Do you like XCOM games? What about obscure stories that centre around zany characters in a strange world with whacky art direction? Dread Nautical is the new game by Zen Studios, the creators of Operencia: The Stolen Sun and many... pinball games? Anyway, it’s a turn-based tactical-RPG much like XCOM with a dash of some roguelike elements, where you and some survivors are trapped on an otherworldly ship at sea after a vacation gone wrong.
“Supernatural forces have overwhelmed the ship with mysterious malevolent monstrosities, and you’ll need to seek other survivors, track down food and other resources, and manage your safe haven for any hope of escaping this “vacation” alive.”
Choose a survivor and make your way through 20 levels (fine, ‘decks’) of a ship, encountering 13 other survivors along your way. Be nice to them and you can recruit them for your missions, with their own special abilities and side quests to keep track of. On the other hand, use a survivor too often and they will become panicked, making them much less effective.
You will encounter more than 30 enemy types including the zombie-like thralls, bile-spewing spitters and horrific bosses. Players will need to think tactically in any given situation as resources like ammo and bandages are very limited.
Explore the ship and find useful items like mystic runes and various scarps in order to upgrade yourself, your items and your base. Build beds for new survivors you find, or you’ll have to kick some out to make space.
You must scavenge for supplies in your journey across the ship, both you and survivors need to eat. Plus any weapons or armour you find are essential for survival, and there are over 150 weapons to master. Leave some items behind if you have no storage space, but lingering in an area for too long will attract the attention of large hordes of enemies who may overwhelm you.
Each deck of the ship is procedurally generated, allowing for lots of replayability. You can even visit older, lower areas of the decks with increased difficulty, if you so choose to. There’s even a fully-voiced cast of nearly 20 characters.
Dread Nautical is out April 29th for PC on the Epic Games Store, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
What do you think of Dread Nautical? Will you be picking it up? Are you a fan of the Xcom games? Let us know!