By Jonathan Falu / February 15th, 2017
Ship battles also tended to be a bit of a mixed bag, and can even change a tad given what kind of submarine you pick. There are three, with one focusing on speed, one on defence, and one more balanced. There is another submarine, but it was inaccessible to me as it was a pre-order/Kickstarter bonus. Early on, fights are at their worst given the poor range of your standard cannon, and there were even times it would not fire properly. This of course allowed enemies to gain the advantage and get free shots. Fortunately, this only lasted until I got my first upgrade. You can swap weapons, but the process was never really explained at all. By the time I finished the game, the idea seemed useless as your standard gun works, though not too much, and the rapidfire approach is guaranteed to make you run out of ammo eventually. Torpedoes do far more damage, though they are more expensive than the scrap metal used as ammo. They are also harder to use against faster foes, or foes bombarding you with blasts as they can hit the torpedo. Fortunately you can shoot down enemy torpedoes, but aiming is still a challenge given the graphics.
There are a fair amount of enemy types, most of which are pirates in submarines similar to the starting three you can pick. But then there are other enemies, like the drones, which are fast, move like bats, and fire a bombardment of lasers. Fortunately, most of these enemies can be looted after being defeated, and even sometimes contain crew members for you to recruit…which seemed weird. Drone enemies don’t carry people however. The other variants of foes don’t come until the final level, and they tend to bled into the background, waiting for an unsuspecting submarine to get close and swarm. The AI is okay mostly, unless they charge right at you, ignoring danger. Some enemies will spam torpedoes towards the end, which becomes annoying. It’s also possible to completely destroy enemies accidentally, leaving you no chance at getting any loot. Something more legitimately annoying is having defeated enemies just vanish after a bit despite still being in a tough battle, effectively cutting off more supplies that would have made such tough fights worth it.
Aiming becomes the real challenge, depending on your control scheme. There are two. One allows you to move the right stick freely to look around, and pulls the camera back to see the area. It’s optimal for travel, but less for combat as I could hardly see at times. The second control scheme allows for the use of the right stick to steer the ship to wherever it is pointed, and has a close-up view of combat. It was originally the default way the game controlled. Swapping between both styles can be an annoying affair, especially when enemies become far more frequent in the later areas.
Enemies aren’t your only concern. The first is oxygen, and going too long without it will result in death. You can buy more oxygen tanks, though they always felt like they went down a bit too fast. Then there’s food, which works mostly the same, but food is easier to come by, and I never found myself too low as I made sure to always head out with exactly what I needed. The beginning level, despite being frustrating, did teach me a lot about that. The final thing to look out for is your submarine’s ocean depth. As you get upgrades you gain more freedom, but going too far is always too dangerous.
Customization is also limited with your ship, as upgrades can only be done through quests, which are all mandatory anyway. Fortunately, you can hire crew to work for your ship. There are four stats, with each section of the sub able to be increased depending on the stats of the crewmembers. This can lead to many improvements like faster movement and faster firing, or you can just leave a crewmember to not work so they can use recovery items to fix the ship. You can also upgrade your home base, which allows you to buy new crewmembers or items; this is especially handy in the Abyss, as no safe zones offer any food to buy.
Overall, some of Diluvion’s issues can be patched out for the most part. As it stands right now it’s a hard game to love, but I also can’t hate it for what it tried to do and nearly succeeded with flying colors. For about $20, you can get an adventure likely to last you about 10 to 20 hours, depending on grinding for more cash to buy more items or getting lost a lot. I highly encourage the developers to keep pursuing this idea, as they do have the potential to make this and future games of theirs even better! And considering the updates made so far, I do look forward to what comes next.
Review copy provided by developer.
Pages: 1 2Action AdventureDiluvionExplorationGambitiousIndie