Aquanox Deep Descent

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Aquanox Deep Descent Game Poster Image
Deep-sea shooter offers up action and isolation.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

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Adult Written bySauradip October 20, 2020

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What's it about?

AQUANOX DEEP DESCENT is an underwater first-person exploration shooter game set in a near future where the surface of the planet has been made uninhabitable by climate issues and nuclear warfare. Pulled from cryosleep in this new, underwater way of life, you and your team may be the last chance to bring the fractured remnants of humanity together, and to restore civilization before it's lost forever in a watery abyss. Players take control of their own, customizable deep-sea vehicle, taking on a variety of jobs and missions for different factions. Gamers can work together in four player co-op play, or test their submersible skills against other pilots in online Deathmatch and Dogfight matches. Do you have what it takes to rule the depths? Or will you find yourself forever sent down to Davy Jones' Locker?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about ocean exploration. How important are the oceans to our ecosystem and how important is continued exploration of the oceans?

  • What are some of the ways that climate change might make habitability more difficult and what are some things that can be done to stem or reverse those issues?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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