Still Wakes The Deep Review

Still Wakes The Deep is Where Lovecraft and The Thing Meet

Going into Still Wakes The Deep I didn’t have the highest of expectations. Horror games have become a sort of cliche nowadays with very few scares to be had. Jump scares have been done and chase scenes are more walks in the park. So how do you take horror to the next level? Well, you focus on strong storytelling and heart-wrenching stories told by the cast.

Still Wakes The Deep takes place on an oil rig called the Beira D in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You play as Caz McLeary who has been working there for some time already. So much so that within the first few minutes of the game, Caz gets fired for being a smart ass.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

Caz also has some strong relationships with the staff abroad the Beira D. His co-workers clearly love him and I thought it was pretty cool too. A lot more likeable than most protagonists in gaming. This is quite strange, to be honest. Most of the time it takes games a few hours to develop a well-rounded lead. However, Still Wakes The Deep managed to do this within a few minutes.

The game sets up the story and lays the ground without hyperfocusing on nonsense and spending time on pointless side stories. This is a big deal here because the game relies heavily on its story and not so much on its gameplay which isn’t a bad thing. The majority of Still Wakes The Deep is spent creeping around the oil rig, crouching through tight spaces and performing a few streamlined parkour moves to overcome obstacles.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

Within the first few minutes of the game, I got a good sense of Caz and his friendships on the rig. Each and every supporting character also felt fleshed out and almost layered in personality. It was remarkable to see this happen given how some games spend hours trying to force-feed character bios to players without really getting anywhere.

Anyway, the people working on this oil rig drill into something deep in the ocean which causes havoc on the structure. Strange fish-like creations are born from the ocean and take over the oil rig. The entire thing starts to transform into a living and breathing creation with veins feeding into every corridor. To make matters worse, the lovely people working on the rig have now become crazed and deformed octopus-like monsters. These beings shoot tentacles out like suction cups. It helps them get around, tower over the player and feel like a real threat.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

These creatures tie heavily into the game’s horror themes as most of the time, I found myself crawling away from them. Still Wakes The Deep takes place on a highly detailed oil rig with rooms littered with furniture, grates to crawl through and tight spaces to use as small peek holes to look out for an opening before sprinting to safety.

The game offers various ways to stay out of sight. Be this hiding in a dark room or small space. However, there are also cabinets and lockers I could tuck away into. I barely used this though. The game has plenty of these scattered around the rig and every time I saw one, I thought I would encounter a new creature but that wasn’t the case. Instead, most of these areas acted as walkthroughs to another area.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

There are also a few puzzles to complete throughout the six-hour campaign and a number of intense timed sequences. Some puzzles saw me flipping switches and pulling rods out of a pulley to release a lifeboat. The timed sequences, on the other hand, revolved around swimming through flooded areas of the rig while taking in air at any and every pocket along the way.

While these moments definitely offer a break from the usual chasing and sneaking, they are far and few between. Not to mention that most of these parts are also spoon-fed with very little challenge or brain power needed to complete them.

Most of Still Wakes The Deep offers this exact “thinned-down” theme and that’s okay. Most horror games tend to abuse the jump scares and chase scenes over and over again in an attempt to deliver good gameplay. However, most of the time these end up being tedious and rather exhausting. So thankfully here, I didn’t feel as if anything was overdone.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

It also doesn’t help that the six-hour campaign isn’t exactly long enough to abuse gameplay mechanics. So instead, we get a well-structured experience here that leans more on its excellent storytelling and less on its gameplay. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t ever feel bored and while I played the game over a few days, I always looked forward to my two-hour burst through it.

Still Wakes The Deep is also a pretty-looking game. Running on Unreal Engine 5, the game boasts all the impressive tech you would expect from the engine.

Still Wakes The Deep Review

Don’t expect Still Wakes The Deep to last forever and throw jump scares at you over and over again. If you want that, you need to play the likes of Amnesia. Instead, this horror offers an unsettling story with excellent characters and some heartwrenching moments.

This Still Wakes The Deep review is based on a PC code sent to us by Secret Mode. The game is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. 

Still Wakes The Deep

Summary

Still Wakes The Deep might not last long but its remarkable story and incredible characters make sure that every moment of its six-hour campaign is memorable.

Overall
8/10
8/10
Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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