The Ship: Remasted is a remake of The Ship: Murder Party which launched in 2006 on PC. The original is an online multiplayer hunting game set aboard a luxury cruise line. Each player comes aboard The Ship under the pretense that they’ve won free tickets, but soon find out from a mysterious Mr. X that there’s a catch; everyone on board is being targeted by someone. You also have a target. Kill your target and survive this game of death or be killed and know that your family brought aboard will suffer the same fate.
The remaster essentially aims to keep the main game intact, but with updated technology that allows the addition of new features and multiplayer opportunities. The 2006 release only allowed 4 player online matches with 16 player reserved for LAN parties. The Ship: Remasted is currently in early access on Steam and hopes to bring this to what’s expected from online games in the current climate, but as of now only allows 16 player LAN matches during specific testing events.
The game supposedly opens up with you meeting Mr. X; the mysterious owner and grand overlord of this deadly setup. Early access doesn’t have this opening yet so you’re thrown right into the game not knowing how to play.
At the beginning of a match you’re spawned in a random room inside the ship. Explore your surroundings and you’ll hopefully find a rifle or shotgun neatly tucked away in a dresser. Guns are one of the most powerful weapons in the game because they can easily kill at long distances. It’s funny because they’re either impossible to find or they’re gifted to you in a storage container at spawn.
The goal of each round is to find your target and eliminate them while avoiding the person targeting you. It’s easy to envision this murder party playing out very much like a regular party, but it never attains that. Ideally you would end up schmoozing with the other passengers until you notice a face feature or clothing item that tips you off to your target. It would be great if it took some sleuthing to uncover your prey. There should be a distinct phase before the killing begins, but instead the game gives you the name and the location of your opponent. There is no gameplay in the hunt. You just have to track them down. Instead of a party that happens to feature murder as it’s main course, it’s been whittled down to hide and seek. When you know exactly where your target is it feels much more like a game of deathmatch and their are many games that do deathmatch better than The Ship: Remasted.
The game does force you to get a tad creative when you’re actually ready to make the kill. Placed around the ship are hotspots of safety. This could be a security camera or officer for example. If you equip any weapon while the eyes of these safeguards are on you, then you go straight to jail and lose money, time and items. If you walk upon your target and they know what you’re up to, they’ll quickly jolt into one of these areas.
This creates two strategies: hide inside the safe zone until the round is over effectively not doing anything or kill someone from range while they’re in a safe zone. If you ever find yourself on the defensive please be aware that even if you’re standing right beside a security officer he won’t reprimand an opponent from shooting you from the doorway. The Ship: Remastered must only register these breaches of contract when they take place in the vision cone of the NPCs.
The NPCs won’t make or break this game when there are sixteen players running around trying to kill each other, but when there’s only four people playing you really notice that they don’t do anything. The NPCs in the game don’t move or talk. They’re just there to take up space it seems. Thankfully, one of the features to be added in The Ship: Remasted before official launch is improved AI.
The Ship: Remasted has potential, but can only be hopeful in its current state. It looks great, but matches often play out like deathmatches. Keep your eyes on this one as the game continue to update on Steam Early Access.