Everything Is Not Better Under The Sea
Nothing is scarier than the unknown. When watching horror films many completely ruin any scares after showing the monster aside from cheap jump scares.
I have a reoccurring dream where I’m falling underwater, be it in a car or an airplane, and going over an underwater cliff deep into the unknown. It is the worst.
Diluvion takes place entirely underwater. It is fucking terrifying. Easily the most uncomfortable I’ve been playing a game in years.
Diluvion is a singleplayer submarine survival game set on Earth after god’s decided to sink the entire planet in water due to mankind becoming too powerful and violent. Now everyone lives underwater aboard submarines and completely submerged cities. An original game and setting to say the least, one that ends up feeling like an underwater survival Fallout.
First things first, the controls have a steep learning curve, be it on keyboard or controller. This is one of those games where Steam’s built-in controller mapping comes in handy unless you deal with the keyboard controls. By default, the W and S keys adjust your speed forward or backward, while A and D adjust your pitch left and right. Finally, Q and E move your submarine up and down. This can become extremely confusing considering the camera can be facing any direction while your submarine continues in another while you’re trying to aim at and shoot enemies.
While this game has survival elements such as an oxygen meter and food, they feel out of place and not all that impactful. Food can be bought from various shops that dot the three varying maps, and oxygen is refilled when docking with any ship or building. As you’re constantly docking, oxygen never comes into play, and can even be upgraded to allow your sub to carry more. Food is cheap and is often also found inside chests in buildings. I had to buy food maybe twice.
That brings me to the biggest issue with Diluvion other than the steep learning curve of the controls: it is very linear. While at first glance you’ll think you’re playing a survival exploration game, but in reality, the game bread crumbs you along with either golden fish trails or characters telling you where to go. While there are a few moments of exploration, these are about as fun as stumbling around trying to find your pants after hooking up with a one night stand, only scarier.
Most of the time here is just spent slowly moving through the water with a little backtracking. Combat is here but isn’t as tight as it should be thanks to the clunky controls. Thanks to the camera also controlling the aim it often leads to moments of confusion when fighting enemy ships, and fighting more than one at a time is nearly impossible which means slowly moving in as to only alert one ship at a time.
“[Diluvion] is fucking terrifying.”
Characters met along the journey each have tiny little backstories or goals they let you know via dialogue, but nothing that goes in depth as there aren’t many moments that requires them to talk aside from telling you where to go.
Diluvion’s overall story is interesting, and there are more than just humans as play in this game, but after six hours I couldn’t force myself to play more. The controls are hard to swallow, and combined my constant fear and anxiety of heading into the dark unknown was just too much. Aside from that, the gameplay loop just isn’t all that fun, going from point A to point B while visiting small wrecked ships along the way each that have chests that are nearly identical.
I don’t think Diluvion is a bad game, it just isn’t a great game. With some more polish and variety, I could easily recommend it, but as it stands only the most fearless captains need to apply, as you’re going to hack to tackle some scary controls to find the horrors that lurk in the dark.