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Want to bludgeon your friends with a golf club on a huge boat? Play The Ship!

Back before I was writing about games I was one of the managers of a cyber cafe. Every day, people would come and give us money to use our computers to play games, because the PlayStation 3 was still five-hundred and ninety-nine US dollars and it was easier to spend $15 for a night of gaming than save up for an Alienware. The place was alright--we didn't have the absolute best computers and the headphones broke a lot because kids are stupid--but we had every game you could hope for. 

Steam actually had a system in place specifically for LAN centers like us that made it so we could download every game we wanted on every computer we wanted. It was awesome. One night, after spending a day reformatting all of the computers to freshen them up, we went about downloading all of the games we thought anyone would ever want to play. We also downloaded a game called The Ship as a gag. A boat game? Ha. Whatever. 

And then we played it, and realized that it was one of the best games ever for a LAN center like ours.

You play a random, generic vacationer on a cruise ship filled with other random, generic vacationers--some controlled by players, others AI. It has some elements of The Sims, where you need to use the restroom, sleep, eat, and remain entertained, giving you ample opportunities to wander around the boat. You can chance costumes, buy items, and do all sorts of regular boat stuff. Oh, and one more thing: there's someone on the boat trying to kill you--and you have someone you're supposed to kill as well.

Once this element was revealed everything clicked into place. Needing to go to the bathroom in The Sims (and in real life, if we’re being honest) is annoying. In The Ship, it’s thrilling and tense. I didn’t know if the woman in the flower dress walking into the wall near the bathroom was a glitching AI, or another player, aping the game’s computers and waiting for me to start to pee so I’m too distracted to notice the remote bomb sitting in the stall. 

Why not just go on a murderous rampage? Because there are rules, god dammit. Kill the wrong target and you’re penalized money. Brandish a weapon in front of a security camera or a guard and you’re spending some time behind bars. If your target is in jail? Make a shank, get caught trying to kill someone, and stab him to death in the clink. We played it for hours, learning the intricacies of the game and discovering new places to find weapons, new ways to kill enemies, and new ways to pretend to be AI to trick our friends. If this sounds like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s multiplayer, that’s because it’s similar--despite releasing several years earlier.

If you're looking for a massive game with a huge community to play with, you... shouldn't get The Ship. The servers are barren and no one plays it anymore. But if you have a few friends interested in a unique shooter (or something to spice up a LAN party) you can't go wrong with a cruise. Oh, and if like, even five of you get it and are interested, we'll totally do a community thing where we'll play it, because we totally want an excuse to play this game again.

Looking for stuff to play outside of the stuff we already tell you to play on a daily basis? You're in luck! Every Saturday we'll recommend an older game for you to check out, complete with a story on how we found the game and why we recommend you play it. 

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19 comments

  • poglife0612 - April 29, 2013 6:22 p.m.

    i bought this game awhile ago and now i have a reason to play it again
  • antiAntag0nist - April 29, 2013 5:39 a.m.

    Would this gameplay be streamed, or a new RadarPlays?
  • antiAntag0nist - April 29, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Definitely. I love the GR streams and watch every one I can.
  • winner2 - April 29, 2013 5:30 a.m.

    I saw it on steam, I might get it for this
  • PatHan-bHai - April 29, 2013 4:40 a.m.

    I'd like to play this!! Wonder if GameRanger supports this.............
  • shawksta - April 28, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    NICE
  • bryanthelion - April 28, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    When and where, guys! I fucking love this game.
  • GR HollanderCooper - April 28, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    Awesome! So happy to see everyone interested. We'll get a game going soon.
  • JeanLucMG - April 28, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Nice, count me in if you're ever gonna play it
  • Shadow Of Death - April 28, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    I knew there was a reason why I got The Ship. I CBA to look into it, but I got it in the first place for some reason. Now I know. There is a Single Player option BTW. No idea if it's good.
  • kachigop - April 28, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    And that was the day GamesRadar singlehandedly revived The Ship servers.
  • metalgatesolid - April 28, 2013 3 a.m.

    Sounds like what i imagined a Hitman Multiplayer to be like. Great idea.
  • MeanwhileGuy - April 28, 2013 1:07 a.m.

    This actually sounds great. I'd be more than up community event. *checks Steam* Yup, it's still on there. Though £14.99 for a game released in 2006? That's a wee bit pricey.
  • zymn - April 28, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    I am going to check this out right now. Sounds pretty sweet.
  • Kevikun - April 27, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    This sounds great! I played it when my cousin was over once on his laptop. If anyone has any spare gifts I'd play or I have to wait till a sale.
  • bowlingpete - April 29, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    Same boat. Sounds like an amazing game.
  • Person5 - April 27, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    I've actually started playing this again because some of my friends got into it. Its also great because when you buy it you're given a whole bunch of gift copies to give out, which also gives gift copies to those who you gave gifts to. I would be interested in a community event starring this game.

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