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Sunless Skies Early Access Review

SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.

 

 

Sunless Skies is currently an early access title and is the sequel to Sunless Sea which itself is a sequel and spin off of Fallen London, the browser based text game that started the world of the sunless games. Sunless Skies is one part rogue-lite, one part trader sim, one part narrative focused RPG. The game is built on the Unity game engine and Failbetter’s own narrative platform StoryNexus. Failbetter has once again managed to make a charming game that captures the whimsical humor of their fallen London universe and the Lovecraftian adventures one could find there but now set in space on a steam powered locomotive.

 

 

For better or for worse the core of the gameplay remains the same as that of sunless sea, you create a captain, and you navigate your vessel through the dark and dangerous expanses of space trying to make your fortune or become famous. If you die that captain is dead permanently in the legacy mode but your new captain may inherit a higher starting level, money, and star chart. As of writing this I have gone through 6 captains, each having died hilariously and horribly from my own growing pains trying to learn my way around the map. You have to manage your sanity, your fuel, your supplies, and of course your cargo. The farther away from the starting port you get, the more dangerous things become, I was killed in two shots by an enemy locomotive while I was distracted by the beautifully creepy homestead I discovered. Combat is simple with you firing one of two weapons and trying to hit the enemy while at the same time trying not to get hit by said enemy. This usually end up revolving around you flying circles around the enemy to line up a clean shot to their starboard or port broadsides so you can avoid the front of the enemy as all weapons currently fire directly ahead of the locomotive.

 

 

Like any good narrative, the meat of the story and immersion is what happens between start and finish, and having the legacy of your previous captains help to make a unique story for each play through. Much like the heirs of your heroes in rogue castle changed gameplay, so too does your next captain. I have had captains that found devils and rats to be officers aboard their locomotive, each with their own story to pursue, and then i have had captains that instead found passengers that lead to their own stories and quests but never found the same officers. This randomness keeps things fresh and unique in between traveling from port to port when travel is getting tedious and the monotonousness of the dark space between ports sets in.

 

 

Sunless Skies is a great narrative and a superb time killer. The writing is great and the art is appealing. Failbetter has most assuredly learned from their previous titles and seem to have once again struck gold and I expect them to further tune the gameplay in this early access title as they continue to integrate player feedback. That being said, this game is not for everyone and I can only seriously recommend it to those looking for something slow paced to kill time and wanting to try something different or to fans of the old star trader style games as the game can get tedious and boring during long stretches of exploration if you are not into games like this. I had a blast playing this title and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses from here and have even gone to take a look at the browser based adventure game that started it all, Fallen London. I am giving Sunless Skies a 6 out of 10, I have fallen in love with this universe and can’t get enough of it.

 

 

Sunless Skies is available NOW on STEAM – https://store.steampowered.com/app/596970/SUNLESS_SKIES/

 

 

Sunless Skies gets a mindbending 10/10 from us!

~Darsch

 

 


September 17th, 2018 by Darsch
This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018 at 9:22 pm and is filed under Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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