Beyond Blue PAX West 2018 Hands-On
The spiritual successor to Never Alone, Beyond Blue is the latest title from developers E-Line Media. For this title, E-Line Media has partnered with BBC to bring a deep-sea experience to players. I was able to go hands-on with Beyond Blue at PAX West 2018 and came away impressed and eager to see more. For those wondering, Beyond Blue involves players diving in the South China Sea as player-character Mirai in an effort to discover what is causing recent changes in the ecosystem.
While not a big nature buff, I was instantly attracted to the title for a few reasons. Firstly, the title is obviously a nice getaway from other titles that have me constantly fighting for survival. Next, while diving deep in the ocean can be a lot of sandbox fun, Beyond Blue provides a decent lengthed narrative that ties in nature and technology within the story. Lastly, the game takes place in the near future. Yes, this means that players will have access to technology not yet fully developed as E-Line Media has worked with specialists to determine where the technology used in the game will be in roughly ten years.
Don’t get me wrong, while I love slaying demons or surviving a horde of zombies, the thought of exploring the ocean puts my mind at ease. This does not mean that the game is without dangers. Players may come into contact with predators which may chase the players away. In one quick portion of my demo, I was sprayed with ink from an octopus or squid, which I later found out attracts predators as part of their defensive mechanisms.
While exploring and going through a narrative sound fun on their own, Beyond Blue has more than just swimming around. Managing resources and prioritizing objectives also play a large role in the game. Personally, I did not expect to have to make high-stakes decisions in Beyond Blue, but the opportunity to do so is a pleasant surprise. Releasing in early 2018, I cannot wait to see what Beyond Blue delivers with Mirai and her crew.