Available last month, The Uppercut Games release Submerged: Hidden Depths brings a relaxing, third-person exploration game. Released on March 9th of this year, Submerged: Hidden Depths lets the player explore a beautifully haunting world of water and ruin. So, how is this new title from Uppercut Games? Find out in our review of Submerged: Hidden Depths.
Story: A tale told through exploration, which can leave missed clues
Set in a dystopian future of a world now flooded with rising seas. The player steps into the role of Miku and her younger brother Taku as they arrive at their new home. The two siblings one set to use her curse for good, while the other determined not to let it destroy them.
The story is not its whole and is not placed before the character. By completing the primary set of goals, the player can learn the personal story of Miku and Taku, but there is more to the story of Submerged: Hidden Depths. By exploring, players can learn the story of the place Miku and Taku call home.
Submerged: Hidden Depths offers almost a fairytale story of family and finding a home. However, traveling across the world in its open seas lets the surroundings tell its story instead of characters or action. Only by exploring can the player learn the story of this world and what happened to it.
The story is fantastic, but it could have been told just a little better. Telling the story of the siblings and the world itself through journal entries was a novel idea, but when exploring, if you happen to miss a journal entry, you may miss out on a portion of the story.
While emphasizing exploration, those who aren’t completionists may miss out on parts of the great story. But, this is a small caveat in what is a great story.
Gameplay: Fluid climbing and sailing with minor issues
Submerged: Hidden Depths features seafaring, building climbing adventures across submerged structures. Here the player is offered three simple tasks sail, climb, and carry.
Sailing is fantastic, plain, and simple. The ship Miku and Taku sail in operates smoothly and nimbly. You don’t often get caught up in objects, and the boat itself isn’t just a transportation tool. At times you’ll need to use it to gain bridge access or open pathways, and it can also be upgraded to improve speed.
Once off your boat, players will have Miku completer her goal. She’ll have to climb her way across the half-sunken structures to do so. Climbing in Submerged: Hidden Depths is, for the most part, is smooth and easy. Transferring from ledge to ledge using the panned-out cameras feels like playing Prince of Persia again. For the most part, the game handles the movement, so missing a rope swing or ledge transfer won’t ever happen.
Once you’ve obtained what you need, the players will have to assist Miku in putting it back where it belongs. Carrying it back to its assigned position can also be a task and not always a straightforward affair. Using zip lines to sed it across bridges, using it to access otherwise inaccessible areas. Utilizing these carried objects is just as important as everything else, and Uppercut Games does a great job implementing carrying mechanics into their game.
Submerged: Hidden Depths also offers a Postcard Mode. This will allow players to shoot their photos in the game. In addition, players can use the beautiful backdrop of the Submerged: Hidden Depths and the Unreal Engine 4 to shoot some great photos.
Graphics/Audio: Gorgeous graphic design and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack
Submerged: Hidden Depths showcases the graphical capability of the Unreal Engine. The game is simply gorgeous when having its settings maxed out. Gliding across a crystal clear ocean teeming with life underneath is a sight. Exploring the overgrown ruins dotted throughout with its inhabitants, climbing up to the top of the structures, and looking out will display a beautiful world crafted in the powerful Unreal Engine 4.
Unfortunately, players may suffer from stutters as they traverse when out on the open sea, as we did during our review of Submerged: Hidden Depths. This is especially the case when using the boost. Hopefully, these issues can be sorted out with a couple more updates to the game.
Submerged: Hidden Depths offers a serene and peacefully distant soundtrack by the BAFTA-winner Jeff Van Dyck. While it may not be something you’ll add to your music playlist, the soundtrack adds to the haunting beauty of a world now drowned.
The voice acting is not too bad either, with Matthew McCamley (Taku) and Ella Van Dyck (Miku) lending their voices to the siblings. They managed to convey the feeling between the siblings even while having to speak in a fictional language.
Conclusion: A short but fantastic experience worth a try
Uppercut Games release Submerged: Hidden Depths is a gorgeous game set in the ruin of a flooded world, selected with beautiful graphics and a soundtrack that is set well to it. Controls that are simple and fluid with little difficulty of transition or snagging. There are some need fixes to improve frames, especially at open sea.
After reading our review of the game, if you’re interested in a calm sea exploration game set in the third person in a hauntingly beautiful backdrop, the Uppercut Games release Submerged: Hidden Depths is worth the try. A beautiful short game with a decent story. Submerged: Hidden Depths is available on PC via Steam & Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 & 5, and Xbox One & Series X|S for $29.99.
- Fantastic soundtrack
- Effortless platforming
- Great main characters
- Graphical stuttering
- Storytelling choices can leave holes