The Sinking City | Nintendo Switch Review.

Friday 13 September 2019

Publisher: BigBen Interactive / Frogwares
Developer: Frogwares
Nintendo Switch Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone. 

The Sinking City is an open world gloomy detective game with a mix of Fallout, Bioshock and La Noire where you're free to go about exploring as you wish, you play as a detective named Charles Reed who is suffering from visions that plague him on a daily bases. He takes it upon himself to find out why these visions are happening and in order to do this must solve crimes along the way, the only problem? Most of these crimes involve monsters who will kill you the first chance they get and as someone who is scared easily I didn't enjoy the way these monsters would pop out on me, i'm sure horror lovers would appreciate it though. The game throws you into the deep end of solving a crime as soon as you arrive at the sinking city, Oakmount, this seemed to be the main mission that you had to complete in order to get to the open world and explore freely.

Oakmount isn't a place I would choose to live but the residents have no choice but to get on with daily life even though the city is slowly being infested by monsters who don't care who they kill, in order to get to certain parts of the city you will need to use a boat, I would try and maneuver my boat around the infested places so there wasn't as much chance in me being killed and I could just crack on with the cases I had collected. I liked how the game made you explore in order to find the supplies you needed to craft as it meant I could see what the other districts on the map were like and where the infested areas would be.

Charles Reed seems to lack a personality but given he is suffering from these visions I guess he doesn't want to draw too much attention to himself, I like that you're able to use his visions to help solve cases and once you have collected the evidence you can compile it together and work out what best makes sense, this helps you feel more like Sherlock Holmes which isn't a bad thing! When you have a clue and location it's your job to look on the map and pinpoint where the location is, it took me a while to get used to this as I usually play games that show me where to go straight away on the map, but as I said before it helps to explore to find supplies that you need to survive.

I focused mostly on the main missions when I first played as they involved fewer monsters and I wasn't that confident in my aim when it came to guns, I tried to change the sensitivity but unfortunately, I was still awful but it does take some time getting used to. It took me a while to get used to working out how the mind palace in the menu worked too but the game does explain I just would have moments where I would forget. There are various options within the menu each to help you with the case such as the Lore, this provides you with any information you have picked up along the way and gets stored there for you to go back and read, it's a big help for when you come back to the game and can't remember what has gone on.

The map took me ages to read, I hated having to find the locations myself but it made the game more enjoyable to explore especially when you could come across phone boxes which act as fast travel points, these save you so much time and help you avoid infested areas but there will be times where you need to venture into these areas to complete either the main missions or side quest, there is no easy way to avoid them. Talking of monsters when you end up surrounded it's good to either make a run for it which is when I tend to do or make sure you're stocked up on ammo and have levelled up your abilities as you will need a faster reloading time to shoot at these fast critters.

I did find the game surroundings to be very dull and wasn't sure how much of the game would hook me but the good thing about The Sinking City is the dullness is what adds to the story, these people are miserable and depressed and it's no wonder living in a place that's always wet with a 90% chance of being killed by either someone with a vendetta against them or a monster. The music adds to that depressing mood and gets your heart pumping when something was about to happen and although it gives off a horror vibe the game didn't scare me if anything it made me determined to kill these irritating monsters to solve cases.

Charles's abilities and vision are what I looked forward to being able to use the most, they helped me see invisible enemies, loot as well as helped me piece together bits of the story for it to make sense but it does hold your hand a bit, even if you get the conclusion wrong you can go back and try and work it out as many times as you want until you get it right, would have been cool if you got given a strike for getting it wrong or not paying enough attention but at the same time for those who struggle with problem solving it's good to have that kind of help.

As you progress in the game you can unlock outfits for Charles which was a nice touch especially when there were so many different options to choose from, his wardrobe is just as dull as the setting but he fits perfectly with his surroundings and still looks like a detective in what ever outfit you put him in. The fact that he is a newcomer to Oakmount makes some people feel uneasy but I found most people or hybrids were more than happy to have him help them with main missions and side quests.

Personally I enjoyed this game, being able to play it on the Nintendo Switch was enjoyable as I could  engross myself in the game with my headset on whilst in any room I was in, given the graphics didn't look the best and the game would be glitchy at times but it didn't ruin my gameplay experience if anything it reminded me of the days of Fallout glitching out on me! It's a big open world game that's packed full of things to do and find which gives you more gameplay once you have finished the main missions. The Sinking City is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch for £31.99.


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