Beyond Blue is a relaxed, third-person, undersea swimming game, something akin to what I imagine Abzu is like from people talking about it. You play as Mirai, a deep sea diver, environmentalist, and some sort of oceanic field researcher, which is a fancy way of saying, you go in and collect things for other people so they don’t have to do it. Mirai’s been following a whale pod and her main objective, other than helping the two people she’s working with, is to interact with the whale pod and get more data on them.
The game is just kinda casually swimming around, you get objectives to do which are one of two different types. The first is collecting items, either collecting biomatter samples or, more often, collecting items that transmit signals. The other type of collecting is scanning the animals you come across, and as the Pokemon theme goes, ‘gotta catch’em all’. There are a lot of animals in each environment you go to, and while you don’t have to scan them all, the point of the game is to scan them all. When you scan them the first time you gain access to a fully viewable 3D model on your sub, and as you scan more of them you get more information about the animal. To me the scanning was very cathartic, but I also like collectables in games, to me they’re therapeutic.
That is really all there is to the game. There are three story lines but each of them is fairly scant. One is between Mirai, her sister Ren, and their aunt, another is about Mirai and the whale pod, and the last is about Mirai, the other two people she works with and the ocean as a whole. But again, even combined all these storylines are fairly minimal so I don’t want to ruin what little story there is. Often you can make dialogue choices when talking to the other workers and Ren while in the sub, however none of those choices seem to really change anything, so just go with your heart. Also you can replay the conversations as long as you haven’t gone on the next dive, so you can decide which one you want to continue the story with by simply using that choice last after viewing the others if you desire.
The game is just a chill out game, I… I’m not sure if I would usually appreciate a game like this, but I was in a sour mood when I started playing this and it made me relax and feel better, allowed me to channel my emotions and energy in a way that benefited me instead of causing more issues. I know lots of people like these kinds of games, and if you’re one of them you’ll probably like this too. I mean worst comes to worst you basically stare at Mirai’s ass the entire game, and as a swimmer, she’s fit, so yeah the character model has a decent ass. It doesn’t hurt either that the VA for Mirai has a really relaxing pretty voice. I’m an audiophile, so I really appreciate nice voices; they make me weak in the knees. I’m all for it, it’s just a nice, slow, methodical, “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” type game. It also gives you some interesting information with little videos from people who study the ocean and the creatures in it talking about various things. The videos are fairly short so don’t freak out about it. The game has given me a new appreciation for chill relaxed games. I think I need to play Abzu now.
Beyond Blue was developed by E-Line Media.
Point of Sale: PS4, X1, Steam.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire beyond happily awards Beyond Blue the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.