Each week on Twitch and Alpha, hosts Erika Ishii and Trisha Hershberger talk video games with special industry guests, insightful coverage and a ton of audience interaction on our show Game Engine. Be sure to tune in every Tuesday starting at 4 PM PT to learn about what’s new and cool in the world of video games.
Gen Con is right around the corner and that means tons of games, fun Geek & Sundry panels, and mermaids. Yep, you heard me right, Team Alpha is partnering with Greater Than Games to present the Ruins of Atlantis Masquerade Ball. Guests will be donning cosplays of their favorite Sentinels Comics characters, Atlanteans, or dressing up in their finest sea-worthy costumes rub elbows and fins with Ivan van Norman and Becca Scott, who will be MC’ing the evening. To get into the spirit, we’re celebrating games that dive deep into the ocean and let us explore our fishiest dreams.
Song of the Deep
Song of the Deep combines a Miyazaki-esque story with Metroidvania-style gameplay to tell the tale of Merryn, a young girl whose father goes missing at sea. She dreams he is trapped deep within the ocean and builds a submarine to try to rescue him. As Merryn ventures through the sea she comes across places and creatures she once thought were only fairy tales that her father had told her. The game captures a sense of wonder as you make your way through puzzles, fighting multiple waves of enemies, and find new tools to add you your submarine. If anyone could find Atlantis, Merryn could.
The ocean’s depths can be terrifying; crushing pressures, dwindling oxygen supplies, and strange mutated human-robot hybrids that want to murder you. Soma is a dark descent into the meaning of humanity. Playing as Simon Jarrett, a car crash survivor with severe brain damage, you must traverse the remains of a deep-sea research facility, trying to find pieces of a Power Suit, and avoiding the deadly mutants that roam the halls. Like many of Frictional Games’s titles (Penumbra & Amnesia) Soma begins on the side of creepy, with it’s long stretches of empty hallways and dim lighting, and cascades into the truly mind-bending dread, as robot-human hybrids beg for you to end their miserable lives and you begin to realize what it means to survive this place… I can assure you, it’s nothing good. For those looking to embrace the darker side of the waters, Soma is a fine slice of horror-pie.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum from Soma, Abzû is a vacation. If you’re looking to just go for a swim in an absolutely stunning oceanscape, then Abzû is the game for you. This swimming-simulator allows you to explore at your own pace; catching a ride on the local marine-life, finding hidden collectibles, and discovering strange ruins and ancient technology (all without the rabid human-robot hybrids). While there are some puzzles to decipher and an overarching plot or sorts, the main idea is to just enjoy the majesty of the ocean through gorgeous graphics and serene music. Swimming around Abzû will definitely help you channel your inner mermaid.
Imagine crashing into an alien ocean with no land in sight. Your pod is on fire, you have no food or water, and your only hope for survival is finding supplies for your ships fabricator. This is the reality of Subnautica. Serene at moments and frightening at others, Subnautica is a survival/exploration game set on the planet 4546B. You start out with almost nothing and must scavenge the sea for anything useful until you can find a way to escape. IN the game you’re able to build large underwater bases and submarines, explore alien ruins, and discover why your ship crashed in the first place. The waters of 4546B are filled with bio-luminescent fish and fearsome creatures that would be happy to make a lunch out of you. As the game is open world, you can spend hours exploring without really dipping into the story, but if you do hunt down the plot, there is plenty of fascinating lore to find. Subnautica is a happy medium between Soma’s dark themes and Abzû’s beautiful journey.
What underwater games do you enjoy? Which ones will inspire your costume for the Ruins of Atlantis Ball? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to tune into Game Engine on Twitch and Alpha for more video game goodness every Tuesday starting at 4PM PT.
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Hailing from New York, Jessica Fisher is a writer, artist, and all around geek. In addition to Geek & Sundry, she writes for Gameosity.com and produces the Gameosity Reviews Youtube Channel. Find her talking about all things geeky on Twitter as @miniktty.
Image Credits: Insomniac Games, Frictional Games, Giant Squid, Unknown Worlds Entertainment