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Taking A Look at The Sunless Sea Early Access

By Julie Morley

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Begin by customizing your character and determining their past life.
Begin by customizing your character and determining their past life.

Much of my experience with Sunless Sea was interesting but I found it a bit difficult to provide my undivided attention to the experience. In much of the anticipation for Sunless Sea, players were ecstatic about the rich lore and unique characters to interact with. Unfortunately, I just didn’t find myself getting sucked into the world.

We are in a lightless sea filled with obscure characters and odd creatures to avoid (beware of the bats!). I welcome you to The Unterzee, a realm continuously existing in nighttime. Light is a rare find, and if you can spot any terrifying creatures, they can definitely see you.

You begin your journey in Fallen London and will constantly return to it throughout the game.
You begin your journey in Fallen London and will constantly return to it throughout the game.

London is our home, filled with a variety of fancy quests, fascinating characters, and tons of markets to choose from. Out of all the locations I visited, London was the option with the most choices. Aside from the comfort and market of London, I struggled to find a location with supplies that exactly suited my needs. I found myself exploring all over the map, hopping from island to island then racing back to London to purchase fuel and supplies for my crew.

Once done in London,  explore the dark seas and visit various interesting locations. You'll encounter some oddball characters and quirky stories - sometimes leading to recruiting crew members.
Once done in London, explore the dark seas and visit various interesting locations. You’ll encounter some oddball characters and quirky stories – sometimes leading to recruiting crew members.

That aside, London is the place your stories begin. These are the ones we are mainly capable of completing at first. It’s no secret that the stories are the very groundwork for Sunless Sea’s design, and it’s apparent how dominate it is in the gameplay. With every island visited, we are communicating with someone. With each story, players can acquire interesting items and even attract additional crew members. With addition, there is subtraction – we run the risk of losing items as well. Given that locations for supplies and fuel are sparse, this is definitely a feature that impacts gameplay.

Beware, there are several hordes of bats and other creatures lurking about. If you can't avoid it in time, a battle will commence that may result in death.
Beware, there are several hordes of bats and other creatures lurking about. If you can’t avoid it in time, a battle will commence that may result in death.

In Sunless Sea, the player’s story is non-linear, riding on our choices. First, we decide our past – are you a poet? Perhaps an ordained priest? Currently, there are four but I anticipate more to be added. Each choice has its own perks, granting additional skills that will benefit you on your voyage. Pick an ambition, the proper addressing, a name, and then an icon.

If a player dies, their ship and crew will be passed on to an heir of theirs and the story continues. Gameplay is technically limitless as a result.
If a player dies, their ship and crew will be passed on to an heir of theirs and the story continues. Gameplay is technically limitless as a result.

While out in the darkness, creatures lurk in the dark pools, waiting for any ships to pass through. Players will engage in combat with them in real time but be warned, the wrong combination will result in death. One feature I really love is how your game is simply passed on to one of your heirs, where you recreate another character but do not lose your crew members in the process. Gameplay continues and everything is fine and dandy.

Sunless Sea is still in Early Access and I expect some more interesting features to be added in as time goes on. Given what I see so far, it’s not disappointing but definitely needs a little bit of work. I look forward to the refined version, allowing me to scour the seas for dark secrets.

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling.  Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]

Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley