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The Ship

Multiplayer murder game The Ship started as a modification for Half-Life 2, but it's now about to launch as a stand-alone title. Set to dock on Valve's Steam game download service in mid July, or September 15 in stores, The Ship offers a neat twist on your average deathmatch, and we've climbed aboard for some hands-on action.

The Ship features both multiplayer and single-player berths and in both modes your goal is the same. As a passenger aboard one of several different-sized craft, ranging from three-deck steamers to hulking eight-deck liners, you have one specific person to kill in each round, and must track them down across the various rooms of the ship. The hook, of course, is that another player has been assigned to hunt and slaughter you. It's kind of like the whole, "Circle of Life" concept, but with homicide.



Each of the four match types gives a different way to win. The Hunt, for example, is a race against the other players as everyone tries to be the first to kill their target, while Elimination gives you a new victim-to-be with each successful kill, until only one player is left alive.

Kill your target and you bag a cash reward - the less popular the weapon you use, the more money you're awarded. If everyone's brandishing a knife (you can check on which weapons are being used more than others), it'd be wise to get yourself a hefty golf club and stand out from the murderous crowd. You can then spend the cash on disguises to escape your hunter or bribe security guards to ignore your actions.

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