Beyond Blue is a narrative-driven exploration game set in the depths of the ocean. Developed E-Line Media - the same team that brought us the adorable Never Alone - Beyond Blue looks to both educate and intrigue players with a story set around a large number of amphibious animals.
What first peaked my attention with the title was E-Line Media’s partnership with the BBC, and more specifically, the team behind the prestigious Blue Planet series. Working together with the team, E-line Media is crafting a believable underwater world based on science.
Much like Never Alone - a game that told its story through Iñupiaq culture and folklore - Beyond Blue will utilise science to tell the story of what’s happening to our oceans and the effects that humans are having on them. While I’ve been promised that this isn’t the main focus, the developers were keen to point out that it would be weird to create a game based in our oceans and not mention the current environmental crisis.
The EGX demo had me on the trail of a whale pod, after one of their young whales had dropped their tracker. My journey to find them took me past a number of underwater creatures, giving me the opportunity to study some of these fantastic animals up close. The developer made me aware that the AI had been considerably dumbed down for the EGX demo, but the AI of animals would behave much more like their real-life counterparts in the full release. Players will need to be much more tactful in their approach In the full release.
The player character controls nicely, which is a nice a surprise as finding the right balance between control and fluidity when simulating an underwater environment is difficult. This fluid movement makes traversing the environment not only incredibly easy, but also fun, something that makes exploration much more enjoyable.
If E-Line Media can continue building on what they've got so far, I think Beyond Blue could be an exceptional exploration of wildlife in the sea, our effect on it and above all else, an experience that elevates itself as something that can be enjoyed by those who may not typically play videogames.