The Sinking City Screenshot 1
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The Sinking City

In the 1920s, on the East Coast of the United States, the half-submerged city of Oakmont is gripped by supernatural forces. You're a private investigator, uncovering the truth of what has possessed the city and corrupted the minds of its inhabitants... and yours. 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 has possessed the city… and the minds of its inhabitants. An oppressive atmosphere and story inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft. A vast open world that can be explored on foot, by boat, in a diving suit… High replay value thanks to an open investigation system: each case can be solved in a number of ways, with different possible endings depending on your actions.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

NOTE: Despite my recommendation, don't buy the Steam version. The publisher is screwing the developer (google "Frogwares lawsuit" for more information) and I'd have bought a version that supports the devs directly.
I saw a lot of reviews saying it's glitchy. It's really not. Skyrim is a thousand times worse, and so is FO4. Furthermore, Frogwares withheld the final version of the game (AFAIK) until the publisher paid them, so I can only imagine the final version that we'll get after the courts sort everything out is way better. Worst glitches I ever came across were some weird clothing physics and the clothing of the main character being inconsistent between cinematics and the game. That's it. If you're worried about glitches the game is fine. There are reused assets (the most egregious is the diving cinematic) but they have absolutely no impact on playability or the game itself. It's just a bunch of whining GamerBros.
The writing is amazing. So is the worldbuilding. I love how some things aren't fully explained unless you look into the Cthulhu mythos; for example, you will NEVER know Van der Berg's deal unless you do your research. I love it when games don't hand you everything on a silver platter like that and leave some things as mysteries unless you look into them, and this game is good with that. That doesn't mean you have to know the Cthulhu Mythos back to front to enjoy the game, not at all, it just means that it upholds the overall atmosphere of mystery, and the theme of being a detective in a universe riddled with eldritch creatures.
It's a good game. I hesitated to get it because of the reviews complaining about the glitchiness and honestly that was a bad idea. This isn't an AAA game. It's not a video game blockbuster and doesn't have to be, it's great as it is.

Review from Steam

This game had a long history of Publisher and Developer feud unfortunately and didn't deserve any of it cause it's a great game and savagely underrated. First the EGS Exclusivity for a year then the ownership issues which led to lots of criticism by the community as well.
Now coming to the recent release on Steam which was released back on Feb. 2021 it was a pirated version and faced major criticism again as it should be, finally in June they released a big 14 GB update which brought back working achievements, deleted all the pirated DLCs from the game including the Save files (which some players like me had who played the pirated version for a bit) and made the game legit, then it had only the Standard Edition.
Now very recently in 16th Sept they added yet another 200 MB update and also included the Necronomicon Edition for purchase which includes The Investigator Pack and Worshippers of the Necronomicon story DLC, lastly making the game complete and a legit purchase for the first time! Some people who bought the pirated version back in Feb/June(60% sale) are complaining like idiots that they bought the Complete Edition which they didn't at the first place, now that Nacon fixed the game and started adding DLCs they are demanding free DLCs which shouldn't happen at all.
Finally coming to the game itself: Frogwares did a commendable job in creating an underrated Masterpiece! I mean what a game it is, literally all of the time it gave me chills of horror and suspense at the same time when roaming around the game's open world solving mysteries and Side cases which are plentiful, this game also has nice boss battles with monsters in some Story/Side cases and in the open world full of infested areas where they spawn indefinitely which can be used to farm XPs, Skill points, Crafting materials and ammo.
The story of the game is inspired from H. P. Lovecraft's work and focuses on a Detective named Charles Reed who comes to Oakmont to solve the mystery of his strange psychic powers/visions which granted him supernatural powers of deducing mysteries and cases like no man could.
My Rating: It's a fully open world non linear Detective action adventure and crime/mystery game interesting boss battles and combat, best part of the game is solving cases through Mind Palace and deducing hints and connecting them to another theory (bit like Sherlock Holmes). The hero also got lots of outfits to choose from and enough weapons in his arsenal to take down enemies. 9.5/10 Knowledge points from me.
*No game should suffer like The Sinking City, it deserves all of the recognition it gets after all it's a great game for the suited players. I'm thankful that i finally got the game on Steam and i bought the Necronomicon Edition as well.

Review from Steam

Final Verdict: Buy on Sale! Good Lovecraftian mystery game, bogged down by some technical & game design issues
It took me a little over 21 hours to complete the game (I tried to 100% at first, but gave up on that after side-quests were too repetitive & difficult). This is a good dark, gritty mystery game that is heavily influenced by Lovecraft mythology. You're in an Eastern American fictional city of Oakmont that's been flooded and thus the city is literally sinking into the ocean depths. The city has internal strife with Newcomers, Innsmouthers (fish people) and Ape-like nativists (and human klansmen) composing the city where normal seems to no longer exist.
You're a detective with visions who is looking for answers for his visions. You're in the middle of cosmic events beyond your control. I won't say anything more as I don't want to spoil the story, but there's a lot going on in the narrative and I enjoyed the main campaign for this game. Unfortunately, everything else was either mediocre or subpar.
The biggest issue was performance issues. On my RTX 3080, I was getting dropped frame rates from a steady 60 fps at the highest graphical settings (on my 2560 x 1440 monitor) most of the time, to variable frame rates of down to 15 fps usually during combat. The variable frame rate did effect gameplay as it made combat more tedious than it had to be. Combat already isn't good in this game, even despite the optimization issues. You're seemingly always out of ammunition if you choose to try to shoot at enemies rather than run away most of the time.
Combat is slow, clunky, and repetitive. It seems like your bullets miss if you're too fast on the trigger. There are definitely hit detection issues with multiple enemies on screen. If that wasn't bad enough, there are several underwater sequences which are repetitive and just difficult to navigate due to unresponsive controls and bad camera angles.
The sidequests are boring. There's almost no story to them. They consist of repetitive actions which are seldom rewarded as bullets are scarce and doing these sidequests usually leads to having less bullets at the end of them than you did at the start. Trying not to shoot is viable sometimes, but a lot of the times it just makes the quest a lot harder, especially if you're out of materials to make health packs.
In the end, there is quite a bit of content in this game, especially if you're trying to 100% it. However, the game is much better if you forget all the filler, and just focus on the main campaign. In fact, the game would have been much better with some of the content cut out as the game starts to feel stale by the end since the main gameplay loop is the weakness of the game. The game is held up by the good narrative though. There's a lot of mystery here that is interesting to uncover. Especially if you enjoy the Lovecraft mythos, I recommend this game.
Rate 6.5/10. Main campaign narrative is good, everything else could have been much better.
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Review from Steam

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Note that this review is for everyone thinking about buying the game, without all the drama surrounding the game.

The Sinking City is a third-person open-world action-adventure.

You're playing as a private detective who is plagued by fainting, headache, and visions. Thanks to that, you'll have abilities to see what others can't see but more about that later. Because of you're visions, you're heading to Oakmont, which is literally a Sinking City.

On your way to find out about all this, you have to shoot monsters, keep your sanity, solve cases and explore the city consisting of five or six districts.

The story is good enough for what it's worth. It's not a masterpiece by any means but it will keep you on your toes. There are many fetch quests sadly and filler missions, but aside from side-quest, they are interesting enough. You can also find A LOT OF letters in the world for background information (sort of like in Resident Evil).

The description doesn't say anything about this but it still has the user tag RPG. Because of this, I wanted to make a point that this is not an RPG. The only thing it has in common with an RPG is a skill tree (if you can call it that). You get some EXP, level up, get a skill point, and spent it however you want. It's just a very tiny part of the game really.

Walking Simulator
This is what The Sinking City really is. If you're just doing main quests, it will mostly be a walking simulator with a little bit of shooting and thinking.

Let's skip this part. For real. I never played a game where the shooting was so badly done and felt so unsatisfying.

You can craft like 5 things (three of them being different ammunition). You collect some things in the open world and craft them together in the menus. That's it. You don't have many options. It wouldn't change a thing if you just collect everything already crafted instead of separate parts.

This is where the game shines. You can change the difficulty in the options to not give you any hints in cases. In any way, this is where the game gets interesting. Your search for clues put them together, use your special ability to see the past, and construct how everything went. It reminds me a lot of "Murderer: Soul Suspect".

"Cases can be solved in different ways." At least that is true to some extend. It sounds way better than it actually is. In most cases, you just have the choice between two different options like betraying someone or not. Since I didn't play through the whole game yet, I can't tell if the game really is completely different but I can't imagine it to be.

This is more a facade than everything else. Most of the buildings look exactly the same, if not, they are similar enough and everything has the same grey tones. It seems like we're back in 2010 where every game wanted to be an "open-world" game because the buzzword sells copies.

The Bad

The main story is full of fillers. To get something you want, you need to do something for X, but to do that, you need to help Y out, which results in helping Z first, etc. It seems like the main plot wasn't long enough to warrant a AA price tag so they went the cheap way.
Controls are very janky. From walking to shooting to driving your boat.
Every second NPCs look the same, even some NPCs in the main cases don't differ in looks.
Most of the buildings and rooms look the same. You can even tell that houses, where cases take place are the very same (the layout, the colors, the doors - just a few pieces of furniture are different).
Gestures and facial expressions are ridiculous mostly.
There is no use of the open-world. It's just there so the game can have the tag.
Gunplay is janky and unsatisfying overall.
Crafting is unnecessary.

The Good

The game is fully voiced in different languages.
While the deduction is a bit too easy it's fun.
"Cases can be solved in different ways" even if it's just one decision to make.
The overall atmosphere and story. This is the best part of the game.

The developers tried many new things in The Sinking City compared to the Sherlock Holmes games and failed horribly. They wanted to put something of everything in the game and because of this, most of the mechanics are bad or/and just not fun. Don't buy the game if you want a third-person shooter, don't buy the game if you want an open-world game, don't buy the game if you want an RPG, and don't buy the game if you're looking for all of this combined.

Buy the game, if you're looking for a story-driven game and even then, wait for a sale. It's not worth full price but because the game is pretty old and gets on sale often, this review is positive.
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Review from Steam

There's no way to sugar-coat this: The Sinking City is a glitchy mess. NPCs pop in and out of existence with merry abandon and invariably spawn floating a foot or two above the ground before realising their mistake. Strange rectangles of differently textured water surround floating objects depending on the weather. Quite a few of the ostensibly normal inhabitants look scarier than the monsters, while the monsters themselves have only a passing acquaintance with the laws of physics.
It's also an extremely repetitive mess. The city feels realistically expansive, but that means the limited graphical butter has been spread over an awful lot of bread. Outdoors, it's not so bad: there's enough detail and props to mostly disguise the small variety of storefronts and other buildings. Inside, though, it's quickly apparent that there are only a handful of building layouts (Think Day-Z, only less so) re-used over and over, to the point where I sometimes thought I'd accidentally gone to the wrong place.
Finally, combat is just a mess. Its saving grace is your trusty shovel, which has a generously inclusive swing and can be employed with success against all but the largest enemies. Make frequent use of it and you will find your stockpile of ammunition is never in danger of running out, at least on the easier difficulty setting.
Yet I am recommending it - why?
What The Sinking City does well is atmosphere, story, setting, and a compelling sense of being involved in an investigation. Once you grasp the core loop (inspect everything, use your sixth sense when prompted, clean out each location, place new way-points on the map, visit various archives to search for clues) it becomes quite addictive, with the right amount of head scratching and the right amount of trudging around at either end of the fast-travel nodes to even out the pace. The various factions and recurring individuals are all intriguing and there's a constant thread of worry that you might be about to choose the wrong side and/or bring an end to humanity. I'm normally a complete white knight when playing an RPG involving moral choices, but here I've felt unexpectedly open to taking a darker path from time to time.
Ultimately, the game's strengths win out over its weaknesses - at least for me. Without the ever-present glitches and with a larger palette of graphical resources, it would have been an all-time top-ten contender. As it stands, it's an engrossing and worthwhile experience that's worth forgiving its flaws.
A quick tip to avoid frustration: ignore side-quests until you get the shotgun; they tend to be more combat-heavy than the main plot.
Also, when you die or load your most recent save, don't be alarmed to find yourself somewhere you've never been. I was convinced for a while that the game was screwing up my save, but all that's actually happening is that it just spawns you at the closest fast-travel point to where you saved.

Review from Steam

The Sinking City
Ignoring all the lawsuits this IP has gotten, lets talk about the game itself.
The Sinking City is a openworld detective cosmic horror game.
Based on HP Lovecraft works, the sinking city does what i expedted it to do.
Investigating weird murders and finding strange occurrences around the open city.
The story is pretty fun and the mechanics are well implemented.
the game does have some bugs, and can be rough around the edges.
But its a really solid title that feels great to play if you are a lovecraft fan.
Enjoy the game !
and don't grow mad....

Review from Steam

After Playing this game for 25 hours and almost completing the story line but was unable to due to the death of my hard drive with my saves on it. My thoughts on replaying the game is that its not worth it. The trailers were really cool and interesting for this game which is why I picked it up, but the gameplay and world aren't as I would have imagined from the trailers. A bit disappointing, worth a play through if you don't mind a game that feels a bit dated compared to modern games, but overall, an ok game with a bit of a unique story.
Not worth another 25 hours to get back to where I was though, lol.