Lovecraft and gaming. The two go practically together.
Even just a cursory look at how many spin-offs, honorific adaptations, and straight copies of H.P. Lovecraft’s enduring works show a proclivity for other creatives to tap into his wonderfully weird world of oddities and insanity.
Unfortunately, inclusion does not mean precision – and the gaming realm is rife with instances where Lovecraftian themes have been implemented so poorly they may as well have not been included at all.
Frogwares’ The Sinking City looks like it’s aiming everything in is arsenal to prove that it can rise above the rabble and do justice to the wonderful weirdness that inhabits Lovecraftian lore. Set in Oakmont, Massachusetts during the 1920s, players inhabit the role of Charles W. Reed, an investigator.
Like any good investigator, you’re here to unravel a mystery – and not just any old one.
Oakmont has been nearly laid to waste by a supernatural flood, and the waters brought more than just debris and dead fish – they brought madness.
Even though combat is an option, you will almost certainly always be at a numbers disadvantage. Not to mention that perhaps alerting the entire town’s mindless population to your presence with a few gunshots isn’t the best course of action.
Despite the lovely presentation and spot-on recreation of the cold, wet, and dreary Lovecraftian settings, The Sinking City has us most excited purely for one reason: it looks like it’s genuinely set in a Lovecraft story.
Many interpretations of Lovecraft’s work seek to usurp the pantheon that he so carefully wove across his stories. And while we understand the desire for a writer to build upon the past, there is such bliss in the manner in which Lovecraft articulated his dimensionless monstrosities that veering too far off course can only serve to pervade their nature.
Can you even remember the last time that we received such an incredibly detailed rendition of Lovecraftian lore? We thought not.