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Stranded Deep Review (PS4)

After several years of being released as an early access game on PC, Beam Team Games’ Stranded Deep finally released as a complete survival game on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Stranded Deep’s opening sequence begins with your plane crashing in the ocean where you must swim to a nearby raft nearby that takes you to the starting island. From there, it is up to you to find a way to survive, explore what the world has to offer and hopefully escape to safety.

While the game has a small tutorial to help get you familiar with crafting basic items and finding food, it becomes evident very soon that you will have to learn how to survive on your own. Coconuts, for example, could be used as a source of food and water, but having too many of them at a time could result in negative effects such as getting sick and losing water. In addition, the seemingly friendly purple starfish I accidentally stepped on resulted in me slowly dying on my first play through due to poisoning which is only curable with an antidote. Moreover, items you craft don’t have a detailed description of how you could potentially use them, rather you’ll have to rely on your real life knowledge which helps make the game more immersive. While some are self explanatory such as the “water still”, I found myself looking up guides fairly often to guarantee i’m not crafting useless items and wasting scarce resources.

The mechanics and controls worked fine for the most part considering that I was playing the PS4 port of a PC game. Hunting fish proved to be a bit difficult at times due to their small size and the accuracy required to hit them while moving. On another note, exploration is arguably the most important aspect of Stranded Deep and it includes underwater shipwrecks in addition to other islands. After a couple of days on the starting island, it is a must to explore other areas for more supplies and parts to escape. By leaving your island, you could potentially die or even get lost in sea which makes saving and preparing essential. This is by far the most enjoyable element of the game as it leads to many thrilling encounters with predators of all kinds.

While the game is very fun to play at first, it gets somewhat monotonous at times where not much is going on and the similar design of the islands and shipwrecks make them less appealing to explore. It is also very easy to lose sight of the main objective which is to escape, rather than just survive or crafting items for the short term.

Pictures of Telltale brings Stranded Deep to PS4 and Xbox One 7/8

Overall, Stranded Deep is a truly unique survival game with many innovative features and design choices but suffers from few issues aforementioned. Perhaps having audio logs, collectibles which could provide an outline for a story could make the experience more exciting and memorable. That being said, there aren’t many other survival games that provide this level of realism and innovation which makes Stranded Deep stand out from the crowd.

GameRev was provided with a digital download code for the purpose of this review.

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