Under the Ocean puts you in the shoes of, what appears to be, the lone survivor of a shipwreck involving rocks or a reef or some other ship hating object. Upon starting a new game, you make your way ashore, along with wreckage and contents of the, now rather broken, boat that's still visible out in the background. You will immediately notice you are a rather fragile bugger, having to take account of being cold, wet, thirsty and hungry. Your first port of call is to salvage what you can from the shore and then get shelter from the rain and sea. To get some heat and dry off, you can find some dried palm leaves in a sheltered area and if you stumble across flint you can light a fire and add more leaves or wooden box parts and what not to keep the fire going. Collecting some rain water in a container, like a shell, can then sate your thirst for the night.
|What you'll see upon coming ashore. Note the bars at the bottom right "Thirsty" "Chilly" and "Wet".|
Once you look past the dangers though, you find yourself in a gorgeous game. Everything looks rather lovely and even though you'll be slowly dying due to contracting hypothermia, you have to appreciate the sea, sky, caves, waterfalls and everything else in the environment around you (I'm not high just now, honest). Then there's the music by Chris Geenhan. The peaceful tunes will almost make you forget you're fighting for your very survival. Now don't misunderstand, the music doesn't break the mood of the game. Rather, it frames the game in a different light. It gives the player a sense of curiosity and the urge to explore this mysterious, unknown island, to drive forward as opposed to just staying in the first bit of shelter you can find. Of course I may just be over analysing it but it without a doubt provides a great backing to the game.
|Here we can see the crafting of a spear and a lovely, if oversized, campfire.|
The developers are hoping to cultivate a strong modding community for the game, meaning one of the priorities for the future is of course modding tools. Also on that list is the ability to make houses, which is due in the next release of the game. Plans have also been made to introduce procedurally generated levels, multiplayer and more of a story element to the game. Mixing this with mods means this could well shape up to be a game with a hell of a lot to offer upon and well after release.
|In a cave system (obviously). That little bug can be used to light dark areas and that white plant can bandage wounds.|
That about rounds it up for UTO. As always any questions or points you want to make leave a comment below or tweet me @birnyb . Until next time you desert island survivors, enjoy your gaming!