It's easy to get lost inside Submerged's desolate seascapes. Its desire for pacifism and drive for hope are worthy talents, but it's the call to adventure—to indulge and explore marine tranquility and conquering vegetation—that you'll keep with you, if only for a little while.
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.
You're better off saving your money instead of sinking it on the titanic failure that is Submerged.
Even at only three-to-four hours in length, Submerged feels padded.
Submerged has an interesting concept and artistic presentations very well built. Navigation and exploration are exciting at first until you notice the constant reuse of textures and similarities of some constructions. Some of the most different buildings cannot be climbed which is a bit frustrating. But the game's biggest downs are in the weak history and in the climbing mechanics, which presents no challenge at all and is extremely boring at some points. Despite some beautiful vistas the game has little to offer and I do not recommend it on its base price.
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There might have been a good idea at the heart of Submerged, but its execution is such a catastrophe that it's practically impossible to find it. Any emotional impact outside of pure anger that this short, repetitive title may have had is completely lost due to a number of technical issues and flat-out design flaws.
Submerged left me thinking, wondering, curious. That's what sticks with me, I want to go back at my own leisure and explore the world, find those secrets, and complete that world's story.
As much as I wanted to fall in love with Submerged, it's standing proof that a game needs more than good looks and a unique angle to win me over. With the 'emotional' story-driven approach slowly receding from the frontline of gaming, I'm left craving fun and challenging experiences that have us do more than haplessly roam within the confines of a digital sandbox.
A short, sweet, melancholic exploration game that offers precious few hours of gameplay, but it's beautiful to look at, and highly enjoyable to play.
Submerged feels like a concept rather than a complete game. What's here is so slight, the story so flimsy, that it left almost no impression on me.
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.
Submerged isn't a lengthy game or a game of innovative ideas and sophisticated gameplay, but it is a rich and haunting experience that uses exploration to tell its story. Its minimalist approach won't be for everyone, but connect and this could be one of the most memorable games you play this year.
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.
Not having to worry about dying or engaging in combat means the game is a soothing experience, free from any sense of danger or urgency
Despite its interesting premise, Submerged never achieves more than mediocrity due to its repetitive gameplay, lacklustre execution, and unpolished world design.
After only ten minutes in the game you've already experienced everything that Submerged has to offer. It's a rather dull and shallow title in what could have been an exciting and scary world. There is no combat, no urgency, and no chance of failure. The gameplay is boring, the landmarks and scenery are mediocre, and the story is almost nonexistent. Submerged is a rapidly sinking ship that never even left the harbor.
It's a reasonably short game for £14 – perhaps an afternoon's stuff to do first time through. But it's so unrelentingly lovely, and such a rare pleasure to be experienced without constant worry about being shot in the back of the head, or eaten by a wolf, or running out of time, or any of the other ways games so desperately want to concern us.
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.
Sunk by lacklustre gameplay, cliched storytelling and technical hiccups, Submerged is one of the biggest missed opportunities in recent memory.