Still Wakes The Deep Review

Still Wakes The Deep is an intense, spooky adventure that drops you into the middle of a creepy offshore oil rig. You play as a lone worker trying to survive the horrors lurking beneath the waves. With isolation and fear messing with your head, every choice you make is a matter of life or death. Get ready to face your deepest fears and uncover some serious secrets before it’s too late.

Creeping Out of the Shadows

Peeking out from a ventilation shaft, I spot the unspeakable horror hunting me. Armed with a wrench, I snagged from the ground, I tossed it in desperation, hoping to distract the creature. As I bolt for the door, my angle is off, and I hit the lip of a beam overhead. The monster sees me and roars with a voice twisted from someone I once knew. I have no way to deal with this horror, so I sprint to the nearest door, sealing it behind me. As I catch my breath, I glance around at the crumbling wreckage of the oil rig, the endless grey horizon, and the ocean waves lapping against the legs of this place of labour. Monstrous howls echo from the walls. Am I doomed to die here? Will I ever make it home? Was coming here a huge mistake?

The Chinese Room’s Latest Horror Gem

Still Wakes The Deep is the latest from The Chinese Room, the creators of hits like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, and Dear Esther. They’re also working on the sequel to the cult classic RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. This roughly six-hour experience can get a bit repetitive with its platforming and puzzles, but the audio design will give you chills, and the emotional depth will haunt you long after the credits roll.

A Tale of Horror and Redemption

Set in Scotland, Still Wakes The Deep is a horror walking simulator that follows Caz McCleary and the crew of the Beira D oil rig as they face unexpected, horrifying events. Caz isn’t on the Beira D because he’s a seasoned roughneck; he’s hiding out, trying to avoid some drama at home. The cops might want a word with him after he got involved in some shady stuff, so his bright idea is to lay low on an oil rig. It’s 1975—guess you could pull off things like that back then.

But Caz isn’t just dodging trouble; he’s leaving his wife and daughters behind. This decision turns out to be a massive blunder when the Beira D hits something on the ocean floor, unleashing monstrous growths and transforming people into grotesque creatures. The real horror of Still Wakes lies in Caz’s potential never to see his family again. Beneath the body horror, chases, and screams is the reality that all this horror could’ve been avoided. The question that sticks with me: What harm do we bring on ourselves and those we love by running away from our problems?

Monsters and Mechanics

The monsters in Still Wakes The Deep are terrifying, with contorted flesh and long, spindly arms, echoing the voices of the humans they used to be. You can only throw objects to distract them and run. No combat here. You’ll spend your time walking, fiddling with oil rig equipment, crawling under and over things, hiding from monsters, and running when they spot you. The audio design is top-notch, making the monsters even more terrifying with their hellacious screams amidst the panic-inducing booms and bangs as they thrash around the metal halls.

The game nails the flight response every time you encounter these monsters. Without the option to fight, it offers an alternative survival horror experience compared to other games where standing your ground and fighting is expected.

Puzzles and Traversal

Unfortunately, the puzzles and non-monster elements aren’t super engaging. They involve climbing scenarios, light platforming challenges, and tasks like going somewhere to collect a thing or flip a switch, all in hopes of finding a way off the unfolding nightmare. The rig’s models and textures are detailed, and the Beira D feels like a character itself, but it’s not enough to keep the puzzles and traversal from feeling routine.

Initial Setup and Themes

The game starts strong, establishing the crew’s struggles and some of Caz’s issues back home. The first antagonist isn’t a monster but an asshole boss who berates his employees. There are talks of unionization and industrial action, but these plans get cut short when oceanic threats emerge. This interesting dynamic, which could’ve stayed central to the horror themes, ends up sidelined. The same goes for any environmental critique of oil drilling. The horror that emerges doesn’t seem directly tied to deep-sea drilling or the corporation’s reckless handling of its equipment and employees.

Emotional Depth

Through cryptic dreams and hallucinations, Caz’s abandonment of his family remains ever-present. The story of what happened back home is told in brief, distorted flashbacks, leaving you to piece together the emotional struggle. But, like its political themes, I wanted more of this material integrated into the horror experience.

Still, I can’t deny that Caz’s predicament stuck with me long after the credits rolled. The game raises questions about running from problems and how it affects those we love. It made me reflect on my own life and how I handle difficult situations. How can we be better than those we love when things seem impossible?

Final Thoughts

Still Wakes The Deep isn’t the most thrilling interactive journey. The monsters, though scary, are easy to hide from, and the puzzles and platforming can get old fast. But the game deals with compelling emotional material that rewards your time. It’s the kind of game I’d replay to see what new insights I’d gain. This genre, often called a walking simulator, lets you navigate the puzzles of your own thoughts, where the real horror and dread lie.

Still Wakes The Deep succeeds in making you think about your own life choices and relationships. It’s not just a game; it’s an experience that lingers long after you put down the controller.

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