Narcosis heads into the terrifying deep today


Yesterday I went for a swim in the chilled out watery wonderland of Abzu. Today I’m watching the release trailer for Narcosis [official site] – a survival horror game which is the exact opposite in terms of its approach to underwater exploration. Narcosis is about the TERROR and the ISOLATION and the fact that these fish will not be giving you a chill piggyback ANYWHERE.

“First conceived as a student project, this first person survival story unfolds from inside a “walking coffin” — a half-ton, high-tech deep-sea dive suit — following an industrial catastrophe. Influenced and inspired by a growing appetite for unconventional horror and narrative-driven games, Narcosis is rooted in reality, but steeped in the surreal.”

I wrote about it a couple of years ago having played a build at an expo in Paris. In the intervening time I’ve revisited the idea multiple times, mostly for the purposes of threatening to get Adam to play it for review what with him being terrified of things that lurk in the deep.

To be fair to Adam, he would probably survive longer than me in a game where you should be afraid of things that lurk in the deep because he would leave them alone whereas I would probably be all up in their business trying to see what they looked like up close and what they were eating and where they were going and all manner of other nosy parker stuff.

For example, here is a video of me working out how to get past a big crab when what I really wanted to do was hang out with the big crab and see what it was doing other than trying to kill me:

I’ve been looking through the promo art and there are some lovely jellyfish and a cool octopus in there so I’m going to pop them here for you too:



Narcosis is out today on Steam, Humble and Oculus for £15.99. I’ve only played it properly via the VR headset demo a while back but there’s a non-VR mode as well which I’ve just started and which is in the video above. I’m not sure you’d get the same sense of having your peripheral vision taken away in that one though.


  1. GernauMorat says:

    So much NOPE.

    • Rinox says:

      So much YES!

      Seems like a nice mix of SOMA and Cryostasis.

      • G-Lord says:

        Wow, I did not expect someone bringing up the underappreciated Cryostasis. Some parts of Necrosis reminded me a lot of that.

        • Rinox says:

          What can I say, I know my survival horror. ;-)

          Fond memories of Cryostasis! I love ‘icy’ settings, and they managed to get so much right in terms of fear and survival. Almost brought my PC back then to its knees though.

  2. int says:

    Would you say this game is soporific?

  3. Eightball says:

    For something that’s a half ton in weight they didn’t get very high quality glass, eh?

    • anon459 says:

      Well the loading screen tip said they could easily break through the suit’s titanium frame so glass is no problem I guess.

  4. Mi-24 says:

    So i watched that video and was like “these crabs aren’t that big” and then got to the bit with the actual big crab and closed the video. So thanks, but no thanks.

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    Drib says:

    The picture posted on the main page for this reminds me of the parts of Subnautica that made me spooked.

    Deep underwater is a scary place.

  6. dylan says:

    So, Chris Nolan’s gritty reboot of Subnautica?

  7. G-Lord says:

    I took a chance on it and played through the game in two sittings yesterday (mostly thanks to the VR support). I was pleasantly surprised by the level of polish that many other similar games that have come out recently lack. And yes, those giant enemy crabs are properly scary in VR.

  8. poliovaccine says:

    I spent the first eight years of my life growing up in the caribbean, which made for a lifelong obsession with what should otherwise be creepy sea life, forged from a time when I was too young and naive to see them as anything but fascinating.

    That being said, I’ll never even go beyond snorkeling these days, as far as diving goes, because it’s nothing to do with the creatures – it’s all because I’m too damned claustrophobic being stuck in a dive suit further underwater than my own two legs and two lungs could take me! Seeing a manta ray circling six feet beneath me? Well, I know it eats plankton and doesn’t sting or bite in any way, so: fascinating, beautiful, rapturous even (no fugging Bioshock pun intended). But feeling that pulse in your chest as it struggles to draw breath from a place with no air, like a canary battering against its cage? Jesus F, I reeeeally hope they never figure out how to effectively simulate *that*…

    • Daymare says:

      Gosh I’m so jealous.

      When I was a young kid, my parents had a subscription for GEO, the German National Geographic equivalent. The December ’95 issue featured a big chapter on deep-sea life I was seven. The chapter had two connected fold-out pages depicting various species with descriptions, superimposed on a black background.

      During my early years I repeatedly returned to those two pages, must’ve spent hours just looking at and reading them. Ever since I’ve been fascinated.

      I’m curious what started Pip’s fascination with ocean life.

  9. Pogs says:

    Glad you finally managed to ‘scuttle’ past that crab Pip…

  10. PancakeWizard says:

    Nightdive Studios Logo: The Game.

  11. R. Totale says:

    Those crabs are much too spidery for my liking. *shudder*

    • Pogs says:

      Guess you’ll not want to hear that spider crabs are a real thing then!