I’m a suckerfish for shanties and tales of the dark, cold expanse of Failbetter’s Unterzee, so imagine my delight and simultaneous horror at the October announcement that Sunless Sea’s first expansion will make things darker and colder still. The Zubmariner DLC promises to take us under the waves to ship graveyards and deeps where evil sleeps, and the first footage has now slithered from the shadows.
I’ve been wondering how Sunless Sea would convey depth given that it’s 2D. It looks as though Failbetter has gone the route of The Legend of Zelda or Pokemon Game Boy games and retained the top-down perspective while suggesting the Z-axis with phosphorescence and patterns on the sea bed. Depending on what’s lurking nearby, the extra light may not be welcome, but at least you can see what’s about to eat you.
It transpires that your zub is actually your zhip. I mean ship. It’s a transformer with fewer lasers and an unfortunate reliance on steam power. If Failbetter can seamlessly link the Unterzee with the unter-Unterzee, that would be an achievement—I’ve wanted to visit Low Barnet for a while.