Horror games come in all shapes and sizes. From the weird, transformative gore of Silent Hill and The Evil Within to the slow, creeping dread of Alan Wake, there's plenty of ways that a video game will try and get inside your head. The most recent release from developer Frogwares - known for their detective extravaganza Sherlock Holmes titles - has taken the idea of mind-melting horror and ran with, creating The Sinking City, a world where psychological trauma manifests itself in psychical form.
Taking inspiration from the works of H. P. Lovecraft, The Sinking City is the story of private investigator Charles Reed, who's travelled to the island of Oakmont by way of strange hallucinations and nightmares that he wants to learn the cause of. Oakmont has recently suffered a supernatural flood, bringing with it freakish monsters from the deep and a wave of hysteria that is sending people mad - adding an extra layer of difficulty for the population already embroiled in tensions between cross-species humanoids. It's a bizarre premise, but one that commits so wholeheartedly to the weirdness that it's impossible not to be drawn in, and then be swiftly disturbed by what you find lurking in the darkness.
One of the high points of how the game plays comes from the incredible monster creation as you work your way through the various crime cases. Seeing these distorted figures and fleshy abominations is part and parcel of The Sinking City experience, with the unnatural entities known collectively as Wylebeasts informing a large part of the game's horror. It begs the questions of quite how the developers brought these Lovecraftian monsters to life, and what the inspiration is behind something quite so unsettling - which unsurprisingly, is exactly what we asked community manager Sergey Oganesyan at the game's recent launch event...
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