Ok, so Sunless Skies is great, you can get a Blemmigan with a war veteran persona as your ship’s mascot, what more to say.
Oh, and it was nice to see the Winchester War unfold, and how it changes the area a bit when one side wins - it’s nice to have storylines that don’t only affect ports but have repercutions in the entire area.
Speaking of that, small rant incoming.
A criticism I’ve seen a lot on forums and the like is that the Winchester War in the Reach is too one-sided ; that the Tacketies (i.e the revolutionary colonists) get all the good guy stuff while the Stovepipes (i.e the enforcers of British rule) are clear bad guys, which would stand in stark contrast with the rest of the game that’s more morally grey (nevermind Fallen London, Sea and Skies having clear bad factions, like the Ministry of Public Decency or the Bazaar, anyway). Players who choise the Stovepipe route in particular complained that while the Tacketies path was all covert operations and battling dreadnoughts, the Stovepipes path would lead the player to do a number of really dickish acts for the establishment of London, that clearly screw the working-class and non-British people of the Reach and Albion.
Isn’t that kinda the point ? The Stovepipes are a proxy of Albion, which is itself Victorian Britain In Space, and Victorian Britain sucked. Of course for 21st century players the Stovepipes will look like the villains. Of course they screw anyone who isn’t ruling-class and Londonian. Of course they are one-dimensional, because guess what, the British colonial rule was exactly that.
The only way to make the Tacketies/Stovepipes situation “morally grey” (god I hate this word) would be to have the Tacketies be equally shitty colonists, which would essentially turn the Winchester affair into a retread of the Boers war but that wouldn’t add anything to the game.
A great aspect of Sunless Skies is that contrary to the vast majority of steampunk and steampunk-inspired games (and movies and books) it doesn’t shy away from the fact that behind the brass goggles and steam machines, Victorian Britain was a hellish place for modern standards. Giving people reasons to join the Stovepipes aside from pure RP would defeat this very point.
Also whoever wrote the names for Tacketies ships clearly read Iain M. Banks so that’s another point for the colonists.