eDiving: Swim With Sharks, Slither With Sea Slugs

By Tim Stone on June 21st, 2009 at 12:03 pm.

Around the age of seven I caught the cartophily bug real bad. Tea cards were my particular passion and one 50-card set fascinated me above all others. Brooke Bond’s The Sea, Our Other World with its haunting images of bathyspheres, coral reefs, and whale sharks, spoke to a part of me that craved adventure and mystery. In those magical scenes I saw a glimpse of my future – a future in diving and marine exploration, a future as a professional… games reviewer? Oh well, with the help of free frogman sim eDiving, I can still dream.

 

The last dev that set out to do a serious diving sim ended-up going down the killer shark/speargun Nazi route. DiveNav have a clearer vision and more self-control. Despite all the legal disclaimers, eDiving is almost certainly realistic enough to supplement real-world dive training. To fully explore its twenty-odd sites you’ll need to spend time in the orientation pool, get familiar with some complicated gadgetry and learn how to avoid deadly perils like decompression sickness.

 

 

You’ll also have to struggle with some slightly unwieldy controls (changing diver pitch with the mouse wheel seems to take forever) and put up with a few sponsor ads and the odd bug. Visiting the shop to buy new equipment with ‘bubble credits’ discovered during dives, tends to crash the sim for me. Ten dives in I’m still using the ponderous starting fins and basic rebreather.

 

 

Hopefully, if I do ever gain access to the shop, I’ll be able to buy a proper underwater camera. While the visuals aren’t breathtaking, the combination of darting sea life, wafting kelp and encrusted wrecks can be rather effective. Like many a worthy sim, eDiving is as much about ambience as it is activity.

 

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12 Comments »

  1. lumpi says:

    Mmm… I love atmospheric niche-simulations. This reminds me…

    Probably more brutal, but check the demo for Deer Hunter (2005 is my version of choice). It gives you a similar sense of nature, striving through the woods for hours without even seeing a single deer. And yea, I didn’t find myself anywhere near the target audience either… before I tried it.

  2. Heliocentricity says:

    Rossignol, (lewie)Procter, Stone

  3. MrBejeebus says:

    ive never played a game that pulled diving off well, maybe this can

  4. nakke says:

    Dear mister Tim,
    Please write more.

  5. Jonas says:

    Ship wrecks are pretty great.

  6. hydra9 says:

    I had those cards! Remember the smell? Mmm – Tea-y!

    The deep sea scares and fascinates me in equal measure.

  7. Al3xand3r says:

    I think I’ll take Endless Ocean 1 & 2 on the Wii over this. They even look better, despite how obviously underpowered it is compared to computers… Or anything else…

  8. Al3xand3r says:

    Yeah, I just tried it… Unintuitive controls are unintuitive. Even for a self proclaimed sim. Mousehweel for orientation angle? I couldn’t even figure out how to dive so I just flapped on the surface, trying to angle myself for a descent yet ending up with my diver’s legs flappint outside the water… Not very realistic, even if I did it wrong and there’s a key for proper descent… Come fucking on…

  9. Tim Stone says:

    Al3xand3r: In the pool, to start moving first adjust diver pitch with Page Down, then press SHIFT + W to kick. When ready to dive deflate your BCD (press and hold RMB) and, if you don’t start sinking, add weights via the equipment menu (ESCAPE). With 18 lbs on my belt I can rise and sink in the water purely by deflating and reflating my BCD.

    @hydra9: See you in the playground at play-time for swaps.

  10. Al3xand3r says:

    I figured that part, I reffered to it calling it “orientation” (falsely) instead of pitch but that’s what I meant. I figured out the BCD as well, but I didn’t figure out the weights. Thanks. Still very unintuitive controls, especially with the many rotations it requires :S

  11. Tim Stone says:

    And one way round the shopping crash: Log in at http://www.ediving.us and access the shop via the ‘My Garage’ tab. Just bought myself a very fetching wetsuit.

  12. Serondal says:

    Is this multiplayer at all or are the other divers in the pictures NPCS or is that just a 3rd person view? This looks very interesting to me. Strange we get a free base jumping sim and now a free diving sim in a short peroid of time. The realm of fringe sim games is just expanding every day eh?

    What’s next, a very detailed ballon bungie jumping sim? Oh, I know! How about a sim where you jump out of a helicopter onto big fish in the open ocean that they crazy F@#$@# on TV.

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