Narcosis is a new, first person horror game set in the depth’s of the pacific ocean. It is the first title by Honor Code Inc (that I can find, correct me if I’m wrong). Right of the bat I have to say that it’s a really interesting idea and very well made for a team so young.
Looks + Gameplay
The aesthetic is clearly very well thought out. Don’t expect vibrancy and crystal clear images because you’re in the deep, dark ocean. The creatures that you encounter are really well animated, coupled with the refreshing take on a HUD and you have a clever looking game. Gameplay-wise it’s quite simple but simple doesn’t always mean bad. It does what it needs to do. At times it can be frustrating how slowly you move but then I think “you try moving while wearing a several hundred pound diving suit” and I realise that I was being unfair.
However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, there are a few bugs in the game. They don’t ruin the experience as a whole but they can be infuriating at times. There was a couple of occasions where I died out of nowhere and it wasn’t until I tried the same part a few more times that I realised there were parts of the map that enemies were able to clip through.
One element that I wish had been added was a little bit of motion bounce when walking. Usually I complain that a game has too much of this but the Narcosis camera feels too static. Other than that I have to say that it feels very realistic. It may put some people off but I like the fact that you can’t look straight down and get a full view of your surroundings. You wouldn’t be able to in real life, so why should you in the game.
The best part of the game for me is the voice acting. Both the actor and the writer clearly put a lot of time and effort into making sure it was done properly and their efforts are not in vain. At times it can feel a little like a monologue but it really works with a game of this genre. I won’t go into details about the story as to not spoil it but the way that it’s told is very refreshing (and weird at times, but weird is good).
The main character is a deep sea diver, working for Oceanova, who’s job it is to collect frozen methane from the floor of the pacific. As this is a horror game you may have guessed that things go wrong and they do, catastrophically so as you are hit by an earthquake which destroys pretty much everything. The aim of the game is to return to your base of operations to survive. Along the way you must navigate through crevices and get past some very angry ocean dwellers.
I was really impressed with Narcosis. I know that I should treat every game equally and not look at budgets, man power etc but the fact that this game was created by a young team gives them extra points in my book. A very impressive game and I am looking forward to seeing what Honor Code Inc create next.
Buy Narcosis on Steam