Under the Waves Reviews

Under the Waves is ranked in the 48th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.
8 / 10
Sep 7, 2023

Gosh, I was looking forward to this game! The gloomy presentation, along with the narrative approach in the depths of the sea already excited me at the announcement. Fortunately, there is still plenty of enthusiasm left for the release. Because in its narrative and writing, I'm happy to let Under the Waves capture me and throw me into an emotionally gripping game. Indeed, that grabs you just as much as exploring the underwater world that seems so alien. The only annoying thing is the stiff submarine controls and the heavy tearing in the main menu. This has already been fixed on the PC, but console players will have to be patient. Under the Waves is a moving excursion into the depths, including those of the main character Stan. Dealing with the past, loss and loneliness, as well as dealing with the environment, are skillfully spun into a virtual journey wrapped in exploration. Absolutely recommended purchase!

Review in German | Read full review

Sep 7, 2023

While far from shallow, Under the Waves doesn’t quite reach the depths that it could have. Its ambient score, gorgeous stylised visuals and emphasis on tackling issues such as mental wellbeing, ocean conservation and how we deal with grief illustrate just how much love has been put into the game. However, some of its more striking moments quickly come undone as a result of a lacklustre protagonist, whose monotone line delivery and poor lip-syncing can break you out of the seafaring spell, as well as the occasional bug. Nonetheless, despite Stan and some technical hiccups here and there, Under the Waves shines when you are roaming around the ocean, taking photos of the various ecosystems and cleaning up the environment to later put to use for crafting materials. Spending your days exploring the ocean may seem like a quiet task, and it is, but it is a meditative one that you should allow to wash over you.

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Sep 8, 2023

Under the Waves is a strong start for Spotlight, Quantic Dream’s new publishing label. It carefully manages several deep, meaningful and important themes, while allowing us to explore a vast ocean to wave at seals, pick up trash and take photos of sharks. Some build instability, repetition and mechanical frustrations aside, this is a very well told story with a wonderful sense of pace, a surprising amount of atmosphere, complete with a series of enjoyable activities that also manage to bring a sense of calm and relaxation.

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8 / 10.0
Sep 11, 2023

In "Under the Waves" we didn't find the graphics of Detroit Become Human or the plot that Heavy Rain develops, but I found a more solid and engaging experience as a whole. By simplifying some elements and refining others, we are faced with a solid narrative that will captivate players and easily allow us to join the character's struggle... on a personal or professional level. The developer's bet on teaming up with an organization with "on-site" knowledge of the reality and difficulties our oceans face, was a successful bet and one that we see as an example for other publishers to follow.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

6.5 / 10.0
Sep 14, 2023

Under the Waves tells a solid tale of grief that is at its best when it focuses on environmentalism and technical issues and lack of polish hinder the unique experience of the deep sea.

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7 / 10.0
Sep 19, 2023

Rather simple in its conception, Under The Waves immerses the player in a narrative dealing with several subjects. The atmosphere and the way the story is told are undoubtedly the strengths of this game developed by the Parallel Studio team. Nevertheless, loading times, the pace of certain phases and technical problems detract from the overall experience. Still, the game should appeal to players looking for an immersive narrative experience.

Review in French | Read full review

Sep 20, 2023

Under The Waves is a powerful story with wonderful atmosphere, but a lack of polish holds it back from achieving its true potential.

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Lee Mehr
Top Critic
6 / 10.0
Sep 29, 2023

Parallel Studio's latest avoids drowning from formulaic story & design critiques, but whether the plunge is still worth it greatly depends on your Pacific taste.

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70%
Oct 2, 2023

Under the Waves is a slow and steady title with a gripping atmosphere and beautiful underwater world, but by the end, you might get sick of it.

Review in Slovak | Read full review

Oct 17, 2023

Under the Waves manages, despite its flaws and some routine and predictable occupation service, to leave a great impression when it moves on to moments of exploration that thicken the mystery. Perhaps it will be overtaken by other narratives and different models of interaction. But much of what it proposes is appealing and also for those who play it provides that feeling of isolation. It generates sensations and that's also what is asked of a game with a strong narrative and cinematic component.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

8 / 10.0
Oct 5, 2023

I initially approached Under the Waves with the intention of conquering a fear I’ve harbored since childhood. Instead, I found myself confronting parts of myself that I hid not only from others but also from myself. It was one of the most discomforting experiences I’ve ever had playing a game, but it’s an experience I know will stay with me for years to come.

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