STAFF REVIEW of Submerged: Hidden Depths (Xbox One)


Monday, March 21, 2022.
by Kirsten Naughton

Submerged: Hidden Depths Box art Have you ever wondered what would happen if the world you knew suddenly became submerged in water and everything above water had black mass covering what’s left of the buildings you once knew, and in the blink of an eye, everything you knew yesterday was gone? Some would feel devastation, hurt and worry. A brother and sister on this journey together will discover their world once again, one building and landmark at a time. Uppercut Games has a few titles under their belt such as City of Brass and Danger Dodgers, but their latest, Submerged: Hidden Depths was visually impressive. When I embarked on this journey, Uppercut Games threw one hell of a punch.


If you’re looking for a well written, in-depth story, Submerged: Hidden Depths will not be quite but you’re looking for. However, what it lacks in story it makes up in the overall gameplay. I’m usually the type that appreciates a good story with good character progression, however, the gameplay speaks for itself. If the developers added a stronger focus on the narrative, I worry that it might have taken away from Submerged: Hidden Depths' true goal, exploration. If you like finding everything and covering every nook and cranny before moving on, look no further. You will explore ruined buildings, abandoned little islands and have enough ocean surrounding you to keep you busy for hours looking for sea creatures, hidden treasure and relics. On the islands you can find journal entries and parts of the story that can be pieced together. I can’t say enough how impressed I am with the way the developers made everything so good that I can’t put my controller down; It’s THAT good. But wait, there’s more.


If you thought finding treasure, relics, sea creatures and journals was enough for you to start playing... you may need one more reason to start playing right now. The visuals and aesthetics are extremely well done, to the point where I spent just as much time wandering around and taking in my surroundings as I did collecting things. There isn’t too many items where it borderlines on overwhelming, but there’s just enough where you can keep yourself busy wandering or collecting. I rarely find a game where I get the best of both worlds, as most of the time you get one or the other. I found myself submerged in the idea of every item I collected, every building I saw, I wanted to get it and explore it fully before moving on.

The core gameplay will consist of you travelling by boat from island to island, restoring the plants from being black to green and becoming beautiful again. The way you do that is you have to explore the island you’re currently exploring to find a small glowing green ball, though it’s not usually right in front of your face. It’s generally hidden quite well, so you got to work for it by scaling walls, open gates and jump over big waterfalls usually to get at them. It’s not so hidden that your average gamer can’t find it, but it takes a little more than a left, right, scale a wall and 'ta-da'. I find that it’s way more fun this way. Having the ball needed hidden within the island or building forces you to look around every corner, enter every tent, walk every path and leave no stone unturned. There won’t be any loud music or scary dangerous monsters. The music is very zen-like; Calm, cool and the beats promote relaxation. Sure, every now and again, you’ll hear a sudden change in the music, but other than that, it stays pretty low key, which is what someone may need after a hard day of work or school.


If I had to point out one issue that frustrated and annoyed during my playthrough, was a minor bug that happened more than a few times. If you move slightly over on a staircase or a small platform, you can find yourself stuck where you can’t move at all. I found myself a few times standing still for up to about five minutes, trying literally everything I could think of to get myself moving again and unstuck from this bug. I still had a few instances of this occur with the recent patches, but they weren’t as long and I always eventually got myself free. It still is a bit of a pain, but it in no way affects my opinion of Submerged: Hidden Depths. It just means I have to be cautious where I step.

I can’t say enough good things about Submerged: Hidden Depths. For me, I’m going to stay in the hidden depths and keep exploring and you’re more than welcome to join me. I’ll be sailing the open sea and your journey has yet to start. You hopping aboard?

**Submerged: Hidden Depths was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S**




Overall: 8.5 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10

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