Shinsekai Into the Depths review: An inventive, stylish and original underwater adventure

This year was always going to be a strange one in terms of video gaming. With the next generation of consoles due out at the end of 2020, we were entering that limbo period where developers line up to launch onto the new exciting platforms.

But coronavirus sending a third of the world’s population into lockdown has created a demand for video gaming that is quite simply unprecedented.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In the absence of any huge new titles on the horizon, niche games are picking up lots of traction and getting more attention than they could have ever realistically dreamed of.

One such game is Capcom’s gorgeous and stylish Shinsekai Into The Depths. Gamers in lockdown are searching for something fresh and original, when they get bored of FIFA or Call of Duty and the like. And there is plenty original about this undersea action-adventure exploration game. It is a real treat on the eyes and grabs your attention from the get go.

What is the game about?

The premise of the game is that the land has slowly but steadily been covered with ice, forcing mankind to take refuge in the ocean. But even the sea cannot protect you forever as the ice overtakes the undersea home of your lone aquanaut.

It places you into an unplanned journey of discovery, as you follow a mysterious mechanical creature into the depths in the hope of finding other people who have managed to survive, too.

Key to your survival is managing oxygen reserves as you make your way through the jaw-dropping underwater world which is teeming with life. You must maintain your suit's pressure resistance as you dive deeper into the ruins of past civilizations.

Shinsekai Into The Depth has a gripping haunting quality and stylish charm that I can only liken to the classic side scrolling puzzler, Limbo, as well as Bioshock.

This bares the hallmarks of Capcom’s inventiveness and given the end of days feel to the current global state of emergency it all feels very close to home in the same way re-playing Fallout would right now.

A great game for the price

Shinsekai Into the Depths is cool and evocative in its underwater setting. The unique movement mechanics and gameplay feel great on the Switch in both handheld mode and on the big screen.

I would recommend the latter, though, to fully appreciate the aesthetic treats it has to offer. The exploration element is Shinsekai’s crowning achievement, even if your robot companion ends up grating after a while.

Overall a welcome addition to your roster, especially at half the price of a regular cartridge game.

Out: NowRating: 8/10