Dating right back to Ecco the Dolphin and beyond, game developers have often tried to capture how it feels to be underwater. None have managed this quite as beautifully as Abzu, the debut game from Giant Squid, a studio set up by some of the creators of Flower and Journey. Make no mistake about it: this is a truly gorgeous game to look at, making full use of the Unreal engine to create its aquatic utopia. It definitely feels like a world that would carry on existing even if you weren't there to see it.
This is not a game that likes to tell you what to do. Bar a couple of onscreen prompts right at the start telling you how to swim there are no waypoints or arrows pointing the way. Instead it fantastically leads you where you need to go subtly through the use of light and by having interesting looking things hiding in the distance. It's system game designers have used before but
it's done to perfection here.
Not every game has to be an adrenaline packed thrill ride and Abzu is the game you'll want to play if you just want to relax and chill out. Special mention should be made to the excellent music which matches the feel of each section and feels as vital to the overall experience to the visuals and the controls.
It's not a long game - you can probably play through its entirety in just a couple of hours – but it's an absorbing couple of hours that I recommend everyone should spend.
8 / 10
Reviewed By Zoidberg on Thursday 4th August 2016
About the Review
Completed my first playthrough in about three hours and halfway through my second looking for all the collectibles.