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Still Wakes The Deep Review

Still Wakes The Deep

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Release: June 18, 2024
Publisher: Secret Mode
Developer: The Chinese Room
Genre: XBox One Reviews, Xbox Series X Reviews
PEGI: 16
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OUR SCORE

Great About Rating
          
 
7.0 - Gameplay
          
 
9.0 - Video
          
 
9.0 - Audio
          
 

Still Wakes the Deep dives headfirst into the chilling depths of the North Atlantic, inviting players to explore a desolate oil rig consumed by an unsettling mystery. Developed by The Chinese Room, the minds behind atmospheric adventures like Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Still Wakes the Deep is a horror experience that relies heavily on environmental storytelling and dread-filled atmosphere. But does this unique title deliver a satisfying plunge, or leave you gasping for more?

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The game’s greatest strength lies in its setting. The corroded and rusting Cthonic oil rig is a masterclass in world-building. Claustrophobic corridors echo with the groans of the ocean and the unsettling drip of unseen water. Every corner holds the potential for danger, the remnants of a once-bustling crew scattered throughout the environment like chilling reminders of what might befall you. The North Atlantic wind howls a constant lament, punctuated by the unsettling calls of unseen creatures lurking in the depths. Still Wakes the Deep is a master of building tension without resorting to jump scares, relying instead on a pervasive sense of unease that burrows under your skin.

The story unfolds through audio logs, environmental details, and haunting flashbacks. You play as Lucas 孟 Lucas (Meng), a technician tasked with investigating a radio silence from the Cthonic. The voice acting is superb, with Lucas’ internal monologue drawing you deeper into the unfolding nightmare. The Scottish accents of the missing crew add a layer of authenticity, making their plight all the more relatable. The narrative itself is suspenseful, dripping with mystery and laced with subtle hints of cosmic horror. While some may crave a more explicit story, those who appreciate piecing together fragments of a larger puzzle will find themselves rewarded.

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Still Wakes the Deep falls into the category of “walking simulator,” with a focus on exploration and atmosphere over traditional action mechanics. There are puzzles to solve, but they are often straightforward and serve primarily to move the narrative forward. The core gameplay loop revolves around exploration, collecting audio logs and environmental clues, and piecing together the fate of the Cthonic’s crew. While this can be engaging for those who appreciate a slow burn, players seeking a more action-oriented experience may find it frustratingly passive.

Visually, Still Wakes the Deep is impressive. The oil rig is meticulously detailed, showcasing the grime and decay left behind after a disaster. The lighting effects are particularly noteworthy, casting long shadows and creating a constant sense of what might be lurking just out of sight. The sound design is equally impressive, with the constant creaking of the rig, the howl of the wind, and the unsettling sounds of the ocean all working together to create a truly immersive experience.

Still Wakes the Deep is a unique experience that won’t appeal to everyone. If you crave fast-paced action and traditional horror tropes, this may not be the game for you. However, for those who appreciate a slow-burning atmosphere, suspenseful storytelling, and a masterfully crafted setting, Still Wakes the Deep offers a haunting descent into the abyss.

 

Pros:

Incredibly atmospheric and suspenseful
Excellent voice acting and writing
Unique and memorable setting
Beautiful visuals and sound design

Cons:

Limited gameplay mechanics (mostly walking and exploration)
Narrative can be slow-paced and require piecing things together
May not be scary for everyone

Overall:

Still Wakes the Deep is a haunting and atmospheric horror experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll. While the gameplay may be limited, the story, setting, and overall atmosphere create a truly immersive and unforgettable experience. If you’re looking for something different and appreciate a slow burn, Still Wakes the Deep is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have access to Xbox Game Pass where it’s included.

 

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blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

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