Stranded Deep is a survival video game that was put into early access on personal computers (PCs) in 2015. I would not spoiler the plot, but everything comes down to the existence in the sea. The map includes a variety of islands, where the character can find any needed materials for staying alive. During my experience of testing the game, it performed a variety of bugs, and these technical issues still occur. This project is interesting and amazing in terms of multiplayer, which the game possessed in the menu. Nevertheless, until recent times, the online mode wasn’t operating. Finally, this year, on September 27, this issue was fixed and now you can enjoy the exploration of the in-game world with your friends.
There is minimal differentiation in aspects of living in the game whether you play alone or in cooperation with someone. A user always has some basic needs to avoid death, which, by the way, maybe permanent. So, you can put the settings into “permadeath” mode and if you perish, the whole game process will be lost, and the survival will start from the very beginning. However, one of the crucial distinctions between multiplayer and single-player modes in this particular case, is that you can be revived and avoid spawning at the starting spot.
Every single day of my existence was framed with the character’s demands. Wristwatch shows the scales of hunger, thirst, sun protection factor (SPF), and health. The viability is affected by these three mentioned factors, so make sure to keep them as high as possible.
Need food? Search for animals, go fishing, or simply cut the coconut into two pieces. The coconut provides you with water and after you can even gain some food from it. If you have managed to find meat, don’t forget to cook it on a campfire or use the smoker! As was already mentioned, water may be found in coconuts, or the player is also able to construct a special water gathering facility that needs palm leaves to operate. Additionally, the food is also recuperating your thirst to some extent. The SPF bar alarms you about the danger of being exposed to sunstroke. If the bar is at a low degree, swim for some time under the water to cool down your body or you can just wait until the sea storm will reach your position. Correspondingly, the watch implies a skills section where you can find your experience level in a specific field (e.g., hunting, building, farming, physical condition). The levels limit your ability to create certain things, though you should improve your building skill to construct a gyrocopter.
The aspects mentioned above relates to, let’s say, loyal and passive existence. But exploring the world is not possible without adventures and in this section, I would like to describe some potential active threats.
Most part of the components a character needs for survival and construction works are placed sunken ships near the coastline of islands. These waters are teeming with sharks and other dangerous creatures. Such water inhabitants as sea urchins, lionfish, and sea snakes are not willing to attack survivors. However, if you will occasionally swim into one of these, you will be poisoned, and the urgent need is to find an antidote. The antidote is usually made of a coconut and a special “pipi” plant, which hardly grows on each dryland. Active aggressors, like sharks, huge wild hogs, and big crabs will do their best to challenge you all the time. That is why the player should calculate every move to avoid any crossing with these creatures (unless you want to kill them on purpose). These clashes will deprive the character of a pretty number of health bars. To restore the scale, you will have to hold other indicators as high as possible. Otherwise, the health will not increase. An actual advantage in this situation is to play online with other users. So, in case of death, your teammate is able to revive you with a bandage. Playing alone will probably throw you at the starting point on the map.
Besides fulfilling the physical needs and struggling with the fauna, the pivotal aspect of daily life in Stranded Deep is sailing. Exploring the other islands, looting (probably your “home island” will lack materials for existing or improving the conditions of existence) and searching for the unique locations where you can find exceptional and rare objects, that are not available in regular spots.
A player is also likely to come across some bosses and have a fight against them to get an achievement. As was already mentioned, the game involves different islands of various kinds, and navigation in this open-world area is quite a challenge as a common thing to mess with the position you were leaving from. I guess, most of the game audience is just randomly sailing, trying to come across the “base” island by occasion (of course, if you are not a fan of itinerant gameplay and don’t have to be bound to a certain place).
Overall, this is my experience of the game, how I usually spend time and what I do in the sea world. Yes, there are still some bugs and technical drawbacks and sometimes it irritates. But in general, the game is beautiful, interesting, and mysterious due to the unique environment. I know only a few similar projects, and this is one of them.
This experience was based on the game Stranded Deep (Beam Team Games 2015)
Pictures: screenshots from the game, taken by the author