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Five reasons games should go under the sea

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Posted by: Mandi Odoerfer

There are countless games set in space. Heaps of games let us journey through fantasy realms. However, very few games give us a chance to explore the depths of the ocean. Sure, there's BioShock, but that rarely takes full advantage of its underwater setting. Today, games give us the freedom to throughly explore our surroundings, making amazing discoveries or stumbling across terrifying monsters. Why can't we do that in the ocean?

A new generation of consoles means new IPs, and I sincerely hope some of them will be set underwater. Here are five reasons more games should go under the sea. 

It's Surprisingly Fresh

As mentioned above, very few games are willing to dive into the ocean. Games like Endless Ocean and Aquanaut's Holiday offer plenty of underwater exploration, but not much in the way of adventure. Knights of the Old Republic let us spend some time underwater, but the time below the surface was much too brief. Gamers could really use something that feels new, and an ocean-based game could deliver that in spades. 

Whether we get an action-adventure title, a terrifying survival horror game, or a story-driven RPG, just about any game that's set under the sea would be a breath of fresh air. It's a setting that hasn't been overdone, and it's rife with potential. That's exactly what a new IP needs.

Reality Can Be Cooler Than Fiction

More than 70% of the earth's surface is covered by the ocean, but only a fraction of that has been explored. There's no telling what lurks in the deepest parts of the ocean, which means anything from still-living dinosaurs to actual leviathan could have an air of believability to them. Fantasy creatures are amazing, but sometimes monsters feel a little more spectacular when it seems like they could be real. 

In fact, an underwater game wouldn't even need to stray away from what's already been discovered to be amazing. The ocean is home to some truly fantastic stuff. There are creatures that look like real-life Pokémon. Giant squids are an actual thing! Under the sea, you'll find creatures that look like something out of your wildest dreams -- or nightmares. Which leads into my next point ...

The Ocean is Terrifying

Ever seen a goblin shark? What about zombie worms, or giant isopods? The ocean is home to some of the most frightening creatures on the planet, especially if you're willing to venture into the deep sea. All of these creatures would be plenty scary on land, but they're even scarier thanks to how helpless you are in the ocean. You probably wouldn't even have a chance to scream. 

Whether developers have you face actual sea creatures or Lovecraftian horrors, the ocean is a truly fearsome setting. The deeper you go, the more eerie the ocean becomes. Whether it takes a pure horror route or just includes a few good scares, an ocean-based game has the potential to frighten in ways no other settings can. 

The Ocean is Beautiful

The ocean is a very scary place, but it's also incredibly beautiful. A coral reef can make a rainbow look bland. There are all kinds of magnificent fish, and underwater caves are stunning. Even wreckage looks sublime when it's submerged in water. 

An underwater game would allow the PS4 and Xbox One to really showcase their graphical prowess. For years, games could never get water to look quite right. Now, consoles have the power to make the sea look spectacular. Right now, many gamers still need to be convinced to upgrade to new consoles. An amazing looking ocean game could definitely do the trick.

It's the Perfect Setting for a Story

You need more than gorgeous graphics and amazing monsters if you want to make an incredible game. You'll also need a great story. Thankfully, when it comes to settings, it doesn't get much better than the ocean.

There's a shroud of mystery surrounding the ocean that definitely inspires the imagination. It's nearly impossible to explore the ocean on your own, so the game will need a rich cast of characters. It's easy to make gameplay mechanics part of the story. Writing for games can be a challenge, but writers have loved telling tales about the sea for years. An undersea game could completely immerse a player in its world. 

There are so many great reasons for developers to set their games in the ocean. Now's the perfect time for a new underwater title. Here's hoping we see one in the not-too-distant future. 

Tags: BioShock, Knights of the Old Republic, Aquanaut's Holiday, Endless Ocean

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