Clue meets the 1920's in this murder mystery title
gameplay 85 / story 75 / graphics 80 / sound 25
It’s not often we get a mystery game set on an uncanny resemblance to the Titanic but The Ship is that special once in a while game.
Tasked with eliminating a quarry onboard a 1920’s cruise liner, you must work with what’s available to take out the target without drawing attention to yourself. Across the map there are weapons scattered, waiting to be used against your unsuspecting foe all for a mysterious character named Mr. X.
But you’re not alone.
Other passengers are looking for their quarry, including you, meaning you’ll have to watch your back while roaming the luxurious ships. A social element is involved where your character has personal needs such as eating and drinking or sleeping resulting in a roleplaying aspect. Be careful however as you are vulnerable to any kind of attack when performing these actions. Nonetheless, these tasks are critical to your victory as leaving them undone would cause your character to reduce to rubble (literally).
Money is factored in with the reward of a large sum after every kill. This newly gained fortune can then be put in a safe to prevent loss when your persona dies or kept on hand when you want the bartender to fetch you a stiff drink.
The Ship is a game of stealth. Without taking out your quarry quietly you are sure to lose. Police officers and security cameras are dotted around the map making it all the more difficult to perform your devious tasks. Getting caught lands you a slap on the wrist and a fine dependent on what you’ve got in your inventory which also determines the time you’ll be spending in the lockup but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to read the bible, take showers, have a dump, sleep off your crime and find a shank under the bed while serving time on the inside.
Graphics wise the game is nothing to write home about although for a source engine title it’s got some nice lighting effects and water reflections when turned up to the max via the aptly named ‘engine room’ on the pause menu; hell, to quit it asks you if you want to disembark.
Players will have the option to choose between being a hunter or a passenger. The hunter is the role described above whereas passengers opt into the quiet life without all the pointy sticks although if they witness a crime the perpetrator will be hauled off to jail.
Maps make all the difference in The Ship with a low selection of 6 to choose from. Most are variations of ships but there’s one set on an island that really takes the cake. For example, the prison is only accessible via a raft controlled by a local and the bar does a great pina colada.
Each area on a map has serviceable spots for you to do the do and although this is great the lack of maps make the game repetitive and boring due to the constant ass whooping from players who’ve played enough to know where all the good weapons are.
Speaking of weapons the game has a magnitude at your disposal. You’ll find everything from pistols to poison syringe, claymore to crowbar, blunderbuss to barbeque fork; all weapons have a kill value meaning if you pick a weaker weapon (measured by stars) more money will be received.
The Ship is a silent game. You’ll hear the occasional tune from the radio or the chatter from fellow passengers but most of the time there are no significant sound effects that create immersion.
If you’re finding it hard to make your friends play this game then why not go against some historical figures? The singleplayer offers up the option to board a ship with the likes of Bill Clinton and Osama Bin Laden and in the recently remastered version Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Ultimately The Ship thrives on being a party game. Setting up a server and hopping right into the action has never been easier for gamers and I can guarantee you will find nothing short of excitement from this murder mystery game.
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