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Sunless Skies

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Action
Developer: Failbetter Games
Release Date: Jan. 31, 2019

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


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'Sunless Skies' (ALL) Sovereign Edition Gets Release Date, Comes To PC As Free Upgrade - Trailer

by Rainier on April 28, 2021 @ 2:10 p.m. PDT

Sunless Skies is a top-down literary RPG set amongst the stars. Explore a universe steeped in celestial horror and ravaged by Victorian ambition in this game of exploration, corruption and jeopardy.

It is the dawn of the 20th century, and London has taken to the stars! As the captain of a space-faring locomotive you'll behold wonders and battle cosmic abominations in the furthest heavens. Stake your claim. Fight to survive. Speak to storms. Murder a sun. Face judgement.

Ten years have passed since Sunless Sea, and Queen Victoria has led an exodus from London to the heavens. There, a revitalized British Empire - ambitious and authoritarian - begins to expand across the skies.

The stars are alive. They are the Judgements: vast intelligences that govern all things. But they are dying. One by one, something is snuffing them out, leaving their thrones empty. An opportunistic Victorian Empire is colonizing the domains they leave behind, painting its industrial vision upon the fabric of the heavens.

Announced two years ago, Sunless Skies: Sovereign Edition will finally be released on May 19, 2021!

This will be the first version of Sunless Skies we release on consoles, and will also be a free major update for everyone here on Steam!

This is a greatly enhanced edition of Sunless Skies, containing all additions and improvements we’ve made to the game since launch as well as many more completely new ones.

For the Sovereign Edition, we’ve reworked and extended the starvation mechanics. Captains will now find a range of increasingly dubious gastronomic options available to them as desperation grows.

We’ve improved character progression, with a new interface, a greater range of facets to define your past, and even a way for experienced captains to continue improving their capabilities after reaching the level cap.

There are also new trading opportunities to exploit, an exotic engine for your locomotive, better performance, greatly improved gamepad support, and literally hundreds of fixes and small improvements. If you’d like to know more, we’ve included a more detailed list below.

This ultimately took longer than we’d hoped, partly due to the considerable scope and partly because it turned out to be pretty difficult to achieve the level of performance optimisations we wanted. But all is now well, and we’re very glad to be able to share it with you.

We think this will be by far the best version of the game for new players, and we hope the new features and many quality of life improvements will make it exciting for the veteran captains among you, too.

A Note about Save Files and Gamepads for Returning Captains

Because the Sovereign Edition includes so many changes, there will be a couple of significant oddities if you play it with a very old save file.

Specifically, if you haven’t used your save file since we released the Wayfarer update in 2019, the chart will forget which areas you’ve uncovered, and you’ll begin play near New Winchester, wherever you were before. Everything else will work fine, so you won’t lose any progress with stories. If you want to avoid this, you can just briefly load up your save in a current version of Sunless Skies before [X date] when we release the Sovereign Edition.

Finally, the Sovereign Edition includes a much better default experience for gamepads, but it unfortunately doesn’t support rebinding for them. We anticipate that there will now be much less need for most players to rebind the controls, but we know that some players may have specific accessibility needs. There is some third party software that should still make it possible to rebind the controls in this case – if you need some support with this, please do get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help.

Feature List

For the curious, this is a slightly more detailed list of new features and changes in the Sovereign Edition – we'll share a more detailed changelog at the time of release!

  • A major rework of starvation, with various new and probably inadvisable choices about what to eat.
  • A completely redesigned character progression screen.
  • On level up, the winds of fate will now offer you a choice from a subset of available facets, rather than all of them.
  • To compensate for the reduced control over your captain’s exact stats, requirements for locomotive equipment and weapons are now substantially less demanding.
  • Also, level 20 is no longer the end of your captain’s development: while they will not be able to choose more facets, they can continue to improve their stats.
  • Several new facets: perhaps you lost your soul (and found it again) or attended a seance. Perhaps you have a notable hobby, or are close to rats, spies, Rubbery Men, devils?
  • You will now be informed when you unlock a new deed.
  • New trading opportunities.
  • Hints for prospects.
  • Many improvements to the chart.
  • A saving indicator (finally!).
  • A new exotic engine to discover, which may be of particular interest to experienced players.
  • Numerous performance improvements.
  • A rework of the saving and the save file system that should result in fewer eccentricities if your play session is interrupted by a power cut.
  • Various quality of life improvements.
  • Literally hundreds of bug fixes.
  • A UI overhaul to provide better support for controllers.
  • Sundry small and subtle things, which we’ll get into in the full patch notes!

Key Features:

  • Travel between distant ports, unravelling stories, bearing passengers and news, and trading in exotic celestial cargoes.
  • Your every foray into space is as precarious as a Polar expedition. You’ll need to balance your resources carefully and keep an eye on your crew’s Terror to avoid mutiny and death.
  • Your captain's actions could tip the precarious political balance of a region. Will you run guns for the Independents? Or spies for the Empire? Choose wisely – your decisions will affect the story; not just for yourself, but for your future captains as well.
  • Leave your mark on the universe, and be marked in return. When you are creating your captain, every decision is a story, and every story has a consequence.
  • Equip your vessel as you see fit. Would you benefit more from reinforced armour plating, or the additional manpower allowed by external crew pods? ("Soundproof! Cosy! Detachable!")
  • It is not safe in the skies. A captain will need to defend themselves against pirates, scorn-flukes, the Cyst of Faces, and worse.
  • Recruit a gallery of unpredictable characters to crew your locomotive as First Officer, Chief Engineer, Signaller, or Surgeon. Each brings their own skills and stories to your adventures.

Currently available on PC (Steam), Sunless Skies is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One on May 19, 2021.

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