The Ship: Remastered has an interesting history behind it. Originally, The Ship: Murder Party was released in 2006 to general disinterest but it built up … steam as it were, ultimately becoming a cult hit despite its main server list being down for an extremely lengthy period of time.
The game itself is incredibly simple. Players wander around a ship in first person killing opponents with whatever tools or weaponry they may find. This ranges from machine guns to axes, and it leads to some amusing situations where you find specific world leaders such as Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton to death with a racket.
Yes, you heard me. On its November 8th launch, The Ship: Remastered offered a "World Leaders" pack that was included with the game for free, which was basically nothing more than cartoonish skins of past and present world leaders. Personally, it doesn’t add anything besides providing eye-catching visuals and keeping the game relatively topical with the American elections. Looking at the numbers, this strategy doesn’t seem to have worked so far.
There is a reason why The Ship: Remastered includes The Ship: Murder Party, and that is because they are essentially the same game. The in-game population makes this particularly clear.
Mechanically, I found the whole experience to be boring. Rounds can range from incredibly short to incredibly long, so you're either running around with your head cut off trying to find your target in two to three minutes, or you are walking around killing every player in sight for a good ten to fifteen minutes. You have the option to sprint around the ship, which can be a bad idea because if you sprint for too long you fall asleep. By falling asleep I mean you fall asleep where you are standing, which can be a very bad idea if you have half a dozen psychopaths on your tail.
You can be put in jail as well, if you are caught using a weapon within a "safe space" of sorts or within the eyesight of a guard. This basically means that you get a fine that depends on how many weapons you are carrying or how egregious your crime is. Get caught too many times, and your spot on the leaderboard may plummet.
The Single Player mode is a waste of time. Even if you find the core gameplay worth playing on your own, the intelligence of the AI is severely lacking. I've literally had a computer walk up to my face firing a shotgun until it was empty and missing every shot. On the hardest difficulty, it's a little better, meaning that if they go to kill you they actually manage to land a hit once in a while as opposed to not having a chance.
Both the single and multiplayer modes range from having a single-target to eliminate or a free-for-all frenzy where you are encouraged to kill whoever you please. You can play as thematically appropriate characters or past and present world leaders, and there really isn’t much of a difference besides the skins.
Graphics and sound are perfunctory, although for some reason the game is somewhat demanding on my computer, which doesn’t make much sense considering it looks like it came out in 2010. A steady framerate of 40fps is not something that should be occurring for a game looking this dated, although that isn't to say that it is unable. Besides the inexplicably low fps, the game runs fine. The Ship: Remasted is a colorful game that has an odd but charming mashup of old-timey and modern sensibilities, and hanging out with a bunch of other rich people who are doing their best to murder you is an idea that has potential. As mentioned, audio is fine as well. The mumbling nonsense that you hear when you speak to an NPC is humorous, and the sounds from whacking someone over the head or shooting someone with a flare gun sounds fine. Not great or bad, just fine. It works.
However, a pervading aura of boredom was present throughout my sessions with The Ship: Remastered, as the entire time I had a single looming question: What’s the point of all this? All you are doing is running around on a ship and killing people. Now granted, this could be fun if you have a bunch of friends, but doing this with random strangers? I honestly don’t see the appeal, and this game has done nothing to convince me otherwise. There is no overriding goal for this game, no real contest besides running around and killing people aimlessly. There are no levels or items to unlock, or any real reason to keep on playing except the for the gameplay, which isn't exactly stellar. It's just unappealing and boring, especially when there is just so many other games to play.
Overall, the main question that has to be answered is this: why bother with The Ship: Remastered? This game doesn't answer that question, because the game doesn't provide players a reason to return to it. Essentially, if you already have The Ship: Murder Party, don’t bother with the pointless remake. Maybe it would be a good time with friends, but I can't personally confirm that since none of my friends want to play this game with me. Avoid.
The Ship: Remasted was reviewed on PC using a copy provided by the developer.
Essentially, if you already have The Ship: Murder Party, don’t bother with the pointless remake. Its $20 cost does not do it any favors, and even on its current sale there are a ton of better options at this price point.
- Interesting Aesthethic
- Dull Gameplay
- Mediocre Performance
- Small Playerbase