Searim: Diluvion Is Open World Deep Sea Exploration

By Nathan Grayson on July 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

“More games need to take place under water,” I always say before reminding myself that the briny depths often play host to some of gaming’s most annoying/irritating/blub-blub-blub-drowwwwning sequences. There really is no better place for unrelenting weirdness and instinctual fear than under the sea, though. I’m pretty sure they said exactly that in the Little Mermaid song. That in mind, I’m pleased to see games like SOMA, We Need To Go Deeper, and now – perhaps most ambitiously of all – Diluvion at least trying to make, as Jules Verne put it in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, “The Cold Downthereplace” more interesting and less patience-testing. Trailer for this very nicely arted game (it comes from the makers of Ballpoint Universe) in this post’s Cold Downthereplace.

Diluvion is described as an “open world exploration game set deep in the ocean,” which is enough to whet and/or wet my appetite. Here’s the premise:

In the uncounted centuries since the flood, humanity has been driven into the oceans as a layer of ice freezes over the world.  Now, trapped in the oceans, civilizations rise and new kingdoms form.  Explore the depths, and discover the stories they have to tell.

  • Pilot a submarine and command her crew
  • Use sonar to search for salvage
  • Defend your sub with an arsenal of flak cannons, torpedoes, railguns, and more
  • Explore an open world of deep ocean

Sounds right up my alley, and probably yours too unless you somehow dislike the idea of eel wranglers. Yes, this game has eel wranglers. Look at that. Early art showcases a lot of other enticing oddities as well.

The only real catch, which could be another water pun if you want it to be even though I wasn’t intending that? Diluvion won’t be out until autumn of 2015. That’s quite a wait, but it makes sense given the proposed scope of this thing. So then, patience. To tide me over, I guess I’ll go dig up that old Aquaman game. One quick session with that and I won’t even want to go underwater again for another year.

Seriously though, what are some good underwater games? BioShock is an obvious one, but it also mostly keeps its distance from the pool, the drink, the planet’s unfinishable Big Gulp, etc. What else is there?

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27 Comments »

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  1. Flayra says:

    Looks interesting. Glad to see more underwater games. We’re obsessed with them over here…been working on Subnautica (http://subnauti.ca) for a bit (we made Natural Selection 1/2).

    Subnautica is open-world, exploration, non-combat-focused, with a DNA “sandbox” (pull traits out of one creature and stick in another, or yourself…). We’ll be on Steam Early Access shortly.

    • Niko says:

      Looks promising! Will there be abyssal zone in it?

    • DarkFarmer says:

      Flayra! Sup. Loved NS1 and 2, looking forward to the new jam.

      side note: I used to live down the street from you at Haight and Fillmore for like 8 years- i remember seeing somewhere unknown worlds was up the street. i could be totally wrong though.

  2. proppaganda says:

    I believe that “Sunless Sea” game will be having Submarines implemented in the next coming months. But other than that its a good sea (or zee) game thus far.

  3. Akimbo says:

    Seriously though, what are some good underwater games? BioShock is an obvious one, but it also mostly keeps its distance from the pool, the drink, the planet’s unfinishable Big Gulp, etc. What else is there?

    Aquaria immediately comes to mind. Splendid music and beautiful art make for some great atmosphere.

    • Waltorious says:

      Seconded. Aquaria is great. Also, Derek Yu (of Spelunky fame) is one half of the two-man team that made it (the other half is Alec Holowka).

    • Viroso says:

      I will third this. I SINK Aquaria was really FIN.

    • Niko says:

      Yes, Aquaria is magnificent.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I think Aquaria was my first real indie game: “Paying directly through their website?! So sketchy…but the demo was so good…okay, fine.” I’m so glad I got over that hump.

  4. Daedalus29 says:

    Talking about underwater games, I really miss archimedean dynasty and subwar 2050. They quite failed the rebirth of the genre with Aquanox and thinking about all the space sim that pop up here and there, I really wish someone think about an underwater open world with submarines combats. Seaquest online, why not!

    • Zenicetus says:

      I remember having fun with one of those early “Wing Commander underwater” games with a futuristic sub dodging through canyons. Might have been Archimedean Dynasty or one of the sequels.

      I think the reason this niche hasn’t seen the kind of revival we’re seeing with space games might be related to the pacing of the game. Underwater combat has to be slowed down at least a little bit, compared to air combat and space combat games, or else it just doesn’t look and feel like you’re underwater. Might as well be a space game, if you can move around like in Elite:D or SC. A modern audience used to the pace of FPS games doesn’t have that kind of patience.

      That’s probably what killed off the other type of underwater game: the realistic tactical sub sims like the Silent Hunter series, or the modern era sims like Red Storm Rising (which was great). Nobody but us older sim fans have the patience to play that kind of game any more.

  5. Durandir says:

    Good underwater games? What about Sub Culture? Not sure what people thought of that, but I loved it. But in that you are a tiny pilot of a one-man submarine, seeing your home city destroyed by a discarded soup can. So you are set lose in an open world, where there are two warring factions as well as pirates and sea creatures. You earn money by collecting cigarette butts, pearls, crystals and bottle caps, which you then can spend on upgrading your sub. Found a random video of it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5Kw0_oGlSc

    • Cigol says:

      +1 for Sub Culture. Didn’t remember the name, but remembered the game. Particularly the bit in the beginning where you had to winch around some cargo. For some reason I always confuse Hard War as being underwater as well.

  6. hawseow says:

    I hope some of you remember Bullfrog’s Creation which got canned at some point. I played the demo ages ago and was really looking forward to it :(

  7. GoTo2k says:

    Oh my, the art style really looks lovely! Might this be my first kickstarter-game?!

    There could be a little more info on their webpage though!

  8. Alien426 says:

    Yet another underwater game: FarSky!

  9. Niko says:

    Capsule is an underwater game, I guess. It’s not clear but it feels like it takes place underwater. X-Com: Terror from the Deep is very very underwater. Ugh, those colony raid missions. There was a little flash game about diving and crafting with lovely music, called Scuba.

  10. CookPassBabtridge says:

    A few thoughts on this then:
    1. The sea. Its like space, but with water in it.
    2. What is this game about? It looks pretty but the trailer is mostly fluff. I got cartoons, sea, and what looked like a space RTS. Do I like the look of this? I don’t know.
    3. Suddenly I really want a one man submarine simulator for oculus rift.
    4. Did you know that whales evolved from amphibious Hippo-like creatures? The BBC told me that.

  11. elilupe says:

    Endless Ocean is one of my favorite games(even though it’s on the Wii) and it’s all about snorkeling and just looking peacefully at a bunch of interesting-looking underwater life. That’s a great underwater game, ignoring the weird plot.

    • gschmidl says:

      World of Diving at divegame.net is shaping up to succeed it gloriously.

  12. frightlever says:

    Quite the graphical departure from Ballpoint Universe, which I hate and keep going back to.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    That’s an old example, but I loved Archimedean Dynasty (which is the weird international title – the german version was called “Schleichfahrt”, which translates to “silent running”).

    It was basically an underwater Wing Commander in a really nice post-post-apocalyptic setting (hundreds of years ago, earth’s surface became uninhabitable due to nuclear war, but since then humanity has created a new civilisation on the ocean floor). The game was really good with conveying the atmosphere of being underwater, through the movement of the player’s ship, the level design and the writing (or at least I thought so, 17 years ago).

    The two sequels AquaNox and AquaNox 2 were nice too, but not as good as the first game. Also, all three games managed to botch their endings in that they all insisted on ending in really weird cliffhangers. On top of that, neither the second nor the third games really picked up on the stories of the previous games, so that in the end three plots were left dangling.

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    tumbleworld says:

    Want!!