Developer Frogwares Studios and publisher BigBen Interactive put out a great new trailer today for their ambitious upcoming game The Sinking City. It’s an open world investigation game where you play a PI trying to make sense of the case he’s wound up trapped in.

The setting is New England in the 1920s — the fictional city of Oakmont, Massachusetts. Oakmont has had some flooding issues lately…but that’s not the least of it. All that water is supernatural in origin, a by-product of the Lovecraftian monsters invading the city. A private investigator arrives to determine what’s up. Our fearless detective must explore the city, gather clues and figure out how to end the invasion.

Unlike the previous trailer which focused on the gameplay, this one dives into the game’s story. It is epic enough in scope that it has an accompanying separate letter, provided with the press release, to be read first.

“Before we go any further, allow me to tell you about Charles Winfield Reed. When I met him, he had just arrived at our hospital after having been found, alone and as-if possessed, on a desert island, lost in the middle of the ocean. He was a veteran of the First World War, and had been a crewmember on the USS Cyclops. I never found out exactly what happened, but he was the only survivor of a catastrophe he recounted as being “supernatural”, and which cost the lives of every other crewmember […]

He was here for quite some time before he could convince the staff that he was better and could be released. I never believed it: he was haunted by nightmarish, cycloptic visions that he couldn’t make sense of. But in his heart they begat an unreasoning fear and frightening disquiet, driving him inevitably deeper and deeper into madness. Who knows what his tortured soul had seen and forgotten… He seemed incurably drawn to Oakmont, a small village in Massachusetts in New England, where he felt he “must go”. I believe that’s why he did whatever he had to in order to leave.

Once flourishing and industrial, Oakmont was devastated by a vast flood which submerged half the town, and led to cases of mass hysteria. According to local inhabitants, the ocean exerted some sort of evil and perverse influence. Is he to be believed? And yet, Oakmont is now a lost town, partly underwater, enveloped in shadows, where madness mingles with despair. This is the location where Charles Winfield Reed hoped to find answers to his questions. By searching every corner and every quarter – residential, commercial, industrial, rich, poor – he believed he’d be able to rip loose the veil hiding his lost memories, and bring to light the “horrors hiding inside, biding their time to submerge the world”. At least, that’s how he saw things […] If you want to know more, you’ll have to check the archives. But I haven’t any idea what happened to him after he left… If you ever happen across him, I’d be very interested in hearing the rest of the story… Could you do that for me?”

The Sinking City will be out March 21, 2019 for Playstation 4, XBox One and PC.