“Why must the water be so serene and pretty? All I want to do is drown myself with the beauty.” – CutieRoo
The Majestic art design and idea of this game really had me sucked in enough to play it into the wee hours of the morning until I completed it. This is just some of the notable qualities of Abzu. The very idea of having an entire game be an underwater adventure where the protagonist does not speak and you must traverse throughout the ocean depths relying only on the sonic-pings that your character uses. However, this makes the protagonist’s personality quite difficult to understand. The story doesn’t give much depth for either, other than the idea that you are an adventurer who is traveling through the underwater world of the sea. In other words, the game revolves around immersing you into the world of what lies beneath the ocean and vast unknown. For starters you are able to interact or watch the creatures like schools of fish swimming around to the dolphins playing as they flip in circles around the diver or you can ride on them.
Above all, there is not a single inch of the ocean that isn’t captivating or vivid with colorfulness of life. This helps build the overall concept of the game by swimming into different sequences of the ocean then to solve semi puzzles to further pursue the discovery. Even natural obstacles will arise where the diver will be scooped into currents and the only way to semi-control the character is by swimming into the schools of fish that are near you to regain your direction. While all of this is going on, you must continue looking for the various hieroglyphs that are scattered throughout the ocean to further develop the storyline. Although, this does make the story difficult to understand without any narration at all; you are left trying to figure it out yourself. From what I could decipher for myself is that, I am trying to save the depleting ocean from huge amount of waste that humans are putting into it. If you have a better understanding please share with your comment below.
Indecently, there were a few drawbacks that I saw for myself. One being, when you are exploring freely there is not that much going on mechanically. You will swim through majority of the game easily/quickly, as well as there is barely any land movement to explore the environment. The other drawback was the lack of competition/difficulty out of the “puzzles” provided. It took little to no challenge to solve them and was simple to dodge any threats that came around like mines, etc. In the mechanical side of gaming, it’s not engaging. However, I think that is the point. To submerge you into all the various details and presentation of the sea life.
The music to Abzu is quite inviting helping your mind escape into wonder and sweeps you away by the aesthetics. It encourages you to have the character meditate and while doing so, look at your surroundings. Thus, striving you to relax and take it all in and lose yourself to it and just become immersed by the game itself.
As a final point, Abzu is a game that is worth checking out for yourself with the world that is provided. Experiencing this world is enough to recommend the play. There are very few games that are made today where you strive for placidity while in exploration mode. With all the aesthetic wonder that makes up Abzu, makes up for the lack of mechanics. All in all, if you have some free time and are looking for something interesting to fill the void Abzu could be just the game you are looking for.
I provide my opinion of experience with the video games I review by being a consumer and share my voice in the gaming industry.
Proofed by: R. Arias
Device used for game-play: PC
Review on: Abzu