Submerged is a short but impactful experience, crafting sound and sight together to create something unique and different from the mold. It won't keep you coming back for days and weeks, but in its runtime it stands out as one of the most intimate and interesting interactive set pieces I've played this year.
Submerged is an interesting game in that it swaps out conventional combat mechanics for pure exploration. This means that it's not a challenging game, but it is still fairly engaging. Collecting more parts of the puzzle will keep you playing and driving around in the boat is easy to get the hang of. The climbing mechanics can be a little frustrating in comparison, but you will get used to them in time. The mysterious game crash still remains a mystery, but this seems like a very rare occurrence. For its length, it's hard to fully justify its initial asking price, but the content that's there doesn't outstay its welcome or feel overly short. Whether you fancy something less action packed, or just a quick and easy game, Submerged will be an enjoyable journey while it lasts.
Exploration can get very boring when you're just doing the same thing over and over again, but the intriguing game world, soothing soundtrack and unfolding story ensure Submerged keeps its head just above water.
As broken as the world is, it's also incredibly beautiful. The unfortunate part however, is that it isn't all that varied.
Submerged is not a bad game, but most certainly not an outstanding one. I enjoyed what it did for the time it took me to finish the story, but for players looking for more substance, there are other games out there that offer more.
The title's biggest downfall, then, is not any one single thing, but rather its overwhelming ambition. And in the grand scheme of things, perhaps that's not the worst problem to have. Indeed, despite its admittedly frequent rough patches, it's very hard to not admire the way this humble indie game so earnestly reaches for the stars.
Even at only three-to-four hours in length, Submerged feels padded.
Combined with no challenge to its climbing, other than a few misdirections that effectively punish you with the tedium of having to go backwards, the game misses the mark on taking its promising and, at least, baseline effective parts and turning them into something as strong as Shadow of the Colossus. Even if you were to remove that comparison, the game stumbles to create a consistent experience on its own. And at some point, it would be fair to argue that the comparison is being a little generous.
Sunk by lacklustre gameplay, cliched storytelling and technical hiccups, Submerged is one of the biggest missed opportunities in recent memory.