Review: Sunless Skies (Steam)

Your Captain and crew must carve out a life between the stars. Will you support her majesty and the establishment, or the working class rebels who yearn for freedom from the Workworlds?

Pros:

  • Sunless Skies has beautiful graphics.
  • 3407MB download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Full controller support Once turned on in the menu.
  • Roguelike gameplay. Every death you pass on the ship to a new captain.
  • Gameplay- explore a whole new world, take part in battles against rivals and monsters, discover new lands and do some trading.
  • Sunless Skies is such a dark grim world with loads of Lovecraft influences, it’s dark and grim but by God, you wanna see it in all its glory.
  • Font size-standard or large.
  • Two campaign types-legacy: die and lose your captain. Merciful: die and you can reload/continue.
  • Difficulty options-aim assist strength, enemy projectile speed and supply consumption rate.
  • Graphics-resolution, fullscreen, texture quality and UI transparency.
  • Tutorial tips-show all/disable/reset.
  • Sunless Skies has you create a captain-pick your history:revolutionary/auditor/zailor/priest/academic/poet/soldier/Street urchin. Then pick your ambition and avatar. What you pick here will determine any abilities and your starting stats.
  • Sunless Skies features Inheritance–permanent unlocks like money, map coverage etc. You clearly get told what you inherit.
  • Multiple choice interactions with characters but is also the system used in storytelling.
  • Text appears on the sky as you move around.
  • Terror- fills up by actions or being in a dangerous area. When it gets too high you will start getting bad events, nightmares and more.
  • Buy and sell goods at the many ports.
  • Find and recruit unique officers for your crew.
  • Balancing act- You have fuel/terror/food meters that go down.
  • You can eat your crew!
  • Loot is random and can be found or scavenged.
  • Earn EXP and level up to unlock additional talents and abilities.
  • Every run feels like a self-contained story/event.
  • Massive map with memorable locations. There is in fact 3 worlds.
  • Engagement and interactions as a whole are so well done. Feels like a choose your own adventure. You pick options and react.
  • A lot of fun in a twisted way.
  • Cruise control.
  • Easy enough controls.
  • A lot more streamlined and straight forward over the previous game.

Cons:

  • Sunless Skies has weird lockups in the tutorial section.
  • Still has small text in places.
  • Slow pace.
  • Ports are far apart.
  • Sunless Skies is difficult.
  • Hard to balance the many meters for food and fuel.
  • Difficulty spikes.
  • Sunless Skies features a lot of reading.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Accessability - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10
9.2/10

Summary

Sunless Skies for me is a good example of how to do a sequel. The gameplay remains the same but all the menus and interactions have been vastly improved and streamlined. The game moves a bit faster than before. What it also maintained is strong storytelling. Yes it is dragged out or broken up in places but the world they create can never be in doubt, I love every interaction whether it be an empty vessel or a busy port. Having multiple choices means I have full control to an extent. I really enjoy the world and exploring it, the style just drips out of it. Missions are varied twisted and fun to do. The system of inheritance helps keep you engaged and more importantly rewards your hard work. Sunless Skies is worth anyone’s time and such a great game. It has a few issues here and there but the story, the atmosphere combines to just entertain you.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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