We sampled E-Line Media’s underwater adventure game at Gamescom this year. Take a look at our Beyond Blue gameplay preview video for our thoughts ahead of the game’s release this year on consoles and PC.
E-Line Media teamed-up with the BBC to present an intriguing underwater adventure called Beyond Blue. Set in the near future, players assume the role of researcher Mirai and her team of AI companions. We played some of the game during our visit to Gamecom and whilst we appreciate this isn’t going to be a game for all tastes, for those with a keen interest in sub-aquatic life will find an interesting adventure lies ahead.
Aside from the massive boon to the project having support from BBC’s scientists, what makes Beyond Blue desirable to play. From the offset and what is clearly visible is how well E-Line’s artists have created the underwater world and brought it to life. Perhaps E-line used some artistic licence with regards to some of the technology, but essentially the game feels steeped in as much realism as possible. The player’s job is to explore and track various marine lifeforms, even delving deeper into uncharted territories of the deep.
This is a relaxing game with a strong narrative but that’s not to say it’s a linear experience as you scan rays, whales and dolphins. The story aspect of Mirai’s research background poses some responsibility with the player in terms of what happens to that research. E-line weren’t giving too much away in this regard, but from what we can tell players will have several paths to take once they collect the data which impacts future events and potentially the marine world itself. One suggestion was that Mirai’s team withhold the research, or perhaps offer it to a specific organisation which could in the long-run result in detrimental outcomes. The idea giving choices to the player looks like a neat prospect if it’s followed through with diverse outcomes.
If E-Line cleverly delve into the possible consequences as a result of ones decisions which impact the game could be quite interesting. Especially looking at the current global standing with regards to pollution and climate change.
Perhaps a particular species habitat potentially suffers or not depending on who Mirai gives the research to? We’re not sure if any monetary value offered to Mirai’s team provides them resource to reach deeper into their research as a potential lure. A bonus perhaps to providing research to specific organisations even. Lots of questions remain in this area but we suspect could spoil things at this juncture.
The bottom line is Beyond Blue is certainly a very different kind of video game experience. We asked if there were any plans for VR support because this type of experience would work wonders on something like the Oculus Quest given the refined and somewhat laid-back nature of gameplay. However, this isn’t something E-Line are exploring at present, but perhaps they might be convinced once more eyes are on their game. In our view the game style could present a perfect fit with perhaps a touch of tweaking to prevent any motion sickness. Just look at Subnautica or The Blu as a good example of how underwater games work very well in VR.
Beyond Blue looks fantastic using Unity, offers a peaceful playing experience and something quite different from the norm. Perhaps Beyond Blue could provide some edutainment possibilities given its attention to detail. Either way, we can’t wait to dive beneath the surface more on PC with all the bells and whistles in glorious 4K when it releases. The game comes to consoles and PC in 2019 but no specific release date so far.