In 2006 ThatGameCompany was born , a tiny and independent studio, fruit of the creative talent of Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago.
10 years ago it was not so usual to find independent studios like now, and of course it was much rarer to see teams with exclusive agreements to work on the console. The company was born with a contract under the arm to create three downloadable titles for Playstation 3,
being the first fl0w, an improved and expanded version of a relaxing and curious title for browsers that Chen had devised.
It is interesting to look back and remember that all this sounded very innovative and avant-garde in the scenario of the consoles of that time. Microsoft had stolen the cart to Sony with Xbox 360 in many ways, one of them the digital store and the efforts to attract the
kind of independent games that then only existed on PC (and in a much more precarious state than the actual). Those responsible for Playstation came to the conclusion that the only way to recover the lost ground was to sponsor interesting and different projects that put a bright spotlight on this new facet.
Likewise, it is also fun to remember the reactions to games like fl0w or Flower, contemplative titles far removed from what the console player was used to. Even today there is a natural resistance of a part of the amateur to titles that focus on interactive audiovisual immersion, and not so much in elements such as the narrative, the challenge or the gameplay itself. But nowadays
they are more common games to find in all formats, and some have had great successes. The same third game of ThatGameCompany, Journey, reached the status of a cult game and managed to convince even many of those who did not agree with the previous titles.
History class was necessary for different reasons. First of all, because although Abzu is not from ThatGameCompany, he has a lot of Journey in his DNA. Matt Nava , the founder of the creative studio Giant Squid, was previously the artistic
director of Flower and Journey. Austin Wintory , the creator of the award-winning PS3 title soundtrack, also participates in this title . Considering that the audiovisual artistic element was one of the main pillars of the previous work, there was much curiosity to see how that was distilled in this new title initially released for PC and PS4 .
The first question was perhaps if Nava had planned to move away from the minimalist and contemplative gameplay of his previous games and the answer was quickly found in his title: a resounding no. Serve this as a warning for navigators about the kind of title that is
Abzu: a contemplative game, with a minimal narrative, short if it gets to the point, without challenges and in which we are directed from one area to
another by recreating ourselves in how this seabed is built. The term ” walking simulator ” could be useful, but it would have to be changed by “diving simulator”, since the protagonist is a diver exploring the seabed.
This is how the game begins without much explanation, with our protagonist diver in the water, ready to begin his journey as soon as we touch the command.
The control is simple and pleasant, with few interactions: keep pressing R2 to move in the direction of the stick, control the camera with the other stick, a button to swim faster, another to interact with elements and a last to engage in wildlife marine and to be able to enjoy walks on the backs of blankets or dolphins, among other marine animals.
There are no puzzles, we can not drown, there is no risk of getting lost, nor is it possible to die, it is simply a matter of taking our time in each area and moving on to the next when we are finished. There are some collectable elements, which allow us to release new animals or find meditation points,