After the highly positive recognition that it received last year, I decided to give Abzu a try. Abzu was nominated for Best Art Direction at The Game Awards last year and received an overwhelmingly positive response in many people’s top games of 2016. And it’s hard to argue with that having played it.
Abzu is a cinematic adventure developed by Giant Squid Studios that is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Giant Squid Studios is a small studio most known for Journey, which was another well received game of a similar experience on the Playstation. There’s definitely an elephant in the room here though, it’s absolutely overpriced. Abzu is no more than two hours long but it’s priced at an insane $20. I personally bought it during Steam’s winter sale for $6 and while that’s still a tad much, I found it to be somewhat fair.
Abzu was a beautiful and relaxing experience. If you aren’t aware, it’s literally just swimming through the ocean with a bunch of fish. That’s it. There’s no fighting or dialogue, it’s just swimming and completing some really basic puzzles. The atmosphere is amazing, the art is beautiful and there are some great vistas in gorgeous undersea locations. There’s even a little bit of a story that plays out as you progress through your little adventure.
There really isn’t much else to say about it because it’s so short and straight forward. I grabbed my controller, threw on a headset and just sat back for about an hour and a half last night and really enjoyed myself. I’m not sure that I’ll personally ever play it again, but I will absolutely recommend it to anyone. It was a beautiful game that I think is absolutely worth experiencing if you ever come across it at a reasonable price.
P.S. I’m not apologizing for that pun.