Come in, come in, it’s freezing out there! Welcome back into the Stadia Life Christmas Cabin. Warm up by the fire, refill your health potions, but be warned, the enemies you’ve killed on the way here will respawn.
Today is day 6 of 12 Days of Pros-mas. After today we will have reached halfway through the series! Pats on the back for getting this far. You’ll never guess what I’ve got for you today: it’s another pro game!
Submerged: Hidden Depths
Submerged is a third-person exploration game that is particularly exciting because it was developed by Uppercut Games and published by Stadia Games and Entertainment! So, let’s see what another game published by SGE looks like.
Submerged runs at a solid 4k 60fps, with HDR enabled. Even better, the game is beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the water, which can be hit or miss in a lot of games but is quite a hit in this particular game.
The premise of the game is that the world has been submerged by water. I’m not exactly sure why from what I’ve played, I can only guess that it’s some allegory for global warming, which is a worthy cause to make a game about.
When I first got into Submerged, one big thought hit me. Why have I started playing all the games with tentacles? One of the first things I saw was several huge black tentacles wrapped around the buildings in this submerged area. Am I just subconsciously drawn to tentacles? Well, good questions for another time I suppose.
As I got off the boat into the first area, it was revealed that these aren’t tentacles at all, but rather The Black Plant. This black plant could be turned back into a regular plant using one of the protagonist’s special powers, this protagonist being the sister. To do this, you have to move a seed into the base of the black plant, then suddenly the area will be made green and flowery. This first cured area became the base of operations for the brother and sister in the story.
Now that the base had been established, I was invited to set my sights further by curing a new area, a library. So I had to get on my boat, but first I had to take in the gorgeous scenery before I went any further. It made me wish I had a display with HDR because I can only imagine how stunning this game would look with it on.
While I was on my boat on the way to the island I spotted a whale that I inspected and was then introduced to the wild world of collectibles in this game. There is a lot of collectibles, and it made me wonder if perhaps there are too many. There were flowers, animals, style pieces for new skins, diaries (of which there were 56!), boat upgrades, landmarks, and relics. However, I suppose it’s justified because outside of moving seeds that’s the only other aspect of the game besides viewing the scenery.
Anyway, I got onto the island and made my way through it trying to find the seed, collecting many collectibles on the way. As I explored I was introduced to what the game called remnants, which are the reflections of the past civilization’s last moments before whatever calamity had happened in this world. This was a very good touch as their presence really just adds to the somewhat somber feel about the collapsed civilization.
As I got the seed to the base of The Black Plant and cured it, I was taken back to the base where a little cutscene was shown of an interaction between the brother and sister. These moments are rather effective, as it shows the playful, kind relationship between the brother and sister but also the growing divide between them, as the brother fears his sister’s powers.
I continued with the islands, finding seeds and collectibles, and started to question what the overall point in what I’m doing in this game is. All I’m ultimately doing is turning some black plants green, the world is still a mess and I’m not really doing anything to help that. However, a later ominous cutscene showed a mysterious wave traveling closer to my location, and a black hand grabs onto the side of a building, hinting towards a bigger enemy.
As I continued exploring the islands, I found myself really getting sucked in. This game isn’t one that will get your heart racing with exciting action set-pieces or anything like that, in fact it doesn’t have any form of combat. But exploration is always fun, I enjoyed getting the collectibles and having the opportunity to see more beautiful scenery and history about this world. In fact, this is the game I ended up playing for the longest in this series. It isn’t my favorite game I’ve played in the series, yet still I was mysteriously hooked.
Overall, this is a good sign of things to come from SGE, though obviously it wasn’t all them, and Uppercut Games have done a terrific job with this game. It’s one I’ll definitely be coming back to review fully later just because I want to see what will happen and see more of the environment. I just probably won’t be getting all the collectibles though, because there’s rather a lot. That’s why this game is joining the nice list!
- Monster Jam Steel Titans
- Jotun: Valhalla Edition
- Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
- Sundered: Eldritch Edition
- Submerged: Hidden Depths
That’s it for day 6! 6 more days until the masters let me see my family again. 6 more pro games to play. Wait, that’s 666…
I’ll be leaving you with that spooky thought. See you tomorrow!
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