The Ship

Developer Outerlight has tried not to flood the game with ranged weapons. There's a very limited number of guns, but most of the killing is done up-close and gritty, preventing the game's slow and stalky pace from degenerating into a tensionless free-for-all. Each ship also has its own special traps - one steamship, for example, lets you smash your foe on the head with a falling lifeboat.

Crucial to all of this, though, is keeping your murderous intent hidden. Attempt a killing in full view of a security camera or wave a four-foot sword about in the bar, and you'll be thrown into the ship's brig. Obviously, you can't kill anyone while you're locked up but you're not safe from harm - with the right disguise your enemy can track you down and stab you in your cell.

This is thanks to a handy window on your screen. If you've met your quarry before, their portrait will appear, along with a line of text detailing their last-known location. This info will go cold over time, becoming less accurate, so you have to act quickly - if your target manages to grab a wig, or something else to disguise themselves with, the portrait will disappear.

The Ship needs a little cooperation from players - too much sprinting around, madly slashing at everything that moves really spoils the reserved, slow pace. But Outerlight is hard at work on new environmental challenges, like witnesses who can report your killings, to make sure this doesn't happen. We'll be catching the return journey for a full review once The Ship comes in, and watching the trailer (click the movies tab above) until then.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.