Journey 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea in Diluvion

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Arachnid Games has created an underwater masterpiece in their newest exploration game, Diluvion.

Diluvion takes players on a somber adventure through the darkest depths of the sea in a Steampunk-esque submarine. There are three different submarines to choose from in Diluvion depending on your play style. I went with the Glaciem MK. VI Diamond.

The game encourages you to take your time, and pay close attention to your ship. You're able to do this by switching between the submarine’s exterior to pilot yourself past various underwater obstacles, and a view of the interior where you and your crew work to keep your craft operational.

Opening the game, you’re treated to backstory on the events leading up to your presence in the world of Diluvion. You can skip over this intro, although I strongly recommend taking the time to read through it and admire the gorgeous artwork.

To quickly sum it up, after the Calamity caused humanity to retreat deep under the sea, a layer of impenetrable ice coated the ocean’s surface, which trapped them down there indefinitely.

Just like the vastly limited oceanic knowledge (having discovered just 5% as of right now) that we have in real life, there are mysteries waiting for you in the waters of Diluvion. Some of which you have to fight off if you want to protect your ship and its passengers. 

Thankfully, helm officer Jay Treadwasser and his ragtag crew have an array of guns and tools at their disposal should anything get a little too close for comfort. On top of this, there are various upgrades you can make to your ship (deeper diving capacity, better weaponry) as you go along to keep it in tip-top shape.

Although Diluvion is an exploration game on the surface, deep within you’ll find a nice emphasis on story and dialogue, with each crew member having his or her own quirks and character flaws. 

Diving even deeper, Diluvion is a difficult game to master. You can really feel your ship’s weight and limited maneuverability as you accidentally bump into rocks and other obstacles. In addition, you’re tasked with managing your resources which include oxygen, food, and ammo, among other things.

Oxygen is arguably the most important resource, and can be replenished by docking at various outposts and checkpoints scattered throughout Diluvion. For example, you first dock at The Dive Bar in the beginning of the game in search of an extra crew member.

Here, you can learn of the bartender's sketchy brew, which may or may not be the worst grog under the sea depending on who you ask.

Each place you dock has information presented in a similar manner as The Dive Bar. I find this is an interesting way to trickle out the game's story, as well as a cool way to encourage players to chat with different NPC characters. As a result, traversing the dark ocean landscapes become a worthwhile endeavor, as you never know who (or what) you’re going to run into next. 

Unfortunately, the biggest problem I ran into with Diluvion center around the ship controls and UI in general, which feel a  bit sluggish and unresponsive. I feel this could be fixed with a more detailed tutorial and/or alternative keybindings. Or, you could use a Steam controller if you have one, as some users say this remedies the control issues they faced. 

Overall, Diluvion pays loving tribute to Jules Verne’s classic tale and adds a good mystery element to the exploration genre. Similar to games like FTL or Elite: Dangerous, Diluvion feels like a lonely journey not through space, but the bottoms of the sea. It’s dark, it’s eerie, and it’s something unique that you’ll likely wind up really falling in love with. 

So, if you’re looking to soak in a deep sea adventure, definitely give Diluvion a try!

Review

70%

Pros

  • Well-developed story
  • Immersive visuals
  • Quirky characters

Cons

  • Needs alternative keybindings
  • Controls feel sluggish
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