation and distrust of outlanders are only reinforced by the ongoing calamity that is tearing the city apart. Most streets in Oakmont are buried beneath a mysterious flood that came as if out of nowhere. The disaster has claimed too many lives already, highlighting the local government’s inability to deal with the situation.
However, the dire humanitarian crisis is not the only problem here. Something dreadful came with the flood. Frightening monsters are now roaming the streets of Oakmont, plunging the city into madness and dismay. Locals also say they can constantly feel the presence of something far more alarming – a great, incomprehensible force that is slowly driving everyone mad.
You know my methods, Watson
Players will experience The Sinking City through the eyes of a private investigator, who arrives in the city amidst the disaster. Exploration is a major part of The Sinking City, that’s why we decided to go open world. Make no mistake, though, Oakmont is not a sandbox where players will have to find their own ways to entertain themselves. Nor is it just a background for the main plot. In fact, it’s a foundation for our non-linear storytelling as well as our core gameplay mechanic – open investigation.
Fans best know us for the Sherlock Holmes games, a detective series which relies on player’s intuition, observation and wits to solve crimes. We are taking this mechanic a bit further with The Sinking City. Examine evidence, talk to people involved to determine your next step. In an open world, there are a lot of things you can do, and places you can go.
Looking for a missing person, but only have their name? I’d recommend asking at the police station or the hospital, maybe they know something. We are serious when we say there will be no handholding, no markers on the map, no instructions in your diary. You find evidence and talk to people to find something to push you forward.
The choice is yours
We leave it to the player to decide how to go about The Sinking City. We give you the freedom to make your own choices while unraveling the mysteries of this twisted world. And should something go horribly wrong… well, you have your weapons. Shooting someone or something in the face might sometimes prove necessary. Just remember, more often than not, our investigator is weaker than the enemy. And witnessing supernatural beings or distressing occurrences can easily trigger madness.
Insanity is a big part of the Lovecraftian universe. The famous author wrote about things we could never understand and explain, and that would drive us mad. Sherlock Holmes is all about the opposite – absolute rationality and clarity of the mind. When the two conflicting approaches blend together, The Sinking City appears.
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