Submerged: Hidden Depths PC Review

Submerged: Hidden Depths is an exploration game that aims to bring peace and tranquility to players.

By Yagmur, Posted 13 Apr 2022

You beat some games, and some games beat you. But sometimes, just at the right time, you find a game in which there is nothing to beat. This was precisely what I needed at the time I played this game. I believe that Submerged: Hidden Depths is one of those games that you can play when you need some peace and tranquility in your life.

The second installment of the Submerged series, Hidden Depths, takes place in a city underwater. Unlike Venice, though, this city is completely flooded. The world is also plagued by what the main characters call "The Mass", and it is their responsibility to clean it. With the power of one of the main characters, Miku, we try to help the city get rid of this plague. Everywhere we go, we bring flowers and beauty with us- And it is just as relaxing as it sounds.


Submerged: Hidden Depths, PC, Review, Uppercut Games, Exploration

Our protagonists are siblings Miku and Taku. Though Miku's power is what helps the city, Taku is not entirely happy with the work that they are doing. He cannot help but think that her power might negatively affect them. The story does not end there- Every time we clean a place of Mass, we learn more of the core story, but it is important to note that it never really overwhelms us. There is no info dump. The story is told so that the player does not even need to pay attention to it. You can explore at your own pace without the help of the story.

If you want to learn about the story, you'd better gather some collectibles because there is no other way to understand it completely. Then again, this is a game whose primary objective is not to tell a story. The game relies mainly on mechanics rather than storytelling.

So, as I said, the player is mainly left alone to explore the city with the help of these two characters. It is a prime example of an exploration game: There is no combat, only parkour and finding hidden collectibles. There are so many things to find, so I'm sure completionists will have a lot of fun with this one. Though I said "parkour", I'm not so sure of the wording here. The platforming indeed reminds me of the parkour mechanics of games like Uncharted and Tomb Raider, but the game is nothing like these two. Indeed, the most crucial aspect of this game is that there is no combat: You cannot die. The game does not allow the player to die, so there is no world where you can slip and die while parkouring. While parkouring is supposed to be action-filled, as far as Submerged: Hidden Depths is concerned, it is comforting to know that the game holds your hand tightly.


Submerged: Hidden Depths, PC, Review, Uppercut Games, Exploration

 

The parkour helps accelerate the game a bit, and I'm very grateful for that. As a player who enjoys playing many different genres, I usually abandon a game when exploring becomes too much for me. So, it is genuinely refreshing to see how Submerged: Hidden Depths seems to have overcome this issue by adding a parkour platformer.

Even in these opening statements, I know that I could not hide how much I enjoyed this game, but let me talk about what I wouldn't say I liked a little bit now. As someone who gets lost a lot (even in the real world), I was glad to see that a map and a compass accompany me when I first started playing this game. However, sadly, the compass quickly turned out to be quite useless.

My observations led me to believe that Submerged: Hidden Depths does not want to tell the players where they should go. The game wants the players to figure this out on their own. But the existence of the compass, then, messes with this ideal of the game, doesn't it? Well, do not fret- The compass does not do its job anyway. It points out the general direction for you, and if you try to follow it, it is unlikely that you will understand where you're going.

Even someone who loses her way quickly, like me, can see that the creators put in the effort to give the players freedom, but in a way that still implicitly helps. For instance, the platforming points are painted a bright shade of red (think of Uncharted's yellow paint), and the towers where you can look out to the entire city are marked with a red-eye. If all else fails, the map certainly helps. Therefore, I can say that one of my two complaints is the compass. I'd much rather if it did not exist than a half-baked attempt at being one.


Submerged: Hidden Depths, PC, Review, Uppercut Games, Exploration, Rope Swinging


The second criticism that I have is the camera. I have played many games and have seen so many bad cameras, from fixed points to impossible-to-control ones. The camera in Submerged: Hidden Depths is nowhere as bad as these. It is not bad per se, but unfortunately disappoints sometimes. Especially when exploring the buildings, going up and down in lifts, and sliding downpipes- The game takes the camera away from your control and holds it so that you do not want it to hold. Sometimes, wildly while swinging, the camera does what it wants to do without giving you any control whatsoever, which results in the character turning towards the wrong side. This is also the case usually when you enter and leave the "postcard mode," which is essentially a photo mode with a fancy name.

The camera issue does not come up often, though, so it is not something that should make you afraid to start playing this game. Submerged: Hidden Depths is insanely charming and cozy; it is impossible not to love this game. If nothing, the bright colors will lure you in. You'll come for the platforming, stay for the music, or you'll come for the flowers and stay for the sailing. It is undoubtedly a gorgeous game that promises to be your best friend.



 

However, it is best not to try to finish this game quickly. Take your time, find the collectibles, explore everything to see, and complete the game. This is because there is a lot to see, a lot to take in, and a lot to appreciate here. Furthermore, since the game transports the players back to the middle of the map every time they complete cleaning one place, the players might feel like they are doing the same thing repeatedly, which is never good.

I don't think Submerged: Hidden Depths is designed to finish quickly put aside- I believe it is made to be a beautiful journey. And this is precisely what is beautiful about it.


Yagmur Sevinc (@yagmursevvinc)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Uppercut Games, Stadia Games and Entertainment
Developer(s): Uppercut Games
Genres: 3D Platformer
Themes: Open World, Adventure
Release Date: 2022-03-09

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