Stranded Deep is a 1st person survival PC exclusive game developed by Beam Team Games that offers a fresh, high quality and interesting gameplay experience in the ever growing genre of survival games. As of recent months this genre of video games have been populated by very linear, boring and tedious titles that have failed to grab the attention of gamers and has left a large percentage of the market craving that tough, gritty and yet fun and repayable survival experience. I believe Stranded Deep even in its early access state offers just that.
Stranded Deep offers a very diverse infinitely procedurally generated world that offers the player a HUGE amount of space to explore. Every player starts their journey in a plane crash where you acquire a life raft and paddle. You then find yourself on an island the next morning, where your journey of trying to survive and hopefully be rescued begins. The game offers a robust crafting system that differs from other titles in this genre. They do this because you don’t just gather materials and craft them in a menu. You actually have to lay out every piece of a crafting recipe and specific tools are needed for the job. This really adds a sense of achievement because it makes you feel as though you’ve done so much more than just collecting random materials. You are actually physically building something that will greatly increase your chances of survival.
Players can also explore other islands by paddling over to them on their raft. Some are close while others are very, very far away. You may also encounter ship wrecks on your adventures which can hold extremely helpful tools that can make your life a lot easier, whether they be used in crafting or other means such as making fires or creating light to help you see better at night. Overall the unique, refreshing crafting and the huge, ever changing world really set an incredible gameplay standard for Stranded Deep. The game also gives every player a chance to carve out their own story that can be drastically different to their friend’s experience.
The sound in Stranded Deep really brings this game into a class of its own. The ambiance that is created by the way this game looks and sounds delivers a crisp and clear experience. You just get such a sense of what it would be like to be stranded on an island. Experience the eerie silence with the sound of the waves hitting the shore and the odd splash of the harsher waters as the game’s surrounding comes alive all around you. Even the more subtle sounds that you could miss, such as the sound of the trees moving within the wind and the sound of coconuts snapping off the tree and hitting the sand as the wind knocks them free are every bit as realistic as one would experience in real life. Each sound in this game has a purpose and that purpose is to draw the players in and to bring the immersion factor to a whole new high.
The graphical nature of this indie game is extremely impressive and offers a great refreshing feel of an immersive adventure game. This is because most indie games gets held back due to the quality of their sub-par graphics. Stranded Deep once again shocks and also pleases me due to its beautiful environments and its staggering lighting effects. The best example I can give is when the player is on the island and the sun begins to set. The lighting gets dark and shows deep reds as the last of the light from the sun begins to break through the palm trees and begins to sink into the horizon. This sets such a stunning picture that may give you the impression that being stuck on an island isn’t so bad.
Stranded Deep is an interesting, fun and enjoyable twist on the very serious nature of survival. It is beautiful and has an extreme level of immersion. I believe this game has so much promise, even in early access this gives the player so many rewards just for playing, whether they want to survive as best as they can on one island, or to expand and find new places to call home while they wait to be rescued.