The underwater adventure game from Giant Squid Software and 505 Games called Abzu originally launched months ago on PlayStation 4 and PC. It was a nice little way to round out the summer with a visually spectacular deep dive into the furthest depths of the ocean and allow you to explore a dream-like story involving science fiction, a hint of spirituality and a whole lot of marine biology.
Abzu is most certainly not a typical adventure game. It’s definitely more-so on the line of games like Journey or flOw where it could best be described as a zen-like game.
Players start off as a mysterious diver and must recover some sidekick drones. Things seem pretty tranquil at first, with a focus mostly on discovery and simply moving around the environment to get your bearings and understand how to play.
The game begins to take on a very different kind of shape when the first antagonist makes an appearance, but things take on a very different shape as the game unfolds and the real story is told.
Abzu was a pleasant surprise, and a beautiful, beautiful game. It’s a shame because Giant Squid really should have won best art direction during the 2016 Game Awards. Apparently they didn’t send enough manilla envelops to the journalists to pick up the award, but based on the artistic design and the way it all gelled with the music – absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of those rare games where it’s relaxing just watching someone else play on a huge screen.
It’s not my kind of game, but it’s a good game.
And for the price of $19.99, Xbox One owners can take a dive into the ocean and swim among the fishes.
The developers specifically made the animations and controls of the diver to be as graceful as possible, mimicking the likes of an underwater ballerina.
I would nearly liken it to this generation’s version of Journey.
You can learn more about Abzu or digitally pick up a copy of the game by visiting the Major Nelson blog. And in case you didn’t already know, you can pick up digital copies of the game for the PS4 and PC as well.