Some games are all about atmosphere, using stunning visuals, music, and world-building to convey emotion and depth. When done well, these games are some of the ones that stick with us for a long time. Submerged has the makings to be one of those games.
Submerged uses very little dialogue to tell its story. Two siblings – sister Miku and younger brother Taku – wash up in a half-sunken city. Injured during the journey, Taku must rest while Miku explores the city to find supplies. Submerged’s pace is a deliberate slow burn, offering small tastes of Miku’s backstory in the form of pictogram memories and dreams.
Miku can use her boat to head to crumbling buildings, overrun with plant life and animals. There’s a lot of climbing and some light puzzle-solving in Submerged, but no combat that we saw – this is a straight-up puzzle-platformer. Developer Uppercut Games says you can’t die in Submerged, either; it’s not that kind of game.
We spent a lot of our recent demo in the boat, exploring the flooded city and taking in the sights. Whales occasionally breached the surface near our boat, and flocks of birds took off from the tall buildings as we got near. It was all very relaxing, with a tinge of tragedy to the whole affair.
The post-apocalyptic setting definitely isn’t anything new, but Submerged offers a unique spin on it. There aren’t zombies, or aliens, or a resistance fighting a never-ending war; in their place, there’s a huge ocean that seems to have swallowed up humanity. Was it natural disaster? How far into the future are we? These are the questions we hope to find answers to when Submerged releases on Xbox One later this year via [email protected]