I used to work on a purse net fishing boat off the coast of Southern California. On a pretty regular basis I would find myself hanging over the railing with just my wet grip on a rope or cable keeping me from falling into the dark water below. That water is dark too, and so very cold the deeper you go. In Jaws you can see the shark really clearly in the water but it didn’t take much depth on the west coast to lose your knowledge of what mysteries were swimming about in those tides. Divers know that the farther down you go, the more likely you were to panic, get bubbles in your blood while diving known as air embolism which can have all kinds of side effects though a couple of the more difficult to overcome are anxiety and auditory and hallucinations. Go deep diving and you risk even bigger problems, like hydrogen or nitrogen levels getting too high in your deep diving gear. This and the game are called Narcosis.\
Dive, Dive, Dive:
So this game’s storyline doesn’t roll on for very long before you find yourself wondering what is and what isn’t real. As a matter of fact it starts right in the instructions and doesn’t let up. Though it takes place in the depths of the sea floor it really reminds me of the feel of outer space games. You are in a big suit with a large viewing glass to look out of. You have to watch your oxygen levels like a space game, there are things in the dark to beware of (or are there?) you have to conserve your light, and watch your step so that your face plate doesn’t crack, collapse in, and kill ya quick.
Much like out in space where we really have no idea what is going on and what is really out there, the great depths of the ocean are the same in the sense of ever so often we see something come up into the range of our deep dive suits and we “brown” the back of them. Actually a lot of the stuff is even freakier and scarier than the can be taken out with the provided weapons and a bit of light (actually light is the better of the two weapons since bio-luminescence is one of the only things that generally breaks the deep dark).
You know bad things have happened and you (hope?) didn’t hallucinate it by the members of the crew you find going through the devastation trying to save at least one butt, your own. Others are curled up, dead in spastic contortions, leaving behind a collectible name card.
How long the game will last definitely depends on how you take the off paths looking for collectibles but that also means perfecting your movements like your booster jets so you don’t fall down chasms. Along the same lines you can keep using flares, you’ll have an urge to hold on to them but the game provides a decent amount so if a spot is too dark and you think you might fall to a crackling death give a flare a toss.
I highly recommend playing this one in a dark room while wearing a set of headphones. It can be very creepy and is great for those dark and stormy nights where you want a good fright. You can also use VR in Narcosis on the PC if you have the equipment. While I do not, the game is really solid without, so I would imagine it’s even better with!
Dancing In The Dark:
This game is a whole lot of fun because it has some things that you very much expect and then all of a sudden you wonder what the heck is going on in this guy’s head? Hydrogen? Nitrogen? Childhood nightmares and trauma? You’ll have to take the dive to find out!
Narcosis Review Score(4 out of 5 stars)