Something is terribly wrong in 1920s Oakmont, Massachusetts. The city is drowning and strange, nightmarish things have been discovered beneath. As private detective Charles Reed it's your job to explore the open world and investigate the horrors that have befallen the town. With a pistol, your trusty fedora, and a boat you explore the sinking streets, talk to survivors, and piece together the mystery of a city being consumed by an unnatural flood.
The Sinking City is strongly inspired by H P Lovecraft, who famously set some of his horror stories in fishing villages and near the ocean. Oakmont's dark streets capture a similar oppressive atmosphere of creeping horror and, as you meet survivors, you start to encounter signs of madness among the remaining townspeople.
Important characters include Joy Hayden, a famous singer who has her mouth sewn shut, and Robert Throgmorton, the head of a powerful Oakmont family with dangerous ideas about human evolution. You meet many more eccentric and dangerous citizens as you freely explore the town on foot and via boat. You can even use a diving suit to access lost districts.
Oakmont has numerous areas rendered in remarkable, gritty detail. Some have been submerged almost completely - in eerie deserted sections you cruise past the tips of lampposts, elsewhere you explore moody abandoned gas stations, and venture beneath the city into dripping cave systems full of strange carvings. In less flooded districts you will find townspeople huddling away from the disaster. You need to interview them to find out more about the city, but they are wary of outsiders.
Sometimes you encounter hostile inhabitants, like strange monsters called Wylebeasts. When talking isn't an option you need to defend yourself in tense bursts of gun combat using 1920s weaponry. Oakmont has been cut off from the mainland by the freak flood, so you need to scavenge resources and craft survival gear as you explore and gather facts for your investigation.
To make matters worse, Reed is being plagued by horrifying visions of a tentacled beast. As you discover more about the town's plight, you unlock new lines of enquiry in a system similar to Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughters' excellent Mind Palace. Exploring crime scenes turn up clues that can connect and form new lines of investigation. You can even take advantage of supernatural phenomena to help you solve the mystery. Blue portals give you glimpses of past events. You can piece together narratives from these ghostly impressions to unlock new clues that lead you deeper into the Oakmont mythos.
The Sinking City is Frogware's most ambitious game yet, merging open world exploration with investigation, combat, and survival systems. It's also the best-looking game the studio has yet created. You can jump in and explore this sinister, horrifying world right now. Find out more on The Sinking City website.