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Old 03-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
TheChosen
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Default TC: The Ship

I have to admit I probably have a bad image of online multiplaying. From what I gather, this generation of teens play games like Halo and Modern Warfare like robots with their teabagging and experience points and constant insults about my race and sexuality. Admittedly some of its is true, but I exaggerate bit. Not all online multiplayer is the same, even for games that were designed with 360 player in mind.

That being said, my actual multiplayer experiences on PC have been pretty positive. Starting with my free weekend of Team Fortress 2, which I thought was so good that I had to get myself the Orange Box in an instant. Zero regret there, even If I payed bit overprice by getting a retail copy. Next one was Killing Floor, a team-FPS which I got as a Christmas gift which charmed with its fast-paced arcade-like action and funny British accents and was a start of my trip to becoming a big Steam-fan. And now, we have The Ship.



The Ship was originally released in retail around 2005 and on Steam in 2007, and thats one of the bad things I have to say right at the start. Since the core of the game is multiplayer, there arent that many players there anymore. There is fortunately a Steam community that organizes games, but there's definitely lack of players compared to Killing Floor for example, which is old too be honest, but it got another exposure back in the day when I started playing it, and this was around the time when Steam was becoming a lot better. Right now though The Ship itselfs seems to be going through its own second exposure thanks to being featured in a current Indie Royale Bundle (http://www.indieroyale.com/), so hopefully with this the developers would get their concentration back to this and give it a new life, like with achievements and new upgrades.



Another thing I have to get out first is the price its on the Steam. For me, its 19,99€, which has the core multiplayer and the single-player version, which can be also bought separately. You cant buy the multiplayer separately. I havent actually played the single-player yet, but its kind of shame that the best part of this game costs a lot because it cant be brought separately. Thankfully, there's a catch: buying the copy these days, even if you bought the Indie Royale bundle, nets you two free copies of the whole game that you can give to your friends, who also get a copy they can give away. So in total, the pack nets you five games altogether. Price cut would be appropriate though, since I figure most people just want to buy a game for themself's.



But on with the actual game now. What The Ship is is a first-person "murder party" game. Its concept is very similar to games like Mafia. You're a passanger on this ship and in rounds you're given a target you have to kill, which is one of the other players. In turn some other player has to kill you. The maps are large with lots of rooms, hallways and places to go (as well as secrets!) and all around them you can find weapons. All the weapons have different kill value, which changes during the game depending on what weapons are used the most, with the least used one's giving the biggest money-prices. Once you kill or get killed, the death person respawns as a new character and continues the game next round. This is continued until the game is over, with the person who has most money in his bank account wins.



Naturally, kills have to be discreet. Around the ship there are pubic places with guards and security cameras and even witnesses wander roam the boat. If you pull out your weapons in front of them, you'll be fined and sent to jail, killing precious time you have (and occasionally being in prison can even make you a easy target!). The game has other ways too that prevents it turning into a FPS-fest. You'll lose money if you kill people other than your target or the person who's target you are and if you kill too much, you'll be automatically kicked out of the game. You'll also have to fulfill your needs in a Sims like fashion, like going to a restaurant to get some food or taking a nap in a lounge-chair, which prevents players from camping or staying in a safe spots all the time. And finally, while firearms are deadly and cheap (as in, they're the most efficient weapons), if all players rely on them too much they lose their value, meaning that a clean, efficient sniping-kill with Winchester only gives you a 100$. Best way to win is to find the weapons with biggest price, use it and replace it with different weapon.



Then there's the player characters. Everytime player gets hunted down or joins in a new game he's given a new random character. When hunting, players know their characters new and face, depending on if they've met him on the ship. To meet someone you have to look at him closely or talk to him, which is just a simple click and holding your cross-hair over someone reveals the persons name or shows question marks depending on if you have met him before. Players can conceal their identities by changing clothes, which doesn't update on their hunters hud unless they've meet him again and turns their names into question marks again. Players also knows their targets location only by the name of the room they're in and that info doesn't automatically update.



As you can see, a lot of planning and designing has gone into game to make it fun and playable and that there's no cheap tricks that players can rely on like camping. There's all kinds of tactics here and hunting the player is really suspenseful. And greatest thing is, its not like in Hitman games, which I like really a lot, where your target is a computer character who acts and behaves how he's coded. Your targets are human players and there's a whole new rules and level of suspense when it comes to stalking those. And of course, when you pull a great hit, its awesome. My favorites so far include elevators: I go in a crowded hallway where my target is. He's hanging near the elevators. I go there and order a elevator and he spots me (note that players dont know who their hunters are, they only know their targets). Elevator comes, I go in and luckily he follows me! Now all I had to do was to pull out a revolver and gun him down.



There's only few problems in this game. While there's guards, cameras and witnesses, its actually quite easy to make a kill. Players aren't counted as witnesses so you can make a kill even in a player crowded hallway as long as there's no security. You can even make a kill even in front of witnesses as long as you quickly conceal your weapon as there is a 1-2 second time limit in front of a witness (no such time when it comes to guards or cameras, thats an instant arrest). While of course you can make your own rules ("I only kill when there's no witnesses!") , this doesnt mean other will honor them and then you'll find yourself clubbed to dead in a crowded hallway because there were no witness-players.



But the problems are only minimal and hopefully someone tweaks the game a bit in a future. Right now, its still really awesome and a very unique game. I dont think there are any other online murder party games, or at least one's like this. Only exception is Bloody Good Time, the spiritual sequel of this game, but I dont think I'll get to that anytime soon. 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend checking it out, especially now while you can get it cheap with the Indie Royale bundle.

*Screenshots provided by Steam and Wikipedia. Note that none of the screenshots show any actual gameplay. I'll get some better one's when I'll play it next time.*

Special thanks to GOG community member Gazoinks for gifting me a free copy.

Last edited by TheChosen; 03-06-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:07 AM   #2
DarthHelmet86
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I grabbed this today and have been really enjoying it, even the SP has a purpose training your skills up about things you can do and getting fast kills in. I have yet to play it online as I am waiting to get some friends and bash each other over the head on it. Sadly there is a major issue that can crop up, that is an error to do with your steam id getting you booted from games, even your own on MP server. I did find a solution that involves deleting a configuration file in your User data ( Steam/userdata/*numbers*/config/localconfig.vdf) or in my case renaming it. This does remove some of your local config, though I am unsure as too what as my games and steam all seem to be the same.

Over all this is looking to be a great game to sit down with some friends and play around with. Grab the Graduation bundle fast and dish out the 2 extra copies to some friends, and they can give on one more copy each to someone else and then MURDER TIME!
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
MyVitalRemains
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This game sounds very interesting to me, because I have never played multiplayer on any FPS that took a lot of strategy and skill to play. I just might get it.

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From what I gather, this generation of teens play games like Halo and Modern Warfare like robots with their teabagging and experience points and constant insults about my race and sexuality.
I hate the fact that I can't play a lot of online games online games on my PS3 without having some little kid (with a very high-pitched voice) either screaming into his/her headset and/or singing in their annoying voice. Thankfully that doesn't happen to me in most PC games.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
DarthHelmet86
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I got to play some MP with my mate after I made that post, sadly it took a bit of effort since I didn't want to play on a random server (they work fine) instead I wanted my own. Ended up having to download Tunngle, then register and then activate it for private networks...but it worked like a charm after that.

The game play is much more tactical, rushing for the kill wont win you the match, checking for the best weapon to kill with even having a quick look around for it is vital. Also being aware of safe spots and places that might get you busted. The game is tempting to rush but the winner to me seems to be the person who stopped and thought first.

Also winning a game with a BBQ fork kill worth 10 grand from 3rd place is awesome. The first place person could have won if they had picked a weapon that gave them more then 100 dollars but they didn't.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
TheChosen
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Bumping this because for those might still be interested in getting it cheap, for next few days you can buy it directly from the developer for only 5 dollars

http://blazinggriffin.com/2012/10/75...p-this-weekend
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