Dive Into Our Under the Waves PC Review

User Rating: 7
Under the Waves PC Review

How do you feel about surreal underwater travel? You can experience a poetic underwater adventure about a man trying to overcome his traumatic past and save his life, both literally and figuratively. Will the protagonist of this game, Stan, ever rise to the surface again, or will he stay there forever? We can find this in the new game from publisher Quantic Dream, Under the Waves.

The depths of the sea open before us – control your submarine over the abyss and make your way through caves, sunken ships, and submerged plants in search of salvageable backstory items, collectibles, and much more—craft equipment to help Stan explore further and improve everything he has. Witness the beauty of the ocean – dive into the magnificent underwater environment, from unfathomable depths to retro-futuristic structures, a unique environment full of secrets awaits you – discover an alternate reality of 1979 where retro, sci-fi, and fantasy merge perfectly.

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Yes, Under the Waves is first and foremost a personal drama, “a narrative adventure game about the all-consuming power of grief.” Of course, as Stan’s submersible working for a major oil company, we’re constantly swimming in a bathyscaphe on the ocean floor, doing daily tasks for the firm, maintaining equipment, collecting resources, photographing whales and sharks, and so on. But the main thing here is the end of each working day when Stan goes to bed in his small habitation module and is left alone with his consciousness.

Another question is that the drama itself is read almost immediately – it has been described more than once in books, films, and games. For example, in Heavy Rain from the same Quantic Dream, which now acts as a publisher, not a developer. Yes, you will guess if I say that in this equation, there is he, she, and the child. It’s an almost forbidden hold and a low blow that brings out emotions and tears anyway, and our professional diver Stan struggles to overcome his life-changing loss and embrace a new future.

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The isolation of the deep sea is a fitting expression of his state of mind, and as Stan sinks deeper into his self-imposed solitude, he begins to experience strange events far below the waves.

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The transfer of emotions in a playful way is not an easy task since different emotions are experienced subjectively. But, as with our Stan, overcoming grief is often described as overwhelming loneliness as well as overwhelming emptiness, which even the empty, vast, and dark depths of the sea can symbolize. Here comes the thought of a metaphor that draws parallels between the isolation symbolized by the ocean depths and that often accompanied by sadness. Whether the analysis is correct or not, find the “Under the Waves” emotional register with me, allowing the depths of the sea to be mysterious and silent. Even sad souls need refreshment.

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This game is not about the danger behind every shipwreck, it is quite the opposite. The story progresses through Stan, who often speaks for himself or for himself. Through radio communications with our comrade Tim, his boss, an old friend of his father, and his wife Emma, ​​you will discover for yourself what part she plays in all this. A primitive AI assistant named Mercury also keeps Stan company at his home base, known as the life module.

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The living module is also authentically implemented, which we are gradually decorating with photographs and rarities found in chests. Here we look in the mirror every morning and go to make coffee, and then we call the authorities and get assignments.

In his underwater house, Stan does everything slowly. And everything only emphasizes his loneliness and state of mind, in which he wants to lie low and communicate only with fish, which, thank God, cannot speak.

Days in Under The Waves are chapters, and each day includes new missions. They are divided into two categories: main quests, which move the story forward, and secondary quests, which involve exploration, finding treasure, and sometimes finding new blueprints that unlock new abilities for Stan or his ship. A photo mode also invites Stan to take pictures of everything from seals to whale sharks. Part of the game is dedicated to resource management and crafting. However, it is very undemanding, but it starts automatically if you pick up a few things here and there from the bottom of the sea. Exploration is rewarded, and if you want to find everything, you’ll have to go on longer adventures than the game offers.

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In many ways, this provides us with real information about marine pollution and its ecological state without becoming too preachy or moralistic. He points the finger at large companies rather than individuals and does it very appropriately. All this is accompanied by no less banal environmental arguments and the thesis that oil is evil and bad people litter the oceans with their waste. The fact is that Under The Waves was made in collaboration with the European non-governmental foundation Surfrider, which is engaged in protecting coastlines and water.

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Therefore, in the game, you can find much information from environmental leaflets – for example, about how plastic waste adversely affects the oceans. All this is correct and commendable… And we will deal with the consequences under the argument that the oil generated by death itself multiplies it.

But, thank God, in the end, all this heaviness explodes with mysticism, connected with the protagonist’s personal drama and nightmares and with the oil company’s activities. There are dynamics, intrigue and even notes of horror, all the more creepy because everything happens on a black ocean floor. Most importantly, that very hint of Heavy Rain appears in the finale: we are faced with a very important choice, which makes us completely forget that we have already seen all this somewhere – so strong and dramatic, just in the spirit of the best works Quantic Dream.

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But if the survivor from Under The Waves is so-so, it is beautiful as a meditative game about a lonely man swimming among fish and sunken ships. The graphics are amazing in some places, and the soundtrack improved nowhere better. Speaking about the atmosphere, it was, for me, the main advantage of the game. And here, I mean the totality of the setting, environment, sounds, music, and picture. From the first exit to the open sea, the visual is impressive and continues to delight until the very credits. Crabs scurrying underfoot, sharks circling and schools of fish, giant whales, which you can swim to and feel their greatness. I am not an expert on the underwater world, but from the layman’s perspective, marine life simulation seems to be performed at the highest level.

Yes, and the authors worked hard on working out the bottom. Although the main map in the game is relatively small, about two square kilometers, there are many points of interest on it – sunken ships of different eras, aircraft, all kinds of artifacts, and caves with unusual finds. And the developers did a great job on the musical accompaniment. I was especially attracted to the tracks included in the open world after important story events. It’s like you’re just returning to base at the end of the day, and the melody emphasizes recent events.

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In 2010, Quantic Dream released Heavy Rain. Now the company has become the publisher of a game whose hero is in much the same situation as architect Ethan Mars and is going through a similar drama. But his circumstances are different, and the whole situation is viewed from a different angle – it’s not about finding the culprit but about finding peace within yourself. And if Under The Waves helps someone from real people find this world, then this is much more important than its environmental messages or the search for an answer to the question of why this is not the new Subnautica or Detroit.

If you like nautical themes or just meditative projects where you don’t have to rush and kill someone, take note of Under the Waves.

Under the Waves is now available on Steam for $29.99.

Our review was completed with a key provided by PR.

Under the Waves is one of those games that you have to complain about, but overall you still like it. First of all, the game takes not so much the plot or gameplay as the atmosphere. Lamp retro futurism, stunningly beautiful water depths, excellent simulation of marine life, Stan's beautiful nightmares (no matter how strange it may sound) - and all this is accompanied by well-chosen music. The audio-visual series is on top, and thanks to him you forgive the game a lot. If you like nautical themes or just meditative projects where you don't have to rush and kill someone, take note of Under the Waves.
  • Surprising plot
  • A fascinating and meditative exploration of the undersea world
  • Gorgeous graphics and music, especially waves
  • Unclear and illogical moments in the script
  • Neither a survival game nor a crafting game
  • Only 4-6 hours of gameplay

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