A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The general theme is one of survival. The story has the world split into warring factions and players having the potential to change things, but being cynical about doing so. Multiplayer is basically just players navigating the waterways and blasting each other.
Positive Role Models
The player's crew bicker occasionally, but are a close unit due in no small part to their common circumstances. Society as a whole has collapsed, with trust in others is less of a given and more of a hard-earned commodity that can be taken away at any given moment.
Ease of Play
Although the basic controls are easy to quickly get the hang of, actually navigating through the oceans can be a pain. The ship's movements feel slow and sluggish, and it's easy to get turned upside down and lose any bearings as to where you are. Also, players will often get ambushed from all directions, leaving little opportunity to break away or focus fire for an opening.
Violence & Scariness
The combat is ship-to-ship, with lots of gunfire and explosions. Although the ships are manned, there's no visible signs of any enemy pilots. Instead, defeated ships explode leaving wreckage and the occasional power-up behind. Creatures hit with gunfire will occasionally show puffs of red indicating hits.
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Some mild profanity, such as "ass" and "bastard," appears occasionally in the characters' dialogue. Multiplayer matches are unmoderated, which could expose players to inappropriate content.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Aquanox Deep Descent is a science fiction based first-person shooter game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows based PCs. Players pilot a submersible vehicle through hazardous waters in a world where the surface can no longer sustain human life. Players can work together in co-op play or fight each other in online multiplayer deathmatches. Combat is central to gameplay, with lots of ship-to-ship combat against various enemies and/or other players. Although there's no shortage of gunfire and explosions, there's no blood or gore shown onscreen. There's some light profanity in the dialogue, and parents should be aware that kids could still be exposed to some offensive language during online matches via party chat with other players.
Is It Any Good?
While people tend to look to the stars as the great unknown, it's easy to forget that more than eighty percent of Earth's oceans still remain completely unexplored. Aquanox Deep Descent turns this vast frontier into humanity's final refuge and one massive battleground. At least, that's how it's presented in the story. The reality of the gameplay is a lot more claustrophobic. Instead of moving around through huge open areas of the sea floor, most of the maps are little more than an inexplicable network of underwater tunnels with the occasional open pocket of space to house bases or stage larger enemy encounters. For a game that touts its 360-degrees of maneuverability, the world seems even more cramped than the cockpit of your submersible. In fact, you're likely to take just as much damage bouncing off tunnel walls as you are enemy attacks.
Speaking of enemy attacks, Aquanox Deep Descent can't ever quite seem to decide just how much action it wants to give to players. There will be extended periods of seeming isolation as players explore the waterways, only for a swarm of enemy subs to suddenly surround and attack from literally every direction. It makes the Story mode feel like just a series of ambushes. If players have a couple of friends along for co-op play, it's not quite as bad, as teammates can cover each others' backs. In fact, multiplayer as a whole makes for an improved experience. In Deathmatches, the mix of narrow tunnels and open pockets makes for a more harrowing and exciting feeling, as players don't know what might be waiting just around the corner. There's still a lot of emptiness, but it's a lot more manageable.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.