Welcome aboard the Ship: Single Player standalone campaign! Since this is a standalone campaign, if you want multi player, you’ll need the Ship. You kick off this first person action, stealth, life simulator with a masked man telling you why he’s brought you aboard his ship. Everyone aboard is to murder a specific someone, and look over their shoulder, because ultimately someone will trying to kill them. Its a beautiful premise that might be used better in the multiplayer version, because the single player version forgets about it after the first chapter or so and it falls into a standard game of do this for me and report back.
On these missions, you’ll need to murder people all while keeping an eye out for security and cameras. Other passengers don’t care if they see me shoot someone. Its cool. If you so much as have a weapon out in front of a camera, you’re instantly arrested and thrown in the brig for less than a minute. Its all an easy to follow green eye and red eye. If there’s a green icon, you won’t get punished, if there’s a red eye you will.
Like in real life, you have needs. You have hunger and thirst which you can die from. If you’re thirsty you can’t just drink from a sink like a deer on holiday. That’s why I’m pretty sure your character is an alcoholic. He needs to sit down at a table near the bar to have a martini. Water doesn’t count as hydration. You’ll need entertainment and to use the bathroom. Both number one and number two have different meters. Of course if you wait too long to use the facilities you’ll just go on the spot increasing the need for hygiene. You can shower to get clean, or the more efficient way is just to use the sink twice. Even if you unload, all it takes is a sink. The last need is the one to sleep. Sleeping aboard a ship with people out to kill you is an interesting prospect, but since this is single player, you’re the only killer on board.
You play as a silent protagonist named Charlie Panther. Your only motive is to get off the ship and there’s a bellboy named Jimmy that will let you escape. It’ll cost you though, one hundred large. How do you get the money? By doing missions of course. The first series are strict assassinations, murders of other passengers for the bartender. You collect the wallets and purses of your victims then return to the bartender to give him his cut. You can thank him with three different gratuities. Too little and he’ll get angry with you. Then from there its stealing items for a wealthy lounge about. He’s also got other people either searching for or guarding these treasures, so you’ll need to take them out.
Anyone in black is a criminal so its okay if you kill them. You can sneak up on them from behind. If they can’t see you they forget about you, even if you just shot at them. Everyone in blue works for the ship itself. They’re either security, clerks or nurses. Its a rule to not attack them. Everyone else is a civilian that if you kill them when you’re not told to, you restart the chapter or the mission.
So how do you murder people in the game? With weapons of course. You can’t just find weapons, you need to buy them. Even a fire axe on a wall or a pool cue next to a billiard table needs to get purchased for thousands of dollars. Its a way to keep the game interesting. Pool cues, fire axes and prison shivs will always be there. Other items found in dressers and cabinets will deplete. So if you take an umbrella out of a dresser and you die, that umbrella will never be there again. That’s why there are weapon lockers. These rare lockers are always full of random weapons to buy. For every weapon you’ll see its damage stats, but not range stats. I assume that a katana covers more distance than a scalpel.
There is more than just simple melee weapons. You’ve got a few different types of guns like pistols, tommy guns, rifles and even a musket from the 1800s. If those are too easy for you, there are sleeping syringes and poisons that kills a victim in a minute. Those feel more like story items than actual weapons. You can also find items to help you with your daily needs. Things like colostomy bags, energy drinks and food from vending machines if you can’t make it to a restaurant.
You hold all these items in a limited inventory. Anything more and you’ll need to store stuff in a closet. The inventory felt over sized at least for the single player game. You can only have four active weapons to equip even if you’re carrying eight of them. You can even throw the weapon, which is helpful for taking out goons that have guns.
With all these weapons, the enemies have weapons too, both melee and guns. Their aim with guns is laughably bad, so just keep your distance if you’re faced with someone that has a gun. Then just wait for them to run out of ammo. The enemies are too dumb to drop their weapons and fight. Instead they just keep trying to fire with nothing happening. Since you need to buy weapons, you can’t just loot an enemy for their gun or ammunition.
There is a map that shows you where you are and where your objective is. You can even see icons where everything else is located. I’m happy there’s a map, but to be honest my player location felt inaccurate. The game would say I’m in a room, when I was in a corridor.
The characters that give missions are all voice acted and it enhances the game. Talking with non essential characters results in silly gibberish like the Sims.
The Ship is set in a vintage era. There are wall cameras, old televisions with rabbit ears. The decor is beautiful and classic. Like a black and white movie come to life in full color. The ship is all one big four floor map with no load times. D deck has the sick bay, brig, museum and several low class quarters. The C deck has shopping and higher class quarters. The shopping felt useless at least in this stand alone single player version. The B deck has a lot of outdoor areas, restaurants and bars. As for an A deck, I can’t remember anything about it.
With all that said, now its time for the negatives. I can recommend this game as a comedy of errors. I can murder someone in front of staff and no one cares. Just as long as I wasn’t in the red. It didn’t count. I was able to assassinate a person only to have their body fall at a guard’s feet and he didn’t mind. The masked Mr. X has everyone killing one another, yet you get busted for having a weapon equipped. It is his ship, this is his staff. Why should they care? The only condition is that I don’t kill his staff. Rolling pins and claymore swords fit in dressers. People that I had killed were later seen up walking around. Video games use assets over and over again, but I felt a bond to the civilians I had killed, like I wouldn’t see them again. The thugs and goons I knew I’d see again. People would go into pools with their clothes on. There were a few graphical issues, like a staircase with no railing when the rest had one. Certain outdoor railings didn’t always connect to posts. These are all nit picks, but it all made me laugh when I would have overlooked the same things in other games.
The bellboy Jimmy said that I needed one hundred thousand before he’d let me escape the ship. Well I had the one hundred thousand and I still had to go through the final two out of ten chapters. Then when I had blown a lot of money on weapons and had less than one hundred thousand, he still let me off the ship when I had finished the game. Its just laughable inconsistencies like this that made the game more fun.
It was a funny four hours, even if I had to do several missions over and over. While I appreciate the developers making a Single Player campaign, I’m just not sure if I was laughing with the game or at the game.