A slight look back in time at this, with a review of the 2007 steam-based hit The Ship: Murder Party; a game with the look of the Sims, and the gameplay and system of Cluedo mixed with Hitman. And yet, despite this, it really struggles to entertain, through no real fault of the game itself however, oddly.
To address this before the actual game, the main reason that this game fell for me was the online, which due to my connection and others issues in the server itself, meant that I was forced into playing on single player to actually sample the game. Getting into a server originally was also a small issue, having to look through forums in order to find how to actually do it and which to go on, however this was nothing too problematic, and the online gameplay which I experienced was as exciting and tense as you would expect from that cocktail of games.
The Ship was obviously meant to be played online, you can tell that by simply playing it and looking at the community, along with the general concept of the game. Acting as one large murderous hide and seek with the other ‘passengers’ on this ship, the game relies heavily on the stress and fear encountered when trying to find your target, and watch the own one on your back. Whilst this is great in multiplayer, and makes for constantly exciting games, single player servers are slightly dull in comparison, and the adrenaline goes, meaning the occasional clunkiness of the game comes into focus a bit more. Another concept, the whole idea of balancing sim-ish attributes like sleep and hunger works, well again in multiplayer and adds to the tension, but in the single player servers and the single player itself it seems much more like a chore than anything additional. A shame, as this small add-on really adds a new level of thought to the gameplay.
As for the concept and story, they’re solid in many respects, and are mainly just used as a basis for the action rather than anything to focus on. The same goes for the music and visuals, which are nice and add to the enjoyable fun atmosphere of an upper-class cruise ship, but they aren’t what the game is meant to be focused on when you’re playing it, and will most likely go unnoticed and completely ignored as you wait in patient fear for the next target to pop up in the corner of your screen.
The best part of this game, even in single player, is the Hitman-like system which encourages your creativity in kills. By presenting you with a huge array of weapons, the game initially goes ‘go on, impress us’ from the start, however if you aren’t a fan of creativity in kills, then this is forced on you, which adds something interesting to a game which could easily have become an fps or just a virtual remake of Scream. It does this by offering prize money, which is altered for each weapon, and its value depreciates as you use it, encouraging you to use bizarre new weapons to get money, which eventually helps you win. It pays to be creative, and this drives this game on from any complete repetition that could occur in a game like this.
Overall, it’s a game with promise, and one you should pick up if you are even remotely interested in it, as given the time and attention, especially to the multiplayer, this game could be something great. The single player should only be used to practice, if that, and apart from that is quite boring in its gameplay, but this can slide due to how well the multiplayer and core elements of the game hold up. A great concept, held back by a few gameplay issues and a lacking single player, but online is truly where this game shines.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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