Ever wanted to dive into the ocean and check out the sealife? Swim with the fish in a coral reef? Dive with whales and dolphins? Beyond Blue from E-Line Media makes this possible in a single player story driven game about our oceans.
If you have a passing interest in sea or ocean life, Beyond Blue is definitely worth checking out. The game follows the story of Dr Mirai Seto, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. Dr Seto’s research work with OceanX leads her to encounter a whale pod near a coral reef in a research zone. Upon discovering the pod, she notices a new addition to the family. A brand new baby whale. This is the start of the journey of OceanX in Beyond Blue.
Players in Beyond Blue will take control of Dr Seto underwater and explore the open ocean environment. Players will be able to scan ocean life and acquire research data which they can check out back in their dive submarine at the end of a dive. The game is divided into 8 chapters with each chapter focusing on particular story elements.
The game attempts to tie together multiple plot points by introducing three other characters to the game and weave a story about a research scientist and her expeditions. However, the entire game’s story mode is over far too quickly and the character relationships and backstories it builds up are ultimately squandered. So much more could have been done in terms of the overall story but nevertheless, Beyond Blue is still worth playing through.
Gameplay in Beyond Blue is incredibly simplistic. Anyone can pick up and play this game with relative ease since playing as Dr Seto is effortless. Players will simply dive, ascend and swim around while using the mouse buttons to scan ocean life. The game introduces a secondary mechanic in the form of using a drone to perform more detailed scans but effectively, this is still rather simplistic.
Beyond Blue is not a game where you can explore the vast endless oceans forever and discover thousands of life forms. Instead it’s a single player game with a focus on a short story filled with educational teaching points about humanity’s impact on the ocean. This fact is solidified even further with in-game documentary snippets that are around 2 minutes each. Unlocking these as you play through the chapters gives players a deeper insight into what’s going on in the real life oceans of our world and Beyond Blue excels in this aspect. The documentary snippets will hopefully inspire a new generation of gamers to take more interest in our oceans and help protect it from harm. Unlocking the “Free Dive” option when completing the game also lets you enjoy the game’s environments freely and some players will definitely enjoy the calming ocean exploration this offers.
The soundtrack used in Beyond Blue won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but thankfully players can opt to mute this in the submarine should they want to. I did however really enjoy a couple of the licensed songs on offer especially Maisey Rika’s Tangaroa Whakamautai which is about the Māori God of the sea. The voice acting was on point having been performed by some experienced actors and never got grating throughout.
Graphically, Beyond Blue is gorgeous but a lot more variation in ocean life should have been introduced to the game. Many of the dive locations are breathtaking and extremely satisfying to explore but scanning the same forms of life in an ocean that’s filled with different species seems like a bit of a letdown. The research data accessible back at the submarine is also not as in-depth of educational as one would expect and barely scratches the surface.
Overall, Beyond Blue is a great game that can be used to educate players about our oceans. It is by no means an incredibly in-depth deep dive (pun intended) into the oceans but rather a starting point for players to take interest in the oceans. The story is interesting enough to keep you entertained but it really does feel like there should have been way more added to it. This coupled with the game’s short length means that players should not have their expectations too high for Beyond Blue. With that said, Beyond Blue is still definitely worth checking out. At its current price on Steam, it delivers enough content and the mini-documentary snippets make it all worthwhile.
Developed and Published by E-Line Media
Platforms available include: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Classic Mac OS, tvOS
This review is based on the PC version of the game, which can be purchased here for £15.49.
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Beyond Blue is a single-player narrative adventure that takes you deep into our planet’s beating blue heart. Set in the near future, Beyond Blue explores the mysteries of our ocean through the eyes of Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. Become a part of a newly-formed research team using groundbreaking technologies to see, hear, and interact with the ocean in a more meaningful way than has ever been attempted.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 15.49
Product In Stock: Available