Steam Library: Diluvion

Exploring the ocean's depths

I can’t understand how I managed to miss the February release of Diluvion. At first glance, our game is like Skies of Arcadia in reverse. In its time, Bioshock: Infinite moved the action from the underwater world to the world in the air, Diluvion reproduces an odyssey among flying islands, the search for wonders of the world, and shootouts between ships, only at the bottom of the ocean. SoA, as we know, is the best JRPG of all time, so replaying the old happiness even without the classic story about teenagers saving the world and turn-based ground battles is always great.

Nevertheless, in order to notice the game, it took a whole sale and a banner on the main page of Steam. And how is it possible, it’s a hundred percent indie hit right from the cover, why hasn’t anyone even heard of it. It’s a must-buy.

Navigating the submerged world

So, we are underwater. Strangely enough, the population of the residential canned cans located at the bottom of the sea is mainly engaged in robbing their neighbors rather than exploring the uncharted depths. Or starting a full-blown war right away. Against the backdrop of this cheerful picture of life, the captain and the first mate enter the game on a small, battered submarine, which is not capable of navigating deep ridges, let alone reaching the nearest port.

At the very start of the adventure, the game requires us to decide whether we are boys or real men. In other words, whether our submarine will spin around, obeying only the will of the cursor, or if it will be serious, with the keyboard also responsible for maneuvers along the X and Y axes. The latter option, of course, is more difficult, but much more interesting.

Assuming we choose the right helm, the first two hours of Diluvion pass unnoticed, not in completing missions and exploring the murky abyss, but in mastering the science of underwater navigation. At first, you struggle with all possible obstacles, confuse up and down with left and right, and forget to turn on additional keys, and a simple journey from point A to point B becomes quite an exciting adventure.

The first enlightenment is achieved when you only confuse the pedals in one out of five cases. Natural barriers no longer pull you towards them with an inexplicable magnet, and you can even engage in battles with two pirate ships without hesitation. That’s it, now everyone in this world must take you into account.

Conquering the critical peak with the enchanting name “Pressing the wrong buttons once out of ten” brings a feeling of total superiority over the world. The number of tolerable opponents increases to three, and there is no maneuver in the world that cannot be executed in 90% of cases. It’s practically an ace level.

Well, how can you not feel such satisfaction from your own successes when from the very beginning you can steer the boat through the sea like a mad doll?

An enigmatic underwater realm

Gotta grind it all

However, well, strong victories over a slacking under some kind of real management simulator – pleasure is not for everyone. Moreover, the battles themselves are arcade, why bother. The main dish for us is still… it means, it means… Honestly, I can’t bring myself to call the great maneuver behind a cool submarine the main adventure of Diluvion. Just descend to the very bottom on a unique masterpiece of engineering thought (in fact, this is the happiness our captain and first mate want) – the goal may be noble. But endlessly winding through one quest location to another is a bit boring. It makes you want to steer somewhere to the left of the predetermined route.

Fortunately, in Diluvion, there is something to look for in the open sea.

The most superficial cruise shows that, firstly, life in the abyss is not sugar for anyone, and secondly, there are plenty of sunken ships around. And abandoned miners’ huts. And submarines that sank to the bottom. A lot of valuable junk has settled, it is impossible to list everything. And it is also impossible to collect. Partly because the invisible designer’s hand periodically refills the cleared bunkers, partly because the water is always murky.

I’m sure that partly this was done to create a darker atmosphere, partly to hide another sudden birthmark of Skies of Arcadia. Namely – the approximately same level of graphics. Approximately, because in one of the main hits for the Dreamcast console, the picture was still more detailed.

But still, you want to explore the game world inside and out. Despite the obvious camera nature of the game, the developers still gave us, munchkins, several serious incentives (besides pure love for the art of grinding) to climb into every first abandoned tin can, fight all the pirates we meet, and pick up everything that lies badly. The accumulated underwater wealth is spent by the captain not only on obvious ship upgrades and consumables, but also at least on hiring sailors. And yes, among the faceless crowd, there are periodically unique comrades who you want to collect like Pokémon. The main joy of any indie adventure seeker is investing in their own base, and this joy is fully represented here, with a bar, shops, random visitors, and sessions of harsh collecting in the name of dock re-planning.

Diving into the abyss

Stop signal

There are indeed many atmospheres in the world of Diluvion, but not so many three-dimensional objects. However, there are glowing navigation fish.

It would be better if they didn’t glow, though. Because our engine is Unity, and this masterpiece of game development thinking rarely handles the tasks of displaying visually pleasing graphics and stable fast performance at the same time. To be completely honest, developers using Unity usually fail in both aspects. Our underwater entertainment is a shining example of that.

There’s nothing particularly special happening on the screen, to be honest. Among the bare rocks, not very detailed ships scurry around, occasionally encountering some rusty and also not very detailed things. I repeat, this was already possible in 2000. But as soon as a dynamic light source appears somewhere, the game client starts to struggle. Five frames per second, terrible lag, the whole package.

I have to remind myself over and over again that we came here for immersion in the game world, not for frames per second. We’re here to recruit a cool crew, dive to the bottom, and build the coolest underwater base in the world. As soon as we’re ready, we’ll get right to it.

Adventurous exploration beneath the waves

So that’s what it is

I must admit, after getting to know Diluvion closely, it’s hard to believe how this project managed to sail past gamers’ radars almost unnoticed. In order to enjoy exploring the local depths of the sea, you need to, first of all, love the concept of the game in advance, and secondly, forgive it for many things. And forgiving not that Diluvion can’t keep up with the graphical avant-garde or offer two hundred hours of side quests, but forgiving its obvious, annoying flaws that hinder not only the pleasure of playing, but playing itself.

Considering how much miscellaneous stuff you can buy on Steam nowadays, I would only recommend Diluvion to those whose eyes instantly light up at the phrase “underwater world.” All other gamers can confidently pass it by.

Adventure, Indie
Good Shepherd Entertainment
Arachnid Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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