Submerged from Uppercut Games presents a story of sibling responsibility, in a world far removed from our own. The story of Miku, and her quest to save her brother is set against a backdrop of a world destroyed by some long distant catastrophe, which has seen the ruination of the human race and its civilisations.
The game opens with Miku bringing her brother Taku to the remains of a drowned city, attempting to find somewhere safe in order to heal the grievous wound across his abdomen. Once secured, she ventures out into the ancient ruins in order to find supplies of medicine, food and other essential resources in order to treat Taku’s trauma.
This once magnificent city of concrete and steel is now overgrown with lush vegetation, and both flaura and fauna is tainted with an otherworldly blue candescence that seems to permeate the very ocean itself. Utilising your small fishing boat and telescope, you must search the skyline for items of interest and the elusive supplies required to treat your brother.
Once you detect the supplies, they are highlighted on your map and as you navigate throughout the fog of war on the map is lifted piece by piece. Sailing to each of the buildings that contain supply drops introduces you to the games main puzzle mechanics. In order to secure the items you require you must scale window sills, drainpipes and floral vegetation to reach the top of each building. With no fail state to speak of this is relatively straight forward trial and error, but many side paths are also built into each of the buildings leading you to elusive collectables.
Once obtained, we are treated to a segment of story from Miku’s perspective which gives insight into the cause of your brother’s injury and the circumstances that brought you to this devastated city. Sadly, most of the story is inferred from the crude simplistic drawings of these primal people and a very “Simlish” style language to explain the core of the exposition. It is obvious, that the aim is not to tell you the story directly but to infer as much as possible from your interactions and the drawings as possible.
This story also runs parallel to the fable of the city itself, which is also reflected in this same pictorial narrative, as you collect books that are dotted throughout the environment. This story, and the main characters overarching tale are both incredibly dark and brooding, which is counter to the bright and radiant world in which you find yourself.
Although the story presented is enjoyable in its own right, I honestly had to fight to reach the end, not due to difficulty, but mainly due to overcoming the monotony that set in due to a lack of challenge in any of the puzzle platforms ascension sections that are key to the game.
At the end of the day, this is a great idea that just falls slightly short of its aspirations. Although aspersions have been cast at the tired graphics, I personally felt this added to the character of the game, and the only drawback I encountered was the lack of progression or difficulty involved throughout.
If you are tired of action games requiring lots of combat, this is a nice little title to while away a few hours if you can overlook the DIY narrative and straightforward puzzling involved.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 6.5/10 Format: Xbox One/PlayStation 4 Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Submerged by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of five days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.