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Depth

Game: Depth
Platform: Steam
Developer: Digital Confectioners
Publisher: Digital Confectioners
Date Reviewed: 12/28/2014
Reviewed by: [TMC]Warhawk

From the briny deep comes Depth, an asymmetrical multiplayer game that pits two teams against each other in the form of Sharks Vs Divers. In case you are wondering, yes, it is as exciting and terrifying as it sounds. Prepare to soil your wetsuit many times over; but don’t worry, that brown water will quickly turn red as the sharks thrash your frail body from side to side.

Depth features two modes and 6 maps. At first glance seems like there isn’t enough game there to justify the pricetag. However, after playing it for several hours I can say that the value is definately there.

Game Mode 1: Blood and Gold
The main game mode is called “Blood and Gold” and has a team of 4 divers that escort an automated submarine called S.T.E.V.E. while fending off the sharks. Both teams have a pre-determined number of respawns that is shared among each team, if either team depletes all of their respawns, they lose the round.

In “Blood and Gold” S.T.E.V.E. automatically goes about his route, stopping at predefined stations where he cracks into underwater safes. While this is happening each diver is able to gather loose treasure from the seafloor which them extra points and allows individual divers to use these points to purchase upgraded weapons and equipment during the match. As a diver, you are generally better off staying near S.T.E.V.E. as venturing too far afield leaves you vulnerable to attack. After S.T.E.V.E. cracks all of the safes, he returns to the home ship, and if there are any divers still alive at this point, they win the round.

The shark team consists of only two sharks with the simple mission: feast on the flesh of the opposing team. There are a number of different types of sharks to choose from, each with different pros and cons. As mentioned before, Sharks have various abilities to unlock such as different ways to make tracking prey easier. By default all sharks have a limited sonar ability as well as a surge ability that allows them to lunge forward toward prey for a limited distance.

Sharks generally can’t sustain much damage and must rely on surprise and the concealment that the limited visibility of the oceans provide. Guerrilla warfare typically works best, where sharks dart in and out of the driver area, snatching targets of opportunity and darting away as quickly as possible. Another effective strategy is to circle the periphery just out of visible range of the divers. Here you can pick off divers that wander too far from their friends. Sharks can also break through certain walls, allowing for some surprise cool-aid man moments.

Once latched onto a diver the player can shake the mouse back and fourth. The amount of vigor you put into your mouse shaking determines the speed in which you tear the diver in half. Not only is this is creative mechanic, it’s also extremely satisfying.

Game Mode 2: Megalodon Hunt
The second game mode is called Megalodon Hunt and starts out with 4 players as divers and one player as an extra large Megalodon shark. The 4 divers can gather loot off the seafloor; as they gather loot their primary weapon automatically upgrades itself based on the amount of loot they are able to acquire. The goal of the Megalodon is, as you’d expect, to make snacks out of as many divers as possible. Once a diver manages to kill the megalodon, that diver spawns as the Megalodon. This continues until the total amount of diver spawns is depleted.

Each match you play contributes points to your overall career progression, which unlocks new diver weapons and shark abilities as you level up.

High Points:
While playing as a shark is good fun, and probably the type most will want to play as, the asymmetrical layout of the teams means you will likely end up playing as a diver most often. As a diver, the underwater setting of the game adds a whole new dimension to the genre because the player can be attacked from any angle. Divers will hear a heartbeat sound that will increase in pace as sharks get closer, it has the same feeling of the Jaws soundtrack. The reduced visibility of being underwater means you never know what direction the shark attacks will come from, adding to the fear factor. Levels are designed in such as way so that divers are always vulnerable from multiple angles in just about any area they attempt to hide in. All of these factors come together to create a constant sense of vulnerability and impending doom… which is exactly what you want in a game featuring sharks.

Depth is great fun to play on pub server, but where this game really has the potential to shine is if you can get a group of friends playing it together, especially in a LAN party environment.

The Bottom Line - Value Proposition:
Is this game worth the 25 dollar asking price?

As stated earlier, normally a multiplayer only game with so few game modes and maps would be cause for concern. On paper, looking at what the game has to offer, I would expect a price more in the 20 dollar range. However, after playing the game and experiencing how unique and fun it is, I have to say that it is worth the 25 dollar price tag and you should definitely pick this game up.

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