Stranded Deep

Stranded in the middle of the ocean with no one in sight. How will you survive?

By Gabriel_P, Posted 01 Feb 2015

Stranded in the Pacific Ocean, you’re the only survivor of a plane crash. You have one objective: survive. Developed by Beam Team, Stranded Deep throws you in the middle of life threatening scenarios, and you must quickly adapt in order to survive. It is best described as an open-world sandbox game. You have a literally endless world at your disposal. In order to survive, you are required live off the land and the sea, making the most of what is available to you. The inclusion of features such as crafting and building gives the player a large sense of freedom, allowing each player to play their own way. For an Early Access game, Stranded Deep’s visuals are astounding, and will surely be further developed before the release of the full game.

Stranded Deep preview screenshot

No back-story is given at all, but you play a passenger on what seems to be your private jet. In front of you is a sleeping computer, a news paper, an ash tray filled with cigarettes, and a bottle, presumably containing hard liquor. Perhaps you are a business man under stress. Nevertheless, after trying to relax with a Martini, the plane’s fuselage is pierced and you grasp whatever you can to stay alive. Eventually, you hit the water. The two pilots are dead. You swim to the surface and climb in a conveniently placed life raft and paddle to shore.

Once you are ashore, you must fight to survive for as long as possible. You do this by using whatever you can find. Chop down trees to gather sticks and make shelters, or use the wood for a fire and cook freshly caught fish or crabs. Beam Team have placed a lot of emphasis on crafting and building in Stranded Deep, and these two features are the bones of this game. The game starts you off with a lighter, water bottle, and a knife. These items aren’t nearly enough for survival however, so crafting and building will be most of what you do.

You can craft the most essential items with your hands, as long as you have the right materials. A makeshift axe for chopping down trees and a makeshift spear for killing fish are two examples of essential items for survival that can be crafted. Building, different from crafting, is for more complex items. While you can craft crude items, you can build things like shelters and rafts. The trick to this is figuring out exactly what you need to craft and build these items. Since this is an Early Access game, there is little to offer in the tutorial department, so you will most likely need to consult Beam Team’s official guide to survive.

Stranded Deep screenshot preview

Although crafting and building is vital, these aren’t the only things you need to think about. Sharks. Yes, sharks can and will attack you. With the game in its current state, sharks’ behaviour are very unpredictable and inconsistent. When it does attack however, it does feel both frightening and impressive at the same time. The shark will drag you down and bleed you out, forcing you to find some way to treat your wounds; otherwise you will eventually die due to blood loss.

The playable character is wearing a watch. Not only does this tell you the time and how many days you’ve survived, it also shows you your health status. This includes your overall health, hunger level, and thirst level. Many things can affect your overall health. These include physical wounds, like cuts you may have obtained after being attacked by a shark, or damage taken from falling out of a tree after you tried to climb it to pick coconuts. Thirst and hunger however, are the two you will need to keep on top of. The main source of food is fish, while water is much harder to acquire. After your water bottle is empty, you will need to have some sort of receptacle to catch rain water, when it rains.

One of the most important things you should know about Stranded Deep is that the world is quite literally endless. It is infinitely generated and created algorithmically, meaning there are no boundaries, and no loading screens. Everything is completely seamless. You will start on one island, but can travel to another one whenever you want. Each island is different and no one player will have the exact same experience while playing the game. As it stands, every island is the same distance away from each other and The also feel roughly the same size. Each island is also home to  the same foliage. Nevertheless, this concept of an endless world is still in very early stages and it is already showing great promise.

The game as a whole has huge potential, but something that is especially impressive are the visuals; more specifically: the water and the sky. The water is developed with real-time buoyancy and subsurface scattering, as well as extremely detailed and “endless” underwater environments that allow for deep sea exploration. The marine wildlife is fully interactive, allowing you to hunt fish and be hunted by sharks.

Stranded Deep has been in Alpha stages since the 23rd of January and just over a week later, it is already shaping up to be a very impressive game. Unlike many other Early Access games, there are very few glitches in Stranded Deep, but rather incomplete features and small animation quirks. This game definitely has a unique feel to it, as I cannot think of a game like this at all. It is such a simple idea, but is very ambitious to execute. Beam Team however, are very well on their way to making a very successful and widely enjoyed survival game.

Gabriel Polychronis, NoobFeed (@G_Polychronis)

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Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): NoobFeed
Genres: Video Games
Themes: Latest Updates
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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