Throughout the centuries, humans have explored what NOAA estimates to be just five percent of earth’s oceans. However, the indie adventure game ABZU and its alluring seascapes are inviting to you to the daydream of knowing more. It’s out now on PS4, PC, and NVIDIA Shield.
If ABZU gives you just the slightest bit of deja vu, that might because its art director, Matt Nava, also oversaw the presentation of Flower and Journey before it. It might even be fair to call it a spiritual successor to the aforementioned games, but developer Giant Squid is separating itself from those experiences by setting this game in a world that’s as alien to us as the universe around us.
Taking its name from Ancient Sumerian and the mythologies of the remote past, “ABZU” roughly translates into “wisdom of the oceans.” According to the developers, the game is inspired by the “deep innate narrative that we all carry within our subconscious,” the cross-cultural myth of ABZU.
ABZU sets out to draw you into a world that goes on with of without you. The animals and plant life in the game are based on real creatures and the ecosystems from the world’s oceans. There’s zero combat in the game, but the sea creatures will respond to you and the other things in their environment. It’s an app more about exploring than winning.
The game is free of a heads up display. There are no oxygen tank timers, health bars, directional indicators or anything else to cover up the colors of the seascapes it draws.
The environment carries the narrative.
And as far as story, the environment carries the narrative. Quite literally, the deeper you immerse yourself into the game, the more the mystery that surrounds you. Your only objective is to dive deeper into ABZU and its water world to uncover the forgotten knowledge preserved deep in its heart. If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, then give ABZU a whirl!
ABZU launched this month PC, PS4 and NVIDIA’s Shield family of device. For now, Giant Squid hasn’t announced any plans to port the game to iOS or broader Android platforms.
Have you had a chance to play ABZU yet, or are you putting it on your wishlist? What have you found intriguing about the game so far? Let us know in the comments below!