Song of the Deep
A lovely setting can't quite make up for a game that plays things a little too safely.
Song of the Deep makes a fantastic first impression. Its gorgeous world, charming characters, and melancholy tone make for a unique and effective aesthetic. But once you get into the core of the mechanics, combat and puzzles become a slog thanks to its cumbersome controls and wonky physics. Still, I found myself willing to put up with all of these frustrations in order to delve deeper and deeper into this beautiful world.
A different take on the usual Metroidvania formula, but while the story and setting are charming the puzzles are rarely anything other than frustrating.
An undersea adventure that is more about seeing the sights than captivating gameplay.
A charming story and enjoyable combat make the journey worth taking even if sub-par puzzles, technical issues, and frustrating controls drag down the experience
At around six hours long, Song of the Deep doesn't have enough time to become a disaster, and there are redeeming aspects of it. The character, the voiceover, the presentation are all a change of pace from the video game status quo, and the sense of discovery the first half offers is welcome. But it's hard to shake the feeling of a game with potential that never quite figures out how to deliver on it.
Though its patience-testing puzzles hit a few sour notes, Song of the Deep still delivers a rich, imaginative undersea adventure.
Insomniac Games' Song of the Deep is an excellent metroidvania whose underwater setting gives the genre a nice twist. Its map is impressively large, and it packs many inventive puzzles that are fun to solve. It looks and sounds brilliant too. The boss battles are a little on the weak side however, but they don't take the shine off what is otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable and very sweet exploration game.
Despite its sparkling surface, Song of the Deep could use a bit more polish. That said, it hits more than it misses, and I can easily see myself coming back to its sprawling world every few years or so. With more development time in the form of a sequel (possibly using another mythos and setting), it could be something really special. For now what we've got is absolutely still worth playing.