Beyond Blue Review – The Beauty of the Deep

E-Line Media’s deep ocean game Beyond Blue is now available worldwide. We dove deep into the game and are ready to share our opinion. Should you take the plunge, or should this game get lost at sea?

Read on to find out.

Following up the BAFTA award-winning Never Alone, which tapped into Alaskan Native culture via inclusive collaboration with the Iñupiat, Beyond Blue is the next game in E-Line Media’s effort to deliver gaming experiences that harness the power of games to help players understand and shape their world. 

“Working directly with some of the world’s leading ocean researchers was truly inspiring,” says Michael Angst, CEO and Creative Director. “We found their passion for the ocean’s beauty and complexity infectious and their observations about how rapidly it is changing sobering. We tried to craft an experience that immerses players in the beauty of the ocean and channel their scientific insights into a story that is hopefully accessible for anyone who wants to peer deeper into our planets beating blue heart.”

From the Shallows to the Deep

Beyond Blue takes players into the near future, where they have the opportunity to explore the mysteries of our ocean through the eyes of Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist. She and her newly-formed research team use groundbreaking technologies to see, hear, and interact with the ocean in a more meaningful way than has ever been attempted. 

As you swim through each of the eight dives as Mirai, through six unique locations, you’ll be tasked with scanning an incredible number of unique creatures. From the almost invisible Moon Jellyfish to the Giant Squid, each creature is digitally recreated to a detailed and realistic level. There are 46 different species of creatures to find and scan into your OceanX logbook. The logbook, found on the bench in your submarine is full of detailed information for each creature and also tells you in which area you can find them, and at which depth.

Deep Sea Investigators

The main story follows Mirai as she interacts with the other members of her team who are elsewhere while she spends her time either on her small sub or in the water. She is tasked with things like tracking a mother whale and her offspring, as well as taking samples from sick whales using a small remote control underwater stingray drone. The drone is also used to scan tracking tags on baby turtles and dolphins, in order to understand where they came from. The drone can also add tracking devices and camera devices to larger creatures like whales, which can then be used to watch a whale take a deep dive.

Beyond Blue touches on other things like illegal drilling and its effect on the ecosystem of this underwater world. At one point you’ll be given the choice between investigating some illegal activity or sticking to your science experiments. The game doesn’t push you either way, and didn’t feel like it was trying to push some ulterior agenda or politics, it was just letting the player know that people are out there going against the laws on the books, and how their actions are effecting these fragile ecosystems.

Stunning Graphics and Relaxing Music

Beyond Blue is a gorgeous game in 4K on the PS4 Pro. The underwater environmental details make you feel like you are really there with Mirai, at whatever depth she is at. Whether it’s the bright and shallow Sunlight Zone, or the dark and mysterious Midnight Zone down below 1,000 meters, the attention to detail is obvious and really sets this game apart from other underwater adventures. Couple that with the relaxing soundtrack of various artists, including a couple of tracks that utilize real whale recordings, and you have a very relaxing experience.

 

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Beyond Blue isn’t just a video game. Developer E-Line Media has once again taken real world information and have created an eye opening and intriguing hands-on documentary interactive experience. Beyond Blue is a relaxing experience, but at the same time it should be a wake up call as well. Our oceans are in trouble thanks to the amount of plastic and garbage being dumped into it. Illegal exploration and drilling into protected areas is destroying delicate ecosystems that may never be replaced.

The oceans are the heart of Planet Earth, and Beyond Blue does an incredible job of showing what man made dangers lie beneath, all the while revealing beautiful creations, gorgeous scenery, and impressive creatures great and small.

10


Beyond Blue review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.