Submerged is a third-person combat-free game in which you explore a mysterious flooded city and discover the beauty of desolation in vast outdoor environments. You take on the role of Miku, a young girl who has brought her wounded brother to the city in their small fishing boat.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (16 reviews) - 93% of the 16 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (297 reviews) - 77% of the 297 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 3, 2015

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Submerged

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4

-66%
$19.99
$6.79

Buy Submerged + Soundtrack

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4

-66%
$29.99
$10.19

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Reviews

“... so unrelentingly lovely, and such a rare pleasure...”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Submerged tells three different stories without saying a word”
PC Gamer

“Submerged is a poignant and melancholic experience that is a joy to partake in.”
Venture Beat

About This Game

Submerged is a third-person combat-free game in which you explore a mysterious flooded city and discover the beauty of desolation in vast outdoor environments. You take on the role of Miku, a young girl who has brought her wounded brother to the city in their small fishing boat. Navigate the flooded city streets by boat, scale the drowned buildings, and use your telescope to scour the city for the supplies needed to save your dying sibling. As you explore the city at your own pace, you encounter the habitat that flourishes in this colorful place and discover hidden objects that piece together the story of a broken world and a broken family.

Game Features

- Vast outdoor environments with a rich, colorful and vibrant habitat present the player with a beautiful place to linger during the day or night, and encounter the mysterious remnants that watch you from the rooftops.

- A serene and relaxing game experience; take your time to enjoy the sunrise and beautiful vistas, listen to the sound of the ocean, or observe the playfulness of the creatures that inhabit this place. There is only one pace in this game and that’s your own.

- Discover the hidden objects that piece together the story of redemption, sacrifice and determination, and learn more about how the city came to be this way.

- Cruise through the city streets in your small powered fishing boat, using your telescope to identify which of the various buildings contain supplies and mark them on your map.

- Discover the best path to the objects you spotted from afar. Dock your boat at tall buildings and landmarks and climb the vines, ladders, ledges and pipes as increasingly difficult navigation puzzles.

- Developed by an independent studio based in Australia, consisting of AAA veterans who have previously worked on the BioShock series, with music from BAFTA award winning composer Jeff van Dyck.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 64Bit
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.0+ GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 9800GTX or ATI Radeon HD 4770
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64bit
    • Processor: Intel i5 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 760 or Equivalent card
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (16 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (297 reviews)
Recently Posted
HoneyFlower
( 14.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
Loved it. Gently driving my little boat over the calm waves full of creatures in a beautiful green and lush environment of the abandoned, mysteriously submerged city.
I'm not normally a completetionist in games but wow; this one, I could not stop looking for all the secrets, landmarks, creatures, boat parts and everything else collectible just to find out the story behind the submerged city, while of course eagerly looking for materials for the main purpose of family.

Perhaps I wanted to continue wandering in every corner of the city because I enjoyed the peaceful scenery of driving on a small boat in the calm waters. I'd love more adventures that include driving a boat like this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stumpokapow
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Imagine a game that takes the wordless storytelling, melancholy mood, and mechanic of leaving home base to find a target around the world from Shadow of the Colossus. It adds the automatic platforming/climbing mechanics and bar-filling collectathon of Assassin's Creed, the overgrown vegetation cityscape of Enslaved, and the sailing of Wind Waker.

... but then removes all difficulty, danger, combat, and dialogue.

The core game works like this: You are a young woman. The game opens with you pulling up your small motorboat to a temple in a city almost entirely submerged in water--only the tops of tall buildings like hotels and hospitals stick out from the water. You bring your brother, sick and injured on the brink of death into the temple and lay him on an altar. You set out to explore the ruins of the buildings looking for supply drops to heal him.

The game proceeds with you taking your boat around the water, looking for landmarks--the most memorable for me was a ruined ferris wheel--animals (mutated sealife, mostly), and collectible books that tell you the story of what happened to the city through little pictograph images that are sort of like cute hieroglyphs. The main game involves climbing large towers to get supply drop cases at the top.

I should say that climbing the towers is pretty straightforward. The game does not have puzzles, and you do not have limited grip strength. Like an Assassin's Creed tower, it's mostly just about hopping to the next handhold or finding the next ledge. You're a tourist here. If that sounds like something you wouldn't want to play, then I wouldn't buy the game, but I liked it.

Different towers are different--one is a giant skyscraper where you weave from exterior ledges across vegetated floors, while another has you taking the path to a top of hollow, donut-shaped hospital, and then climbing down and around the inside to get to the rest of the roof. Another has a zip-line at the top of a roof. Are the locations memorable? The negative reviews say no. I found them memorable enough to keep going and tell apart in my head. The towers also have storybook collectibles off hidden paths.

Like Team Ico's games, the characterization is mostly inferred through very indirect images. There is no voiced dialogue and no explicit explanation or development (again, the family's story is told through unlocking pictographs). But you get the sense of a girl who is protecting her younger brother and doesn't want to give up on him no matter the cost.

The game lasts around 3 hours with a little more for getting all of the collectibles. At 5 hours, I got my final achievement.

Visually the game is somewhat simple, but striking in its beauty. The day-night cycle leads to great moments where the sun or moon or weather patterns interact with the scenery. The game provides a photo mode feature that lets you turn off the UI and pick a camera angle. You can take some really wonderful photos.

Whether or not I'd recommend the game depends entirely on your taste. It's possible you'll buy it and think, "wait, this is it, I'm just doing the same thing again and again, nothing is going on, there's no challenge". If that's what you think, bummer dude, sorry you didn't like it. But I liked it and if my description sells it to you, then I hope you like it too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Colonel Crow
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Beautifully indie puzzle platformer. Lots of overlap/inspiration from Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus but without the combat elements. The game defeats a lot of the frustration from traditional platforming by not allowing the player to fail. If there is a drop you cant make - rather than the fall killing you - the game simply doesn't allow you to perform the action. This rewards curiosity and walking off of the main path rather than punishing the player for exploring.

The only real negative is that a few animations are a little off. Not game breaking or anything but mildly less immersive/polished as it could be. Its also around 2 hours long - which I guess is somewhat to be expected.
Soundtrack is phenomenal.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
derenb
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I don't want to say climbing simulator but climbing simulator. Though a very, very beautiful one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
obscurimity
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Beautiful game, both in terms of graphics and story. Climbing gameplay is a little too slow and repetitive, but my drive for exploration kept me going.

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a game they can just relax to for a couple hours.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Throcket
( 5.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
A heartfelt tale of survival and devotion set in a beautifully realised and explorable post apocalyptic cityscape, Submerged evokes a delightful sense of serenity throughout. The gameplay is fairly simple and perhaps lacking in polish at times, but still competent. Exploration is rewarded with fragments of story and lore told with charming simplicity.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Minted Lady
( 6.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
"I know my brother needs medicine, but I hope he doesn't die while I climb these old buildings looking for secrets and treasure." -- Me after five minutes.

Submerged is the story of a brave girl who effortlessly scales tall, dilapidated buildings to find emergency kits that just happen to be perched on their rooftops. In the process, she'll tell the tale of what caused her brother's injury, find books that tell why the city is the way it is, and see amazing creatures that peacefully roam its waterways.

Emphasis on the peaceful. This game is pure exploration with no obvious consequences. I've managed to get half the supplies her brother needs to live and haven't seen anything in the way of danger or failure. And I like it.

The reward here is gorgeous scenery, dozens of secrets and other things to collect, a beautiful musical score, a story you piece together yourself through pictures, and a sense of accomplishment. There's a mystery to this city that I have wanted to unravel ever since I saw the first strange figure in the distance. The paths up and down the buildings may seem linear but quite a few require a bit more observation and critical thinking to get all the books before reaching the top.

I have a few complaints: 1) The boat controls feel weird. I'm glad you can't die because I have definitely crashed this poor girl into several buildings just trying to get around. 2) The camera likes to reposition itself on corners and that annoys me. As if I can't rotate the camera myself to see what's around the bend. 3) I use an Xbox 360 Controller, and sometimes it seems like the main character repositions herself contrary to what I'm trying to get her to do while climbing a ledge.

Those are minor complaints, though. I've made it halfway through the main objectives and there's still a lot of secrets for me to discover. I recommend the game for anyone who prefers a little more depth to their walking simulators, people who like to explore but don't feel like engaging in the kill-loot-kill cycle, and those of us who enjoy interactive stories.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Scharling
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Highly recommend this game, however it is not for everyone. It is a game where you can watch something on another monitor while playing, or even stop for a while. If you like to complete something 100% it is an achievable goal in this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mouldy / TheLxa
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: June 19
Product received for free
Please find my full review of Submerged here: http://www.themouldyreview.com/Submerged :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
landorialinvy
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 10
The game is beutiful!

To all haters: if you want Tomb Raider - play Tomb Raider! This game is entirely different. It is designed not for action/shooting/adrenaline. But if you want to relax and enjoy a simple adventure in a beautiful world - play Submerged.

Graphics is simple but nice, music is the same. Even the main character's invincibility is reasonable. She's a kid! Nothing bad can happen to a kid. Believe me, I know. And travelling in a small boat through the deserted flooded city was my child's dream. Many thanks to Uppercut for this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
The game is beutiful!

To all haters: if you want Tomb Raider - play Tomb Raider! This game is entirely different. It is designed not for action/shooting/adrenaline. But if you want to relax and enjoy a simple adventure in a beautiful world - play Submerged.

Graphics is simple but nice, music is the same. Even the main character's invincibility is reasonable. She's a kid! Nothing bad can happen to a kid. Believe me, I know. And travelling in a small boat through the deserted flooded city was my child's dream. Many thanks to Uppercut for this game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Imagine a game that takes the wordless storytelling, melancholy mood, and mechanic of leaving home base to find a target around the world from Shadow of the Colossus. It adds the automatic platforming/climbing mechanics and bar-filling collectathon of Assassin's Creed, the overgrown vegetation cityscape of Enslaved, and the sailing of Wind Waker.

... but then removes all difficulty, danger, combat, and dialogue.

The core game works like this: You are a young woman. The game opens with you pulling up your small motorboat to a temple in a city almost entirely submerged in water--only the tops of tall buildings like hotels and hospitals stick out from the water. You bring your brother, sick and injured on the brink of death into the temple and lay him on an altar. You set out to explore the ruins of the buildings looking for supply drops to heal him.

The game proceeds with you taking your boat around the water, looking for landmarks--the most memorable for me was a ruined ferris wheel--animals (mutated sealife, mostly), and collectible books that tell you the story of what happened to the city through little pictograph images that are sort of like cute hieroglyphs. The main game involves climbing large towers to get supply drop cases at the top.

I should say that climbing the towers is pretty straightforward. The game does not have puzzles, and you do not have limited grip strength. Like an Assassin's Creed tower, it's mostly just about hopping to the next handhold or finding the next ledge. You're a tourist here. If that sounds like something you wouldn't want to play, then I wouldn't buy the game, but I liked it.

Different towers are different--one is a giant skyscraper where you weave from exterior ledges across vegetated floors, while another has you taking the path to a top of hollow, donut-shaped hospital, and then climbing down and around the inside to get to the rest of the roof. Another has a zip-line at the top of a roof. Are the locations memorable? The negative reviews say no. I found them memorable enough to keep going and tell apart in my head. The towers also have storybook collectibles off hidden paths.

Like Team Ico's games, the characterization is mostly inferred through very indirect images. There is no voiced dialogue and no explicit explanation or development (again, the family's story is told through unlocking pictographs). But you get the sense of a girl who is protecting her younger brother and doesn't want to give up on him no matter the cost.

The game lasts around 3 hours with a little more for getting all of the collectibles. At 5 hours, I got my final achievement.

Visually the game is somewhat simple, but striking in its beauty. The day-night cycle leads to great moments where the sun or moon or weather patterns interact with the scenery. The game provides a photo mode feature that lets you turn off the UI and pick a camera angle. You can take some really wonderful photos.

Whether or not I'd recommend the game depends entirely on your taste. It's possible you'll buy it and think, "wait, this is it, I'm just doing the same thing again and again, nothing is going on, there's no challenge". If that's what you think, bummer dude, sorry you didn't like it. But I liked it and if my description sells it to you, then I hope you like it too.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
"I know my brother needs medicine, but I hope he doesn't die while I climb these old buildings looking for secrets and treasure." -- Me after five minutes.

Submerged is the story of a brave girl who effortlessly scales tall, dilapidated buildings to find emergency kits that just happen to be perched on their rooftops. In the process, she'll tell the tale of what caused her brother's injury, find books that tell why the city is the way it is, and see amazing creatures that peacefully roam its waterways.

Emphasis on the peaceful. This game is pure exploration with no obvious consequences. I've managed to get half the supplies her brother needs to live and haven't seen anything in the way of danger or failure. And I like it.

The reward here is gorgeous scenery, dozens of secrets and other things to collect, a beautiful musical score, a story you piece together yourself through pictures, and a sense of accomplishment. There's a mystery to this city that I have wanted to unravel ever since I saw the first strange figure in the distance. The paths up and down the buildings may seem linear but quite a few require a bit more observation and critical thinking to get all the books before reaching the top.

I have a few complaints: 1) The boat controls feel weird. I'm glad you can't die because I have definitely crashed this poor girl into several buildings just trying to get around. 2) The camera likes to reposition itself on corners and that annoys me. As if I can't rotate the camera myself to see what's around the bend. 3) I use an Xbox 360 Controller, and sometimes it seems like the main character repositions herself contrary to what I'm trying to get her to do while climbing a ledge.

Those are minor complaints, though. I've made it halfway through the main objectives and there's still a lot of secrets for me to discover. I recommend the game for anyone who prefers a little more depth to their walking simulators, people who like to explore but don't feel like engaging in the kill-loot-kill cycle, and those of us who enjoy interactive stories.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Beautifully indie puzzle platformer. Lots of overlap/inspiration from Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus but without the combat elements. The game defeats a lot of the frustration from traditional platforming by not allowing the player to fail. If there is a drop you cant make - rather than the fall killing you - the game simply doesn't allow you to perform the action. This rewards curiosity and walking off of the main path rather than punishing the player for exploring.

The only real negative is that a few animations are a little off. Not game breaking or anything but mildly less immersive/polished as it could be. Its also around 2 hours long - which I guess is somewhat to be expected.
Soundtrack is phenomenal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
981 of 1,127 people (87%) found this review helpful
42 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2015
Standing on the top of a long abandoned crane, rusty beams creaking out a song of defiance against the forces of gravity struggling to pull them apart, I was filled with a crushing sense of melancholy for what could have been. The sun had already set, and from my position I could just make out the outlines of the tallest buildings in the silent moonlight, the last remaining testament of a sunken city through which I was now scavenging for anything useful that may have been left behind. It was at this moment more than ever that I wanted desperately to be taken in by Submerged and its dilapidated beauty, to be swept up in the wondrous world it had conjured and the ambitions which seemed to drip out of the moss covered walls as they struggled to find a place for themselves.

It is a cruel irony then that Submerged’s ruin is its own overbearing grip on the player. Developer Uppercut Games has gone to such enormous lengths to direct the player and ensure they’re never at a loss as to where to go or what to do, that I felt alienated by my own needless presence. My attempts at exploration became less and less adventurous as I quickly discovered how limited my ability to explore actually was. Immediately I was trapped in my tiny motorboat, able to drift through the gaps of the structures still towering above the murky ocean but unable to so much as reach out and touch them and prove they were more than props in a dystopian tour.

Occasionally I’d be presented with a red vine signaling my chance to make port and clamber up the side of a building to see what was on top, but by then it was already clear that the world of Submerged was not one to be discovered but consumed. Every landmark, collectible, and handhold had been designed with the sole purpose of giving me something to do and observe. Aggressive camera angles directed me toward every significant structure I passed, forced my view toward a collectible I might have missed or a path I needed to take, all the while removing me of the ability to do anything but tell my character what direction to go as they did the rest.

Submerged traps itself under an omnipresent need to control and focus the player’s attention, and in doing so brings the entirety of its artificial existence to the surface. There was nothing more it could do to make me care about its characters or the history of the underwater city I was only glimpsing the top of; I was stuck behind the layers of antagonistic design allowing me no room to breathe as I performed Submerged’s song and dance wishing all the while that it would soon be over.

Once you strip Submerged of its fabricated openness and shell of a narrative there’s very nearly nothing left. What remains are your character’s clumsy movements as you guide them through monotonous platforming routines. It’s not the clumsiness you’d expect from a child attempting to scale a skyscraper with her bare hands, but a robotic awkwardness that creates an agonizing amount of disorder between what you do and how the game responds. I cringed every time I had to make my way up a long wall or choose between continuing the main path or grabbing a collectible, as I knew it meant a long struggle with a climbing system that all but plays itself but still needs you to tell it where to go.

I would be lying if I said that there were not times I found Submerged staggeringly beautiful and affecting. Rocketing my watercraft over waves as dolphins swam beside me or watching the sunset from the top of a building overlooking what remained of a bridge, I felt what Submerged had been trying so hard to create. Quiet, beautiful moments followed me throughout Submerged, springing up at random moments as I saw something astonishing out of the corner of my eye, but it was always during a time when I had managed to momentarily remove myself from the pressing control of a game that believed it could force me to feel and appreciate something. And then just like that they would disappear and I would be left alone again with the cold mechanical systems urging me forward.

By the end of Submerged I had stopped trying. I’d given up finding something that was being intentionally withheld from me, allowing the game to point me where to go and sooner allow me to leave. This was not a voyage but an entrapment; a siren’s call to a dead end and a meandering crawl back out. The game Submerged could have, and by all accounts wanted to be is still hidden here somewhere, but that hardly matters when it so fervently refuses to let you see it.

Full disclosure: Submerged was reviewed using a copy provided by the developer. You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
573 of 699 people (82%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2015
FULL VIDEO REVIEW
https://youtu.be/Y8z7E93x2Yo
PROS
++City projects beauty and feels alive due to the scale of the buildings and mutated creatures inhabiting the Venice like waterways.
+Dynamic weather and time create some great effects when looking out into the city.

CONS
--Seriously the most monotonous boring gameplay I have ever seen in an exploration game. Everything you climb is a mix of the same 3-4 ledges and is almost completely linear.
--Flat amateurish repeated textures reused throughout the game.
--Story is hollow, does not impact the game or your emotions in any way
-Noticeable amount of pop-in (even some in major cutscenes)
-Less than 2 hours main story completion time

Submerged attempts to create a game without combat, but what it ends up creating is a game without substance. The exploration of the game is the same repetitive climbing mechanic that follows linear paths upward leading to you opening the same chest at the top of each iteration of important climbable building #x. While the city does look decent at a distance and benefits from some cool weather effects, it becomes quickly apparent that the game’s visuals are extremely mediocre with repeating flat as paper textures on most of the buildings. The story in the game has so few details to it that it probably could be told in completely in a paragraph shorter than this review.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
241 of 313 people (77%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2015
The MAIN reason this is a NO is the price, It's more than double what I would pay for the amount of game I got (£13.49 with 10% off is a little much for 2 hours of game), but even then it may be a little overpriced. Maybe wait for a £5 sale to make the most of this one.

The game itself is VERY basic in what it does. You scootch around a dead and flooded city in a little boat using a telecscope to look for care packages to heal your sick brother.

This boils down to...

Look through telescope and 'see' certain objects and care packages in the world.
Hop in boat and go to the building said object is on.
Hop out of the boat onto a ledge of the building and climb it.
Find care package and press A.
Get teleported back home to start again on the hunt for the next care package.

The boat controls are a little sluggish, even with the boost function that you get from collecting parts that you tag using your trusty telescope.

The walking and climbing controls are basic, VERY basic. up, down, left, right. That's it, The main character does everything you need her to do by pushing in one of the cardinal directions and nothing else. You can't even jump.

The sound isn't all that great either, just the basic plinks and plops, splashes and whale/dolphin noises you'd expect.
The music however, is fantastic, if a little short-lived and scarce.

There are plenty of collectibles to discover in the world, from animal pictures to the history of the city and what befel it, and the size of the open world isn't too bad, it takes quite a few minutes to get from one side to the other.

It may not sound like it but I rather enjoyed the change of pace with this game, although the high price was always nagging at the back of my mind.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
166 of 230 people (72%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2015
It has great visual cue's that remind me of Studio Ghibli, Nausicaa of the valley of the wind mainly.
But it also has a fair amount of faults, half the buildings you can't even explore. There also is nothing challenging about this game at all.

Everything is setup so the game can be completed as fast as possible and honestly my time in it was mainly looking for boat upgrades so I could get every achievement. I beat the game in roughly three to four hours.

For the price tag I cannot recommend the game. It is a good fun to play casual game but for $20 it's just not worth it. It can look as beautiful as you want It can be made by the same developers who made Bioshock. But for a game this short with that price tag. I'm sorry I cannot justify recommending this game, if it was $10 or $15 then maybe but $20 for four hours of gameplay just isn't worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
160 of 228 people (70%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2015
Submerged is a relaxing exploration game set in a flooded city full of life. You play as Miku, a young girl who has arrived in the flooded city with her wounded brother, Taku, in search of supplies to help nurse him back to full health. You must explore the city, by day and night, in order to find eight supply boxes, the contents of which have the potential to save Taku’s life.

The story of the game took me 3.4 hours to complete, the rest of my game time comes from just exploring the city.

Submerged’s gameplay consists of exploring the flooded city using the boat you arrived in and then using your telescope to find items of interest within the world. Once you’ve located items of interest you can travel to the buildings they are on and climb up them in order to collect the items whether they’re the supplies for the story or the other collectibles found in the game.

+It’s a good looking game, the textures and overall appearance of the game may not be cutting edge but not only do the graphics get the job done, they look nice and suit the game while doing it
+The backstory of Miku and Taku is delivered to the player through amazing drawings which are unlocked four at a time whenever you find a new supply box
+The story of the game itself is good though it’s very basic due to there being no dialogue in the game, the ending is also good and, in my opinion, somewhat unexpected
+Submerged has a full day and night cycle which not only brings some life to the game, it also allows for some great screenshots to be taken, particularly around sunset
+Submerged also has dynamic weather events such as thunder storms
+The game has 86 collectibles (not including the story items) so there’s plenty to do even after you’ve finished the story, 60 of these collectibles are pieces of the city’s story so unlocking them all will help you understand how the city has come to be the way it is
+The flooded city is home to a few different types of wildlife, such as dolphins and whales, which again helps to bring life to the game
+The game’s soundtrack is fantastic, the music is relaxing but at the same time it gives a real feeling of isolation to the game
+The controls, particularly for climbing, are very simple making the game easy to play (I used a 360 Gamepad to play)

+/-The game has a ‘Make a Postcard’ mode which is basically a way to set up screenshots, I like the idea of it a lot as someone who loves screenshots but using it forces the game’s logo on to your screenshot which I’m not a fan of, I imagine most people won’t care hence it’s in the +/- section

-Submerged is blantantly overpriced, for a game which can be completeted in around 2 hours a regular price of £14.99 is too much
-Some of the game’s animations, in particular how Miku walks, look clunky and unrealistic
-There isn’t enough music! Like I said early the soundtrack is fantastic but it just isn’t played regularly enough in the game
-The game looks awful if the graphics settings are lower than medium and when I tried the game out on low I really didn’t enjoy it as much so if you don’t think you can run it on medium or higher then you may wish to think twice about buying the game

Verdict:
Worth Purchasing on Sale (6.5/10)

Submerged is an excellent exploration game that is relaxing to play, has good graphics and is set in a very interesting world. I wanted to give Submerged a much higher score than I did but with its current price I simply can't recommend it, wait for this one to go on sale.

Review Copy Provided.

No drama, Just Reviews.

El K.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
83 of 110 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2015
Submerged certainly has good taste in influences; you can see more than a dash of many critically acclaimed games in its DNA, games like Journey, Ico, Windwaker, Shadow of the Colossus, Dear Esther, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
Whilst these games clearly have been very influential, it’s a shame that Submerged feels like it simply borrows elements from them relatively ineffectively, and never carves a strong identity of its own.

The game is exploration-focused, with no combat. This gives the title an eerie calm, a gentle post-apocalypse. You sail a small motorboat looking for supplies for your brother, spotting landmarks and finding story pages along the way. Whilst the plot and gameplay are minimal there is definitely a certain joy and beauty to be found in sailing about and watching some of the wildlife, even if just for a few minutes. The soundtrack is also very effective, at times moving, stirring up similarities to Jessica Curry’s ‘Dear Esther’ soundtrack at points. I felt the soundtrack did a lot of the heavy lifting in creating the atmosphere in the game.

The plot of finding supplies for your brother is initially quite motivating, however it quickly loses any sense of urgency. You must collect ten supplies (bandages, medicine, water, food… all located atop ruined buildings), although eventually the story gives up the pretence of narratively engaging supplies and simply has you searching for ‘more medicines’ towards the end. These supplies exist in a kind of meta-state, whichever large building you find that is climbable will have the correct supply at the top, satisfying the next stage of your ‘quest’. This isn’t much of a problem, meta-thinking aside, as it allows you to tackle the buildings in any order, but it certainly drains from the narrative focus and tension. Your brother lies in wait, unmoving, and the collection of each supply has an almost identical animation of returning to the tower, administering the supply, sleeping, and waking before you set out for the next supply.

As you complete the main quest and gather collectables the game unlocks story images; simple pictographic slides that collectively tell a story. This element is clearly inspired by the images used in Journey to wordlessly provide context to the world, but here it falls flat. Journey’s story worked because the aesthetic and the theme were designed to be beautifully minimalistic and almost ‘culture-neutral’, with the pictographs carefully timed to provide deeper context for the world you travel through… But here the design feels lazy. There’s little extra context provided, and the cave-painting aesthetic of the pictographs didn’t feel genuine against the setting of the New York-esque city (even considering the post-apocalypse setting). It simply felt like a hollow execution of a fairly lazy idea, wrapped in a collect-a-thon sidequest just to provide something else to do.

The lack of combat or challenge weren’t a problem for me, in fact many of the games I list as clear inspirations don’t have much challenge or any combat. However, those other games succeed where Submerged falls short due to strong narrative themes or visual aesthetics providing potent artistic experiences. Submerged lacks severely in this area, sadly, and also lacks polish, leaving it feeling like a hollow game that is less than the sum of its parts. All too often it simply feels like a rushed and unfinished game. Buildings are blocky and ‘gamey’, wreckage feels lazy and repeated, and the majority of the textures are flat and lifeless. Whilst certain moments can be particularly beautiful visually, these are more often surrounded by ugly textures, poorly placed foliage, clumsy repeating objects, uninteresting story, and clumsy animations that pull the artistry back down.

I admire what Submerged wanted to be, but it lacks a strong aesthetic and any meaningful central theme, along with virtually no plot development or polish, instead feeling like a rushed and unfinished homage to a half dozen greater games.

If you’re happy to play a slow-paced, short but relatively relaxing game with a lot of rough edges, give it a try and you might get some fun out of this. But if you’re looking for story or a meaningful, artistic experience, Submerged sadly falls below the line.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny