After Action Report: Submerged

Stranded in a submerged city, you try to keep your critically wounded little brother alive. Not the best situation to be in when creepy green monsters are afoot and algae-covered whales swim in your path. Luckily, you don’t have to fight any of those in Submerged (official site, Steam).

The game comes without any text or legible voice acting, but instead tells you the story of how you ended up in the place you are using pictograms that I’m pretty sure work in any language. And it’s not a pretty story. Your mother drowned in a storm and your fathers spirits broke over the fact. He tried to replace them with another kind of spirit which led to him stabbing your little brother. That’s when you took him and fled. Told you it ain’t pretty.

Aside from not having any kind of fighting system (and the game profits from that in my opinion), there’s something scary going on. Every time you find a piece to help your dying brother, you turn more… green? Like the monster-like things lurking about in the submerged city.

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The Good

This game is Beautiful, with a capital B. The graphics, lighting and setting are just amazingly well done. The story, sad as it is, is believable and I really started feeling for and with Miku and Taku. The everpresent monsters turn out not so monstrous after all as they don’t attack, harm or obstruct you, yet they give you the feeling of being watched at all times. The levels are not that tough to beat and at no point did I feel like the game is hindering me for the sake of hindering me. It always seemed “fair”.

The Bad

The only bad thing about this game really lies in its genre. As an adventure game, there’s little to no replay value. Which is a real shame.

The Unexpected

This game introduced me to a function now known as “photo mode” (called postcard this game) which lets you pause the game and move the camera around (within limits), hide the HUD and take a screenshot. I instantly felt like more games need this.