Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
If you’ve ever wanted to swim with whales, explore Atlantean style undersea ruins, or try your hand at hide and seek with a shark, this week’s free game on the Epic Games store might be right up your alley.
Abzû is an under water exploration adventure game with a gorgeous art style. If you’ve played Journey or Flower, you’re going to recognize the art style of Abzû. That’s because it’s from the same art director, Matt Nava. After helping create the flowing world of airborne beauty in Flower, and the intense sand sliding desert adventure of Journey for thatgamecompany, Nava started his own studio, Giant Squid. Abzû is Nava’s first project from the new developer, and it’s in some ways an underwater version of Journey.
If you’ve played Journey, you know the game tells the story of a lost civilization, through images and pictographs, as the player makes his way across a starkly beautiful desertscape. Along the way the player has to navigate platform sections, solve puzzles, and avoid enemies while finding cover or sliding down shifting sand dunes.
Abzû offers much of the same, but in a completely different setting. Where Journey was starkly beautiful and barren, Abzû is vibrant and teeming with life. The sealife you encounter along the way, from large schools of fish to whales to jellyfish and, yes, sharks and other predators, react to your presence in interesting and, sometimes, surprising ways.
You’ll want to take note of how the different species react to you as you explore the world solving puzzles and interacting with sealife and locales, so that you can come to truly know (Zû) the water (Ab).
The soundtrack, from composer Austin Wintory, really helps set the mood as well. Wintory has worked with Nava before, on the soundtrack for Journey as well as providing the score for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
Abzû is the free game of the week beginning on Thursday. You can add the game to your Epic account by visiting https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/abzu/home once it is made available to claim and download.
While there are sharks, squid, and even prehistoric creatures lurking in the world of Abzû, the game is considered appropriate for all ages, and carries an ESRB rating of E for Everyone.
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