BY LUIGGI CAVANNA
Stranded Deep is an open-world survival game with crafting elements where your main goal is to survive while traveling & exploring different islands scattered around the map. Stranded Deep has been in early access on Steam for a while now but recently the game has been released on Xbox One and PS4. The version that I played for the purpose of this review is the PS4 one. This is a supplementary review, if you want to see my first impressions of the game right after I was done playing it, go check the video down below.
Watch My Review!
Stranded Deep is your typical first-person survival game where you have to find food, craft items & avoid dangerous critters. The gimmick of the game is that you have to do all that in multiple islands that you find all over the ocean while traveling in your trusty raft.
Before you start your game you have to make a few decisions, like choosing your difficulty, gender, and even turn on permadeath if you want, so when you die the game will delete your save file, PEACHY!
You can also choose how angry you want your snakes.
After you have made all of your decisions the story can start! This is where the game chooses my favorite type of storytelling, it shows, it doesn’t tell. You find yourself sitting in a private plane, you have full control of your camera but you can’t move. Looking outside the window you see that a terrible storm is brewing, and then BOOM! There’s a hole on your plane and next thing you know your plane is sinking in the ocean. This is where you take control of your character and you receive your first mission, leave the plane!
Once you reach the surface you find yourself floating on a raft near an island, that I personally call “TUTORIAL ISLAND”, and this is where the game actually begins. You're given a mission to pick up some rocks, and onward you go into a world of crafting and drinking coconut juice so you don’t die of dehydration!
Don’t drink too much of it… I’ll let you know why in a bit.
Let’s talk about the gameplay shall we? Crafting is tremendously important in the game, and the first few missions are given to you before you have complete freedom is to craft a series of important items that you’ll need in your quest for survival. Your character has a watch that you can check any time to view important information like, if you need to eat or drink, or view your status, for example, if you’re poisoned or if you have diarrhea.
Oh! Look at the time.
If you are a fan of this genre of games, there’s fun to be had with this title, but there are a few things that we need to discuss before you go purchasing “Stranded Deep”. Personally I find the menus a bit cumbersome. That is a problem mainly for how often you have to deal with them since crafting is so important in this game. There are some shortcuts and ways to optimize your experience but the game doesn’t do much explaining. I mean, Stranded Deep does give you some explanation but it could do it a bit better.
Most of the ways to make my experience better were found online while I was looking for a way to cure poisoning (oh I need to talk about this!). There is a beginner's trap in the game that can ruin your playthrough early on, and that is getting poisoned. You see, there are many ways to get poisoned in the game, from getting bitten by a snake to just stepping in the wrong place. The problem is that you have to craft the antidote, how is that a problem? Well my friend in this game crafting has levels, the more you craft the higher your level becomes. The antidote is obtained at crafting level 3! You wouldn’t even know you can make an antidote since the thing is grey out until you reach the level required! I went online to find a way to cure myself just to find out that it will be faster to start over again.
I had to step on the purple spiky thing…. FOR SCIENCE!
I mention finding stuff online right? Well, I was doing that because I feel like the tutorial could do a better job explaining things to you. There are tips you can read on loading screens but those are random and for goodness sake doesn’t matter how long your loading screen is, it shouldn’t be the only way to find those tips! Speaking of loading (masterful segue right there) if you are going to play this on the PS4 prepare for quite a bit of loading time, in fact, there is a massive loading screen just to get to the main menu.
There are also some problems with items you gather from nature that sometimes falls inside rocks where you can’t get them, EVER. It doesn’t matter how hard you try and there are some graphical hiccups when you are at sea in a storm. You’ll sometimes see fish just swimming in mid-air. All of these are minor problems that can be fixed later, after all, this game is in early access. That being said, this game was also released on PS4 and Xbox one while still being in early access on steam (I’m literally reviewing the PS4 version). For what I gather on the steam forums, some people are not happy with this and it is understandable.
No fish! You’re supposed to be swimming IN the water.
All and all, the game is still fun and it has some promise for the future, but whether it was ready to be released on consoles is a completely different matter. The game is a good time killer, especially now with the state of the world where we have to stay at home, but it has been in early access for five years on steam (I believe so). I would do my research first before jumping to the opportunity of purchasing this game if I were you….. Or wait for a sale.
Very well, my friends, those were my experiences with “Stranded Deep”, but now I wanna hear from you! Have you played Stranded Deep? Did you enjoy it? What was the first thing that killed you? Let us know. Now I return to the deepest darkest corners of my dwelling. Good-bye for now my friends.