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HL mod The Ship steams into Source and retail

And, erm, Steam! The game's afoot as multiplayer murder aboard ocean liners puts in to retail port

The Ship, which you may recall in its Half-Life mod guise, is undergoing an engine refit - i.e. a Source-powered version is sailing this way - and is steering toward retail and Valve Software's Steam.

Created by Edinburgh-based outfit Outerlight, The Ship whisks players away to the 1920s and maritime-based murder shenanigans as they sneak around steam liners searching for other travellers to dispatch. The Source-powered version of the game features full single-player and multiplayer components and blends first-person and third-person gameplay, throwing "Sims-style day-to-day needs system - including food, sleep and social interaction" into the mix, it says here.

Apparently, a number of game modes are included - with "Arcade Mode offline and Hunt, Elimination, Deathmatch and Duel, all online" mentioned in press blurb - but at the core of the gameplay lies 'the Hunt'. "The rules of the Hunt are simple," we're told. "Each player is given the name of one of the other contestants on-board and must hunt them down and kill them with any weapon they can find. Depending on the game mode, either the last hunter alive is the winner or the one with the most money in their bank account wins."

Sounds like a bizarre marriage of hide-and-seek, Cluedo, Spy vs. Spy and Murder She Wrote to us, especially with the talk of "hidden rooms, passages and tunnels, extra weapons in special locations, environmental traps and triggers and 'extra special' ways of murdering". The Ship releases at retail (courtesy of Mindscape) in mid-September, but will be available at the end of May on Steam. More info can be found on the official website for the project.

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