Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is a challenging roguelike in which there are many, many, many ways you can die. Learn more in our Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition review!
As soon as you dive into the game, you’re given a tutorial of sorts to give you an idea of what you’ll be up against, but I do think that even after that the game seems to be up for setting you up to die so that you can learn from your mistakes and have another go at things. This is all fine and well, since it’s the roguelike way – you live, you live, you learn and do it all over again.
At the beginning of every run you get to choose your background, your history and your legacy as a sea captain. The choices you make will give you bonuses, increased wealth, or buffs, and you will also get to pick your gender and your name – you even get to choose how others address you. Do you want to be called Captain, Sir, My Lord or My lady? Then you can!
You can also learn how to convert your ship into a Zubmarine – yes, with a z. This is an option on PlayStation 4 since, as the name suggests, this version rolls the Zubmariner expansion into the main game right from the start, so that you can explore the Lovecraftian world of Sunless Sea in style. The world is randomly generated, so every new playthrough is different. You will ferry people from place to place, you will discover new areas and settlements, and try to stay alive for as long as possible.
You can also trade stuff, selling the treasures you find and the reports you create for some welcomed wealth. Once you accumulate enough money you can upgrade your ship, purchase more crew members, or even buy a new ship or zubmarine. So if you plan accordingly and do things right, you can find yourself with a very improved vessel that will surely increase your odds of survival.
On top of everything else, you’ll need to manage your resources and keep an eye on your crew, making sure to feed your crew, and keeping them sane, because if you don’t keep them happy, things could go… terribly wrong. You will also need to keep an eye on your fuel since if you run out of fuel you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere, and die. Stay close to ports as needed, collect stuff, sell it and refuel or your adventure won’t be a long one.
While you are sailing around the sea you can send out your pet bat to scout ahead within a certain radius around your ship, and it will report back to you of any land is nearby. This is a very handy skill since it could save you from running out of fuel. You will also get a message that pops up when you are near a destination you should visit, and you can press the Touchpad in the DualShock 4 to bring up the map that details the spaces you have traveled through.
Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition is a solid release that fans of the roguelike genre will greatly enjoy. There is a lot to do, and the randomly generated nature of each run means you will get to aim for new objectives, as well as try to stay safe from new hazards and… things. The fact that the Zubmariner expansion is included means you’re also going to face new enemies, find new ports, new treasure and more, which makes it even easier to recommend this gorgeous looking and challenging roguelike on PS4.
This Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Failbetter Games.