Game Story Review: Submerged
What is Submerged?
You take on the role of Miku, an elder sister to Taku who has been gravely injured and is in need of help. With only a boat in an almost completely sunken city, you must sail, climb and search for the supplies needed to save your brother’s life.
I enjoyed playing this game (this is my second run through) and I like the way the story is presented. The game opens to Miku and Taku drifting on a boat until they stop at a sunken building, offering them a place to rest. What has happened so far is a mystery, but all we know is that our brother is injured and he needs help. After spotting what looks like an old supply drop in the distance, you head towards the building to get the first supplies needed for your brother and it is after this point that the story starts being given to you.
Four pictures are shown to you each time you collect supplies for Taku and this runs through what is really a tragic story for these two characters. I like how this is done – similar to Journey, which reveals a new section of a large picture to tell the story. Looking at the picture below you can see that the pictures are simple but they tell you everything that you need to know. A picture really is telling a thousand words here.
The game offers more than one story. Playing the game normally, you experience the heartbreaking tale of Miku and Taku, but if you explore all of the pathways during your climbing you will stumble across some shiny artefacts. Told through pictures and this time not in chronological order when collected, we start to understand what happened for the world to be in the disastrous state it is in. A menu does exist which shows you all you have collected and will put what story pieces in order.
This is a simple story. I believe this is a perfect story to be told in the way that it is – and that is with no speaking whatsoever. There is no need to talk (mainly because Taku is asleep) because the characters aren’t the ones telling the story – it has already happened.
Mystery is added into the game in the form of mutated beings that watch you as you collect supplies for Taku. Playing this for the first time did make me feel on edge and I was just waiting for the moment that they decide to introduce some real danger. This is not the case, however. Throughout the game, while Miku is trying to save Taku, she is getting extremely sick and this is shown by a blue substance that spreads over her body.I can only guess that, if left untreated, she would become a mutant too. Which brings me to what disappointed me. The mutants gather around Miku and perform some sort of ritual that removes her illness and I feel there was no explanation about this. I think their motive is the fact that Miku has been risking her own life to save her brother’s so they decided to cure her but there is nowhere (that I could see) in the environment or the story to suggest that some sort of magic exists in this world.
I really like this game. This is a game for people who are fans of exploration over combat (there is no combat) and for people that might not have a lot of time. I completed it in about ninety minutes to two hours which is great if you have a busy lifestyle. A nice, simple and contained story that kept me entertained and had a slight tug on the heartstrings.
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