Submerged is a game that has came out of nowhere for me and to be honest I'd probably not miss it all that much if it went back there. Don't get me wrong, there are some moments in this game which are quite moving, but in general it's pretty repetitive and quite boring.
Imagine a game that take the climbing sections from Uncharted, throw in some collectables and a boat and that's Submerged. The game centres around Miku and her younger brother who appear in a fishing boat in the middle of an old town, the latter of which seems to have been caught out by a Tsunami and now sits half underwater with buildings that are very overgrown with vegetation.
It's clear at the beginning of the game that Miku's brother is sick and therefore you'll leave him to rest while you take Miku out on the boat to explore the city. Certain buildings are marked by flowers floating near them in the sea, which gives indication that Miku is able to stop here and explore the buildings by climbing their ledges and vegetation to reach the top. There isn't a great challenge here as you'll easily climb to the top of the buildings without falling or obstacles, find the chest with the supplies and then the level will reset to the next day, at which point Miku will begin the exploring of a building again until the next supplies are found. This will continue until you find all the supplies and the game ends, so it's pretty much a rinse and repeat type of experience.
All that's really different each day is that you are able to hunt around and find collectables, but these don't really make any difference to the game, although do fill in a few gaps in the story by using visual means. It's likely though that most people will ignore these visuals since they are buried within the menu, so it makes you wonder what the point is really.
Graphically Submerged can look pretty great, but it's certainly not perfect as it often judders or freezes for a split second. The character animation is also fairly repetitive as Miku goes to sleep at the end of each chapter and everything just looks exactly the same. In fact everything about the game is repetitive really.
If there is one saving grace to Submerged then it is the ending. Throughout the game Miku is slowly turning into what looks like a zombie everytime she goes to sleep. Her fingers start out green and by the end she herself is being submerged by the disease, however the ending really surprises and for me at least, it made the whole experience up to that moment worthwhile, even though the gameplay was a bit mundane at times.
I can certainly see why some people would love Submerged, equally though, there will be those out there who will feel like they have just wasted £14.99. Everyone will appreciate the ending though as it at least surprises and combined with the unlockables, has you thinking about what the game really means. If the gameplay had a little more variety and the graphics didn't look like a game from the PS3 era, then maybe the developer would be on to something, however as it is, Submerged is just yet another average game.
Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Great Ending
- Presentation could do with some work
- Not worth £14.99