Abzu
Giant Squid
Played on Playstation 4

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Much like their breakthrough hit “Journey,” Giant Squid’s “Abzu” is an exquisite exploration game that delivers on wow and holds back on challenge.
Abzu is an enigmatic exploration game about the ocean. In Giant Squid’s signature style, the narrative is told without any dialog or language whatsoever. Players take on the role of a diver navigating undersea grottoes and sunken ruins. As with “Journey,” there are next to no hazards to distract from the sumptuous visuals, although there are some tense moments with a great white shark, and some menacing undersea mines to avoid.
Abzu is another gorgeous and enigmatic 3-D exploration game that is so squarely in the developer’s wheelhouse. Rather than focusing on fleeting connections with other players, this game encourages exploration and observation. It is filled with virtual fish that all move in intricately programmed schools and patterns. Meditation spots scattered throughout the game encourage you to sit and watch this fish as they swim through the scenery.
Also like Journey the game is quite short, clocking in at just a few hours for a play-through. There are a few things to collect along the way, such as hidden spots that release new fish into the environment, but these don’t add too much to the replay value. Beating the game unlocks an area select and lets you freely enter meditation mode. Unfortunately, even this short game feels a bit repetitive after a while. The temple assets are largely recycled, and there is far less direction on this voyage. Also, the 3D swimming controls are a bit tricky at times. I often found myself swimming in circles when I wanted to dive forward.
These few quibbles aside, “Abzu” is a beautiful and relaxing sea trip that is well worth the few moments you need to enjoy it. You can find it on Steam, the PSN Store, or at Abzugame.Com.
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