Submerged Reviews

AuthorReview
Deranged Asylum
483,219 (281,900)
Deranged Asylum
TA Score for this game: 1,154
Posted on 04 August 15 at 21:54
This review has 12 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
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Developed by Uppercut games Submerged is a beautifully sculpted third person adventure game set in a vastly flooded City. Set to release across multiple platforms including the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC in August 2015, Submerged takes players on an, at times lonely journey for desperate survival.

A Families Lonely Tale
Seldom have I come across a game so breathtakingly tranquil and elegant, though Submerged is a quiet in terms of sound volume, it unleashes some of the most eye catching scenery I have ever seen from an independent game. A lonely fishing boat enters the scene, out on the deep blue sea, with it carries a young Miku and her younger still, ill brother. Miku is in desperate search of some much needed aid for her unwell brother, the cause of his pain isn’t clear.

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The lonesome children come across a City, long since forgotten by humans and time, almost completely submerged beneath the sunlit blue ocean. Powerful structures that once stood up, proud like beacons in the beaming bright skyline are now covered with the disdain of dark green algae, unceremoniously smashed with severe flooding, the large City was in mourning, despite the water now beginning to recede.

Miku has brought her fallen brother to the mysterious City, in hope of some much needed medical supplies, throughout the City’s vast landscape, she hopes to find all that she needs to nurse her brother back to full health. Finally docking at a Clock Tower, she rests her brother up on top of a stone bench and sets off in search of hope.

Not all of life, is about death

With peace deeply seeded in its DNA, Submerged introduces a non combat theme, there are no enemies to fend off and no fear of death within the partially hidden labyrinth of buildings and monuments. With the use of only a map and telescope, Miku can search the watery landscape, for valuable resources for her dying sibling. Exploration is essential while traversing the City, in order to find the supplies she needs Miku must search either by telescope or by scaling the large City infrastructures by hand.

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Able to scale the daunting terrain in a variety of ways, Miku pulls herself up onto narrow ledges, shimmying around tight corners, using a technique very likened to early Lara Croft titles. Whilst navigating the tall landscape might be easy enough, parts of the climb lies in planning, there are sometimes numerous paths that may either lead to a sacred care package or one of the games many hidden secrets; images that once discovered, paint a picture of the events that took place within the now ghostly City.

Unfortunately the story, as beautifully presented as it is, lacks a deeper plot, letting the game down slightly in the process. The landscape sets Submerged aside from other ID@Xbox titles of late but it needed more backbone, while players are free to explore the partly submerged City, there could have been a better story to explain how the City became flooded in the first place.

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From Within A Jacques Cousteau dream
A lack of story might let Submerged down but is forgiven for everything else it has to offer. Climbing the games many buildings is a great way to see the sunken City from high above, from the tallest building, the sheer scale of devastation is clear to see. Though most of the games mechanics rely heavily on climbing, which while sometimes a touch unreliable and nervy are easy enough to maintain, there is of course the boat. With the benefit of small upturned wooden boats, Miku is able to upgrade her own little fishing boat, making the narrow vessel faster, with boosts of speed. The discovery of boat upgrades help greatly to get around the vast and wondrous City.

Working my way around the cities boundaries, jumping in and out of waves like a skipping stone across the ocean. I spotted a bridge glistening in the backdrop of the morning sun, suddenly out of nowhere, a Giant Whale torpedos up from the depths, breaching the ocean with all the grace of a ballerina, before plummeting safely back in the water with a shuddering crash. My tiny boat rocked with the disturbed water, I had just experienced one of Submerged’s more pleasing features.

Dolphins actively seek Miku out, appearing randomly alongside her while out patrolling in the boat., huge Manta Rays leap from the water with swagger, but are best experienced through the night as they glow brightly

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Constructed With A Loving Touch
When it comes to setting a scene, Submerged is not only visually appealing, it has a strange and compelling beauty to it that draws you in. Uppercut have developed a water drenched landscape filled with real artistic depth, polished with a loving touch. The buildings and structures that fill the cities skyline have great detail to them and don’t feel rushed. Whether you are attempting to scale a large hotel or resting high up on top of the construction crane in the middle of the City, the realisation of your surroundings never leaves you and while while the atmosphere might feel lonely you can help but stop and stare at what surrounds you.

As the story progresses the weather conditions become increasingly unstable, at night fog sets over the City making visibility almost impossible. Raindrops begins to fall from the sky and lightning strikes lighting up the dark sky, which while out on the water is quite an experience.

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How Does Submerged Fair
Submerged is an emotional tale that follows one girls plight to save her dying brother, while the game isn’t without it’s touching moments, the overall story is too short and can be completed within a couple of hours. I can’t help but feel that a longer more drawn out story driven experience would have been better suited, the visuals deserved it. Submerged has so much to offer in the way of beautifully stunning graphics and a lot of time can be spent gazing at the enriching sights the sunken City has to offer.

The City as a whole is quite a sight with so much to explore and some truly amazing sea life to take in. Submerged has a very subtle yet pleasing soundtrack and has a very laid back attitude to go with it, which is refreshing to see. Poetically balanced, sadness follows Miku throughout the game as she desperately tries to reach care packages to aid her sibling. Another noteworthy feature within the game is the ability to take postcard shots from anywhere around the City.

Submerged may lack a full story but it is certainly not short of wondrous sights and for that reason alone, it is value for money.

6.5/10

Review From PressA2Join.com
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Mr Velezbian
314,994 (214,238)
Mr Velezbian
TA Score for this game: 1,154
Posted on 07 August 15 at 23:01, Edited on 07 August 15 at 23:07
This review has 3 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
In an industry that tends to follow trends, it is always nice to see both big names and indie developers breaking away from the fray. Uppercut Games has achieved that in their latest title, Submerged. The story follows that of Miku and Taku, siblings aged roughly 14 and 10 respectively. Taku, the younger brother, is injured badly, and the duo seek shelter in a flooded city that’s remains are mostly underwater. Armed with a boat, map, and telescope, players take control of Miku on an explorative adventure to save her brother’s life. This is the beginning of a game that has showcased the term “relaxploration”, which is more than fitting.

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The main goal is to recover long forgotten supply drops to find aid for Taku and the side-effects of his wounds. When you do tackle these objectives, they’ll have the protagonist scaling grand buildings and risking it all for her brother. There are not many controls to master, so picking up the game is relatively simple. You use a boat for getting from building to building, and then rely on Miku’s climbing skills when you arrive to your destination. As you scale your first large building in attempts to find something to close up Taku’s wound, the parkour style traversal is in full effect. It is easy to control, as moving in any direction automatically connects Miku to her next traversable or graspable area. All of these main buildings carry secret collectables that often make you stray from the course to find them. These collectables unlock parts of stories related to the city, which appear as drawings, allowing players to interpret the story on their own. It is an interesting take, one that gave me a sense of purpose as I played. After finding the supply drops, you are returned to your brother’s side to treat him. This cycles Miku to sleep, and in turn unlocks a four part story (the drawings) that directly relate to what lead the duo to where they are. This repeats as you find more supply drops, continuing the sleep-story-objective phases.

After the initial loose tutorial, players are free to roam and explore as they see fit. There are many sites to be seen across the many rooftops and waves of the sunken, forgotten city. The leisure of the game allows players to pace it as they want. I spent my initial first hour or so exploring the perimeters of the map, which is a decent size for the scope of the game. When on foot, there is a sense that some of the movements are a bit dated. It is as if the world moves under you, as opposed to you moving across it. It does not halter the gameplay, but tends to distract you from the beauty of everything else. The boat is another story entirely, working like a breeze once you get the hang of it. During my time in the boat, I found a certain appreciation for how quiet the world was. It is ambient on another level, making you feel crushingly alone yet at piece. As you navigate through the soft tides of the water, you can easily take notice of the wild life around you that has adapted and survived whatever natural event that caused the rising waters. Whales, dolphins, and more tread the same waters with you, and never pose a threat. From an observant position, you can sit back and just watch as they pass. Other mysterious creatures watch you, but I will leave that for the players. Using my telescope, I tagged numerous items like broken down boats, collectables, and the aforementioned supply drops. Collecting these not only expands the story as mentioned before, but allows gives players the chance to see the map from many different angles. The broken down boats are used to upgrade your own boat, adding a boost ability that increases in duration with each additional find.

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All of these collectables serve as the optional substance opposite the main storyline. To be frank, there is not much to do apart from collecting and observing. It is certainly not for everyone, but I very much enjoyed the breath of fresh air the game gave me. Not to mention it has one of the best original soundtracks in a video game I have heard this year, if not of all time. It is eerily beautiful, and turns the grand scenery into living cinematic moments. Aside from some occasionally bland textures, Submerged is a thrivingly beautiful game. It is a different rendition of a post-apocalyptic game, one that substitutes peril for beauty. As nature reclaimed the world, relics of the past stuck around to serve as ornaments. Statues, overgrown structures, and even a ferris wheel all have managed to stick around. As you circle the city, night and cycles, with even a thunderstorm here and there to show you that the world is still revolving. All of this and more can be captured in the games “Postcard Mode”, which allows you to take a picture at your desired angle complete with a Submerged stamp of approval.

Uppercut Games had a clear vision, one that in my personal and professional opinion believe that they certainly succeeded. Though short and offering little replayabilty, I most certainly appreciate the game for what it was. I caught myself wanting to have to survive, to have to struggle, and that is simply why the industry needs more games like this. It has that old-school appeal of taking a game world as it is, and never having to ask for more. We need the change of pace brought on by this and other indie games that recognize how repetitive trends can be. The game serves as a seed to a plant that you control the outcome of. Play it how you want, and decide what the story means to you. The conclusion will always be the same, but how players take their experience is what matters in the long run. Those seeking something different will feel right at home when they take a splash in Submerged.

7.5/10
+Amazing Ambiance +Gorgeous Scenery +Change of Pace
-Short on offerings –Some dated aspects

*Note: A review copy of the game was graciously supplied by Uppercut Games. Special thanks to Charles “Ed” Orman for giving me the opportunity to work with my first ever review copy. Your faith and generosity could not be appreciated more.

Originally posted on player2reviews.weebly.com
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Acurate Bob
499,641 (307,099)
Acurate Bob
TA Score for this game: 1,154
Posted on 27 April 19 at 22:49
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This was probably one of the most relaxed, entertaining and chilled out games I have played.

The music was completely on point. The sounds as the wildlife flows with you, the wind and water mixing with the visuals of a sunken city that seems kind of familiar and at the same time completely alien whilst exploring the ruins. The whole thing just seems like the Dev team loved the world the created for it.

The visuals as hinted at above are beautiful to see and so make it a joy to play. With no threat of death or risk of fighting, there's no reason to not see everything this game has.

Yes, okay fine. There's not a lot to actually do in this game, but that's not why you should try it. Not every game needs a lot to do in it. The story is worth paying attention to. How it tells the story is different. There are no words, literally. The drawings will show, in pictorial form, what has happened, and when you see the whole picture, no pun intended, you will feel for these characters who only show emotion through gesture, without word.

A story of a protective big sister looking out for her little brother is completely relatable. The reason they got to where they are at the start of the game, will be told and hopefully you understand why she did what she did. What are the other, humanoid type things you occasionally see I'm the world. All will be answers if you go for the 100%

And I hope you will. And you will not regret it.
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