Aquanox Deep Descent is a game I hadn’t heard about initially until our colleague and friend Zaceron wrote to me about it. I wasn’t sure about the game and so I decided to tackle it in a review while bringing another friend along for the ride.
Aquanox is an interesting title, with its narrative starting out giving us a grim view of the world as a whole. That being World War III had essentially occurred and to escape the Nuclear Fallout the sons and daughters of rich individuals, as well as themselves, escaped under the sea until such time as the land was habitable again.
You awake after being cryogenically frozen for a dozen or so years to find out that under the sea is essentially a new warzone between warring factions vying for dominance and dominion and you are tasked with getting to a ship waiting for you.
Your rescuer manages to help you escape but at the cost of his own life and that is where our story begins. Aquanox Deep Descent paints a grim picture of the world around us forcing us to ask questions about who’s our enemy, and who’s a friend in this world of Aqua as they so well named it.
My friend and I had differing opinions on the matter albeit we both concluded it’s a really well-made game and THQ Nordic did a wonderful job with it. As I played going through the ocean I couldn’t help but feel a sort of Everspace feeling in its design subsisting space for the deep sea and everything being the same. My friend felt it was more like Descent an older PC title from the early nineties.
The only real issue I had with Aquanox is that turning felt sluggish and slow and I found myself dragging my mouse across the desk to turn even with the settings up to max it was still troublesome. The controls themselves felt a bit concluded and I feel it could have been simplified or they could have added a visual of someone manually pressing buttons in the cockpit to add the effect that it is being manned either way it would have sufficed.
As we progressed through the stages we found that the areas were magnificently well designed, but the combat at times took away from that beauty with repetitive submarine battles. It would have been nice to have more dialog in lieu of combat to help immerse us into the world around us at the beginning of the game.
The game puts most of the narrative onto the Tupaloc which is the main vessel the players dwell in where they can upgrade their ships, talk to other crew members, and learn more about the world of Aqua and the story as a whole.
But I feel that because a lot of the narrative is simply down to just text on a static image, we aren’t given that feeling of immersion we desperately want in a world under the sea. I feel that if the story happened more out in the ocean as we are transitioning from area to area exploring buildings that would be far better for building the world around us.
The thing that does bring Aquanox to life though is the music and it is really well done. Upbeat, to keep the combat engaging and to help keep the player focused it does a great job of keeping us entertained as we’re fighting for our lives.
As a whole Aquanox Deep Descent has a few problems here and there with how they build the world around us. It had issues making me feel that I was truly immersed in the world around us, the combat can drag on and doesn’t feel as engaging as it should when it’s an underwater submarine battle.
But collectively, it’s a fairly decent game that I still managed to enjoy by far it’s no Eververse despite giving me a feeling similar to that game. It’s its own unique brand of the game under the sea fighting for your life against other factions.
If you think you might enjoy it, you can pick it up on Steam and other platforms.
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