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Beyond Blue review | PC Gamer


Need to Know

 What is it? A third person underwater diving sim inspired by the Planet Earth documentaries
Expect to pay $20 /£16
Developer E-Line Media
Publisher E-Line Media
Reviewed on i5-2500K, 8GB RAM, GTX 670
Multiplayer No
Link Official site 

When there’s a squad of field experts on a game’s development team, I always feel like I’m in safe hands. Beyond Blue‘s inclusive development process—involving scientists, marine biologists, and a close partnership with the BBC’s Blue Planet II crew—made me excited to learn more about the mysteries and perils of our planet’s oceans. Games that aspire to both entertain and educate need to have a balance of genuine learning and engaging storytelling, and although Beyond Blue sails with the former, it flounders with the later.

Beyond Blue is a third-person diving simulator that plunges you into the calm blues of the Western Pacific ocean. You slip into the soggy flippers of Mirai, a marine biologist who is tracking a pod of whales whilst documenting various underwater creatures. Alongside a small team of scientists, Mirai studies the family of whales, recording their songs and watching their behaviour in hope of furthering her research into these giants of the sea.  

Beyond Blue is split into eight separate dives, acting as watery chapters for the overall story. Each dive begins with you swimming to an electronic buoy that pinpoints underwater creatures for you to find and scan. Futuristic technology allows Mirai to dive effortlessly through the water and, even with the clunkiest keyboard and mouse, gliding feels smooth and satisfying. 

(Image credit: E-Line Media)

Each dive is in a different atmospheric pocket of the ocean. There are waypoints that progress the story but you’re free to explore the impressively realistic environments at your own leisure. When you find the pinpointed creature, you can use a small drone to have a close-up look to examine and record their markings. Although you’ll come face-to-face with giant sperm whales, hammerhead sharks, and alienesque squids, there’s no imminent danger—it’s a relatively peaceful game.

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