Publisher: Uppercut Games
Developer: Uppercut Games
Genre: Interactive Adventure
Release Dates: August 4, 2015 (NA) / August 5, 2015 (EU)
Submerged is one of the most pointless video games that I have ever played in my life, and that has nothing to do with the game being broken like it usually means in such cases, but instead Submerged puts you in the role of Miku as she tries to save her brother from death by searching for medicine, food, water and supplies in the small archipelago made up of ruined buildings, most of which are partially submerged under the water, but that explanation is the only thing related to the title of the game, as once you pick up the controller and start playing you slowly realize that the game is only a multitude of fetch quests without any combat or gameplay mechanics aside from walking and climbing.
The story start off interesting as you arrive with your ill brother on the home island and set on your first quest to find him medicine, but by the time you return from your first fetch quest you probably would've realized that there's nothing more to the game aside from that and the story is simply a rip-off of Shadow of the Colossus without the epic battles or the wondrous exploration moments. The majority of the game is made up of those main fetch quests for which a cutscene will occasionally play upon your return to your brother, but there's no writing, voice acting or dialogue, instead the story is told via those hieroglyph cards that will pop-up during the cutscene, all of which explain obvious and logical parts of what you just did, without adding any context to the universe, the characters or what happened to the world that resulted in a city being completely submerged underwater. 4
The only things you can do in this game are walking, climbing and sailing your small boat, all of which become monotone in the first ten minutes, as the game does nothing to provide a challenge or change things up, and dying is impossible as even if you jump in the wrong direction the jump will still count. Aside from collecting the supply packages usually placed on the top of the buildings that take five minutes to climb just for the sake of making the game longer, you can also explore the map to find all the collectibles, but most of those follow the same pull over in a corner, climb the building, collect the thing mechanic that you will repeat for the next three hours if you want to collect all of them.
It's obvious that gameplay is not Submerged's strong suite, but with dozens of environmental exploration games that came from the indie market in the past few years, there have been great examples of what those games are supposed to be, and Submerged is none of that, as the entire game feels like a tech demo for some technology from a decade ago, as the universe and story are barely defined and there's no game to actually back up playing through this pointless climbing simulator. 3
Submerged also feels unpolished and quite ugly in some areas, which is surprising since it was built using Unreal Engine 4, but sadly most of the game feels outdated graphically in each area, as the water effect is basic, the shadows sometimes don't align right and the overall look of the environment feels like it came out of an early PS3 title and not something that came out in 2015. Miku's walking and climbing animations are also quite rough on the edges as your legs will randomly get absorbed into the floor occasionally and climbing in some areas can look weird and unnatural. 3.5
Considering how bad the rest of the game is, the soundtrack is actually quite relaxing, which may at least provide a good background for anyone looking to unlock all the achievements by exploring the map, but anything else related to sound effects is basic and the voice acting is absent, not that it necessarily needs voice acting since the story is pointless. 6
Rushing from one supply box to the next one you could probably finish the game in less than two hours, add up to three more if you're willing to spend more time collecting everything, but aside from that there's no replay value or additional modes, which for a 19,99€ title considering also how bad the game is in other areas, that seems quite overpriced, so even if you're only picking this one up for the easy achievements, I highly recommend waiting for a sale. 2.5
It's weird because I feel like the core idea that probably started the development of this game wasn't bad, as the premise of a city submerged underwater with only two survivors left seems intriguing, but that somehow ended up being this, an underdeveloped plot and universe with no memorable characters, almost no gameplay mechanics and outdated graphics, all made for a quick cash grab of 20 bucks. 3.8