Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Beyond Blue game review

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I’ve always felt captivated and intrigued by the ocean. The allure of the powerful seas and the wondrous creatures that call it home enchanted me from a young age. My love of the ocean has remained strong over the years and my heart feels happy when I hear and watch the majestic waves wash upon the shore . I feel a wave of calm wash over me when near the sea and have always been fascinated by learning anything and everything about our vast, mysterious and beautiful seas and the magnificent creatures that live within.

As I love the oceans and sea creatures, I could not wait to dive into Beyond Blue.


Beyond Blue by E-Line Media is a game that was created in association with the filmmakers behind the Blue Planet II and in consultation with expert marine scientists. Beyond Blue is a single-player narrative adventure that takes you deep into our planet’s beating blue heart.


It is an ultra-realistic exploration of the oceans and a fantastic educational game that mesmerizes and informs gamers about the oceans. With gorgeous seascapes Beyond Blue is a diving simulator that allows gamers to dive and swim amongst extremely realistic marine mammals and reptiles as you explore the mysteries of our oceans.


Within this water world there are 8 levels that consist of 8 main dives. In between the levels we are gifted with an emotional, thought provoking story that is beautifully written with a bittersweet undertone. 

The game also features 16 short educational documentaries - Ocean Insights - that you unlock along the way. The insightful videos that feature original footage and interviews with science’s leading experts were fantastic, informative and interesting. It was clear to see the passion shown by the scientists. The videos were cleverly created so that both young and old could appreciate them, with both myself and my older child finding them brilliant. 


You play as Mirai, a marine biologist and experienced deep sea scuba diver who fell in love with the sea thanks to her free-diving grandmother. Following a breathtaking sight of a family of sperm whales floating past her when she was younger she has a special affinity and love for the sperm whale.

As a marine biologist Mirai calls an ocean submarine her home as she explores the ocean depths looking for new life and gathering data about the ocean and the creatures within it. She streams her dives on the internet for the world to see. Mirai also gets to track a family of sperm whales.


Only Morai appears in the game but other characters are introduced via chats with Morai either during her headset whilst you are out on a dive or when you are relaxing in the sub’s cockpit in between dives. The other characters include Irina and Andre, her colleagues and Morai’s little sister Ren who is struggling to stay in university whilst living with their dementia suffering grandma which adds to the emotion of the story.

The characters are brilliantly voice acted and the script is wonderfully written so that the story flows smoothly whilst also being intertwined with delivering information. Thanks to the conversations between Morai and the other characters the game delivers waves of educational information.


The majority of the game consists of doing dives where as a scientist you gather information about the creatures that dwell in the blue waters by scanning the different creatures that you swim amongst. Whilst the technology is simplified the idea of scanning and data gathering reinforces the science and educational element of the game.

Donning a dive suit and flippers you manoeuvring Mirai beneath the waves as she dives amongst some truly awe-inspiring creatures. As she explores the depths she swims gracefully. Adding a science and tech element you use a radar device to track creatures of interest, hone in on their location thanks to sonar and use a sea drone to scan them. Controlling Mirai is easy and smooth but the drone is a tad fiddly at times. 


The levels are a touch basic as you swim to waypoints, scan species, listen to the dialogue and then move on and repeat before completing the dive. You can explore outside of the objectives and once you have completed all 8 dives free dive mode is unlocked so that you can immerse yourself in the wondrous water world. Whilst the game is repetitive in nature and you have to dive within Beyond Blue’s world (invisible walls stop you breaching the water’s surface or diving to deeper depths) the amazing visuals, magical atmosphere and beautiful storytelling enchanted me. 

There is no hint of survival play, rather than being at risk of being attacked by the ocean creatures or having a safety problem with your submarine, you are at one with your surroundings.

The game offers different environments for you to dive in where different species live. Environments to explore include the open ocean, a natural vent area and shallow water tropical reefs. The environments are designed after examples of real biomes which makes the simulation superb. 


Not only are the environments fantastic but the game offers a visual treat in terms of the sea creatures. The animations of the sea mammals, reptiles and fish is sublime. Even on our little old TV and PS4 the images were vivid, crisp and stunningly realistic. The game is awash with a wonderful array of sea creatures - sharks, spider crabs, dolphins, leatherback turtles, octopuses and the stars of the show the breathtaking sperm whales.

The sea creatures move majestically through the waters. You can’t hurt them or they hurt you, in fact there is a peaceful harmony as you swim amongst them. It was a welcome relief to see these amazing creatures portrayed in a peaceful way, especially the sharks as they are normally showcased as dangerous.

Adding the sublime visuals was the real audio. Hearing the noise of the dolphins as they playfully swim past or the click and hum of the whales communicating helped immerse me in the wonderful water world. Alongside the real audio of the sea creatures was a selection of indie music as background noise when relaxing in the submarine which perfectly suited the game and helped create a chilled out vibe. 


The longevity and replayability of the game will be a personal choice. If you quickly play through the main game without exploring then the game play will be relatively short of a few hours. However if you get immersed in the game and have a desire to explore and observe the wonderful surroundings, especially in free dive mode then the game keeps on giving. For me personally I will replay it again and again as I love exploring in free dive mode and find it relaxing and enchanting, being a welcome relief to the stresses and rush of life. I’d love to see a sequel or dlc with more dives, environments and sea creatures for more exploring. It is a great game for young and old, with both myself and my eldest child falling in love with the watery world of Beyond Blue and enjoying every moment under the sea as we also learnt about the creatures within it and the important matter of looking after our oceans.

The game is a wonderful balance of touching story, exploration and adventure with education. As the game progresses you sadly discover that the wonderful water world you truly love and it’s incredible creatures are under increasing threat from mankind. The underlying theme of the impact of mankind on the game is very important to me and I appreciate the game highlighting this important issue and how we need the world’s oceans to be a healthy ecosystem. Beyond Blue is more than a game it is an education on why we need to protect our oceans and the wondrous creatures that live within them.


Beyond Blue is available from £15.49 / $19.99 / €16.79 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Beyond Blue is also available through the Apple Arcade subscription service, playable across compatible iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV devices.

7 comments:

  1. I have not heard of this game before, but it is something that I could see me playing and so different from others around at the moment

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  2. This sounds like a really interesting game and a great way to get to know more about the animals that are deep in the sea.

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  3. My eldest daughter wants to be a marine biologist so I think this would be right up her street.

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  4. This sounds like such a wonderful, beautiful and educational game! Jack might just have to ask if he can use his Dad's PS4 to play it!

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  5. This seems like an interesting game and one I would get addicted to once I start playing it!

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  6. This looks interesting not my cup of tea but my son would be interested for sure and my daughter would love the pictures

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