Abzu Review


In 2012 the indie game Journey premiered, wowing players having its gorgeous sand-strewn and evocative story and soundtrack. They claim that imitation is the better sort of flattery, but that will not be true. Abzu has a page directly out from Journey’s book, attempting to emulate the ability players had, however time with the underwater setting. It will be has some gorgeous and memorable moments, but stumbles using places along the way.

Much like Journey, Abzu begins abrubtly, dropping players on the role associated with an enigmatic character, who’s seemingly on some sort of important quest or mission. Small robotic looking diver you play as awakens in the center of the ocean, there’s no explanation how or why, whatever you know essentially will need to swim forward. This ambiguous storytelling remains through the experience, using the game giving you equipment of imagery and context locations.

Like Journey, though, there are no spoken words hanging around, only images. Since you traverse a picturesque ocean environment absolutely packed with fish and underwater creatures, eventually someone happens upon a place filled with darkness where everything looks dead. There’s a single pool of water in the bottom, that takes one to an ethereal realm where your diver can use some type of power inside themselves to regenerate the ocean duration of the prior area. This actually is the chief goal of Abzu – visiting four of such areas and rejuvinating the plants and ocean duration of each. The act of doing that\’s a beautiful thing, making the dark and desolated areas vibrant and filled with life.

Underwater sequences in games are tough to nail, irrespective of a complete game being set underwater. Your diver doesn’t necessarily move slow, nevertheless for how big most of the areas at the tables are, it’s slower than you’d like. Abzu’s controls are simple; the left stick controls your diver rising, down, as well as every other direction. R2 swims forward, while X gives you a speed boost, square lets you meet up with objects, and circle is really a sort of strange roll which i never really found a use for.

While Abzu does endeavor to emulate Journey in its look, it really can’t tolerate it gameplay-wise. Journey had some smart puzzles and platforming weaved concerning its mysterious story and world, but Abzu’s setting holds it back by restricting the player’s speed and ways for movement.

The game is basically broken into two different elements of gameplay – one where you’re free exploring a smallish area, exploring and solving some very light puzzles; another has you traveling down a jet stream at high-speed for you to reach another open area. Unfortunately, a majority of Abzu’s gameplay comes down to one thing: swimming. There’s a handful of light, so i mean light, puzzle-solving elements like hitting switches or choosing a small robot to open a ?path for you. However, the key draw of Abzu happens to be peacefully floating using a gorgeous oceanscape.

There are many beautiful areas, plus a staggering amount of fish and ocean life, however this deficit of gameplay leaves Abzu feeling a bit hollow.??The jet stream areas the sport are quite possibly the most enjoyable, in your diver speeding along through tunnels and corridors, with fish wriggling all over them. Without spoiling anything, down the line amongst gamers there are many quick sections which entail your character walking on land. While these parts are few in number, their controls feel awkward for a way used to swimming you’ve become.

There is a huge increased exposure of the several kind of fish, and you\’ve got the opportunity to ride larger animals like whales or sharks. Certain points on the earth even help you meditate, and concentration within the wildlife, switching with shod and non-shod as they quite simply attempt their daily routine. Collectible shells dot the entire world, while small pools is often activated on your diver, thrusting more ocean life into the current area. The wildlife of Abzu is pretty possibly its strongest feature, alongside the stunning watercolor artstyle.?Fish answer you whilst you move along, swimming alongside you, every area is packed with a practically unrealistic degree of creatures.

There’s no HUD to convey of either, only preparing the serene a sense of the experience, while its art style reminded me of a kind of mixture between Journey and also the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Eels and fish creep over the water, while plants bend and flow, giving some type of movement to Abzu’s world. There’s one specific section in places you join a list of feeding whales that was absolutely stunning to behold. ?

Combine these aspects with Austin Wintory’s orchestrated score, and also composer of Journey, and Abzu is often a deeply calming experience. You’re never in any danger in the game, which makes it an event you can just soak in instead of really keep worrying about anything. Abzu only takes around 2-3 hours to carry out however, thus it likely isn’t an experience you’ll end up spending long in.?

Giant Squid Studios clearly wants Abzu to become as evocative of an experience as Journey, and although I enjoyed how calming it absolutely was, I ultimately found myself unsatisfied after my three-hour playthrough. The game’s world and setting may be very beautiful and atmospheric, but there just isn’t enough meat into the game to essentially sate your hunger. It’s certainly a panoramic experience at moments, but one that’s hard to recommend to anyone seeking a substantial experience. To be a first effort in the studio, hopefully they could make impressive tech on display in Abzu and continue bettering it.

SCORE: 3/5

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