From the talented minds who brought us the Bioshock series, now known as Uppercut Games comes an indie inspired experience known as Submerged. Taking influence from their previous games with highly submersive water environments, Submerged offers a non-combative adventure, filled with delightful traversal meta-games with a narrative told through art deco, adding to the games discovery incentive.
With no real dialogue or names to associate the characters, Submerged places you in the loving role as Sister who needs to aid her younger brother who has endured a fatal spear wound. For the majority of the ride, Sister tirelessly goes out everyday looking for supplies in order to restore her brother back to full health. Along her journey Sister is surrounded by towering buildings which possess story elements, unlocking images giving simple yet artful details to Sister and her brothers story, as well as unlocking story details about the city which is mysteriously covered under a sea of beautiful ocean.
Utilizing her trusted little boat, Sister is able to comb the ocean filled map with great ease, eventually able to acquire other boat parts which increases her boats speed for longer periods of time. Spending most of your time zipping through the water in search of buildings with the necessary items and resources, you are introduced to some cool and vibrant sea creatures, who often decide to swim alongside you speedy vessel in playful manner. It was rather interesting how much enjoyment was had in just traveling the waters taking in all the impressive sights wondering how such a vast area was overcome by such a massive body of water.
Acquiring the key item needed to aid your brother back to health required Sister to perform some serious climbing and shimmying atop large buildings which in fact offered entertaining mini-game puzzle like experiences. Sometimes getting to the top of these large structures required some real thinking and patience. Upon completing the task of finding certain key items, Sister quickly races back to aid her brother.
Overtime you discover that with every effort to restore your brother, Sister is slowly deteriorating, turning green, almost as though see to is being overcome by the mysterious vegetation which most of the building have succome to. As Sister goes about ther task of healing her brother by seemingly sacrificing her own well being, her actions are not in vein and are being watched by unknown entities.
Steering the experience forward Uppercut Games has added a soothing soundtrack making this a pleasant and tender gaming experience with a touching message. As mentioned before, the city which is submerged under this large body of ocean also feels wounded in a sense and in need of healing with only a glimpse of its former, glory projected though the building remains and the well illustrated art deco found throughout the map. Discovering the truth by piecing together the full story is quite rewarding.
Upon discovering the conclusion I was more than pleased with the message and despite the gameplay being bare-bones, piecing the full experience together promoted a satisfying discovery. Though it was obvious Submerged was not trying to offer more than was experienced, its true purpose was well-received.