Aquanox Deep Descent Articles RSS Feed | Aquanox Deep Descent RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Aquanox: Deep Descent — How to Buy and Craft Ammo Fri, 16 Oct 2020 13:05:04 -0400 Jonathan Moore

You're going to need a lot of ammo to take down enemy ships in Aquanox: Deep Descent. But there's a conspicuous lack of the stuff in Aquanox's early levels. Your initial weapons, such as the Sting Ray MK2 Gatlin cannon, will rip through your supplies quickly, even if you lock onto enemies using the middle mouse button.

Destroying ships and blasting open crates is one way to get ammo in Aquanox: Deep Descent. Enemy ships will sometimes drop bullets, rockets, and other ammo types when they're destroyed, which you can find floating in their wreckage. These show up on your mini-map as a row of bullets, missiles, or shotgun shells. 

You can also break open crates that are found on the seafloor, cliffs, and other outcroppings. Sometimes these are found alongside scannable wreckage. Sometimes they aren't. And not all crates can be broken open. 

Those that can shimmer and are distinguished from Salvage by their lack of a purple glow. You'll need to shoot these crates to break them open, but they only take one shot from your Gatlin cannon. 

However, relying on this method for getting more ammo isn't really efficient. Drops from enemy ships and crates are random, not to mention few and far between. 

Instead, you should focus on buying and crafting ammo. It's not clear how to do either, and if you're like me, you might find yourself scratching your head while looking through the menus. 

How to Buy and Craft Ammo

To buy or craft ammo, you'll need to dock your ship at either a capital ship or at one of the undersea bases, such as Port Royale. In the top left of the docking screen, you'll see a row of icons.

  • Click on the screwdriver and wrench icon to open up the mechanic screen
  • Click on the bomb icon to the right of the screwdriver and wrench
  • Click the first box below the icons (two weapons will be in the box)
  • Click on one of your weapon slots, doesn't matter which one
  • Click the weapon you want more ammo for, which pops up underneath your weapon slot in a scrollable list
  • To buy ammo, press "V" or click "Purchase" 
  • To craft ammo, press "C" or click "Craft"

To buy ammo, you'll need Credits, which can be found by completing some missions, destroying other ships, breaking open some crates, and selling crafting parts to the Merchant.

Neither difficulty nor ship-type seems to impact how many credits you get from destroying enemy ships, though the number of credits you receive seems random. I loaded a save 10 times in a row, and the number of credits I received from destroying the same two ships was different every time. 

To craft ammo, you'll need various crafting items, such as parts, oxygen, fuel, iron, and nitrogen, depending on the ammo you'd like to craft. You can gather these parts from crates and Salvage, or you can buy them from the Merchant in capital ships or undersea bases. 

That's all you need to know on how to buy and craft ammo in Aquanox: Deep Descent. It's easy to do but also easy to overlook. Make sure you stock up on ammo before going out on missions and make every shot count. If you found this guide helpful, please consider sharing it! 

Aquanox: Deep Descent Review — A Shallow yet Explosive Dive into the Briny Depths Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:00:01 -0400 Jason D'Aprile

Aquanox: Deep Descent has been in development for a while now. It’s the sequel to a series that started in the 90s with Archimedean Dynasty, continued in 2001 with Aquanox and its sequel, Revelation, a couple years later. You don’t really need to have played those artifacts to get into Deep Descent though. Just bring your love of blowing things away into the briny depths.

Originally teased in 2016, Deep Descent has finally managed to surface and, for fans of the series, it certainly feels and looks the part of an Aquanox game. While this isn’t the most graphically impressive trip we’ve taken lately, Deep Descent does a great job of conveying the tension and claustrophobic nature of being trapped in a deep-sea metal can where death can come from any direction.

Aquanox: Deep Descent Review — A Shallow yet Explosive Dive into the Briny Depths

At this point, it’s safe to assume the overall B-grade nature of the game, including the voices, is almost intentional.

Deep Descent looks like a quintessential Unreal demo game, with that familiar lighting and smoothness of textures. As a result, the game doesn’t exactly visually distinguish itself beyond just being underwater. Graphics are good, but compared to, say, Subnautica, still have a generic look.

The rest of the presentation is a mixed bag as well. Sound effects, ambients, and the score all get the job done, but this entire series has a history of impressively sketchy voice acting, and Deep Descent certainly follows that tradition.

You’ll hear the same canned and phoned-in enemy sound bites all through the game and even the main cast voices are, at best, B-movie level. At this point, it’s safe to assume the overall B-grade nature of the game, including the voices, is almost intentional.

Aquanox: Deep Descent is also buggy as hell. Getting stuck on invisible architecture, watching the front-facing guns just jerk and blink, and general, if minor, instabilities were commonplace while plumbing the oceanic depths. The most annoying glitch had to do with the cramped control pad controls. The thumbstick buttons are by default assigned for moving straight up and down, which in itself seemed inconvenient.

Unfortunately, the game attempts a situational dash move just mashed into this as well and on all the gamepads we tried, trying to move straight up or down resulted in suddenly and uncontrollably jetting in that direction until the sub smashed into something. It didn’t do this with the mouse and keyboard, but proved a constant annoyance otherwise. It was something carried over from the preview build we hoped would be fixed

Aquanox has some light trading, crafting, and upgrading systems to it. You’ll constantly need to find side gigs outside the main story to earn more money for better ships, ship parts, and weapons. The game takes the usual space shooter template from Privateer, Elite, and Rebel Galaxy into the water, and it provides a lot of things to do if you just want to explore the world and enjoy the watery gameplay.

Kill pirates, trade, rescue other submariners, etc. There’s nothing new here, but it’s a well-tread path for a reason and the more I played Deep Descent, the more I found myself overlooking the problems and just enjoying the ride. Part of that enjoyment is the different feel of the combat, which is the core focus of the game.

As a submarine-based game, Aquanox doesn’t just feel like a space game with more bubbles. The pace is slower, more methodical, and much closer range. Mixing up a variety of guns and torpedoes with a strong focus on shield management, the combat is definitely closer to arcade-style action than simulation. Fighting is fun and intense, but not without some basic strategic elements that amp up the challenge.

It’s fun and a solid entry in the overall ship-based shooter genre.

Between missions, you’ll spend time at undersea bases and large carrier subs. Here you can upgrade, find side quests, and chat with the other crewmembers. Conversation sometimes offers response choices but is still mostly primitive and linear.

It’s disappointing the series hasn’t upgraded this aspect of the design at all over the years to add more meaningful reasons to visit these hubs beyond just commerce and mission acquisition.

One thing Aquanox has plenty of is lore. After 20+ years, the world of Aqua is pretty ripe with backstory if players want to bother to look. In Deep Descent, the player wakes up from cryosleep to find themselves in the post-apocalyptic mess of an entirely aquatic world. Warring factions are everywhere, trust is in short supply, and random acts of violence are everywhere.

It's not a particularly original story and the writing is ripe with tropes and cliches (it starts with you looking for a shady character named, of all things, Nemo), but it gets the job done between shooting bouts.

Aquanox: Deep Descent Review — The Bottom Line 

  • Fun, distinctive combat
  • Great undersea world to slide through
  • Lots of things to blow up and see… get blown up
  • Buggy as hell
  • Overall game design hasn’t evolved much over the last 20 years
  • Very B-movie-level presentation, writing, and performances

Shooting things is definitely the focus of Aquanox: Deep Descent. After so many years, it’s a shame the series hasn’t evolved, branched out, and deepened more. For what it is, and despite the flaws, bugs, and missteps, Aqua is still a fascinating place to explore and blow things up in.

Is this a great game? Not by a long shot, but it’s fun and a solid entry in the overall ship-based shooter genre.

[Note: THQ Nordic provided the copy of Aquanox: Deep Descent used for this review.]

Aquanox: Deep Descent Hands-On Preview — Muddy Waters Thu, 24 Sep 2020 19:57:03 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It’s been a long time since games like Aquanox and Descent ruled the seas and the voids of space, and while we’re still awaiting the latter to make its triumphant return, the former will soon return to take fans of 6DOF vehicle shooters back to the crushing depth of the ocean. 

Aquanox: Deep Descent is a reimagining of the 2001 game of the same name. While I’ve played plenty of Descent and games like it, such as Sublevel Zero, I had never jumped into the Aquanox cockpit until recently, when I was invited to go hands-on with a roughly one-hour preview of Deep Descent

Things like movement and combat take a little getting used. Still, once you begin to understand how the game’s mechanics work and gain access to other ships and modules, Aquanox: Deep Descent starts to morph into a fun and somewhat addicting first-person combat sim.

To give myself greater context into the Aquanox games, I purchased the 2001 version of Aquanox on Steam after giving Deep Descent a whirl. 

Both games take place in an underwater world where humanity has escaped the dead and dying land above. Aqua, though, is full of warring factions and governments, and it plays host to mutated creatures hell-bent on your destruction. 

Deep Descent’s narrative isn’t as immediately gripping as the story in 2001’s Aquanox, which ebbs and flows in a dramatic X-Files like presentation, but it is seemingly more focused on a grander social commentary not found in the original — at least in its opening acts. 

Voice acting is currently hit or miss, with some characters nailing the appropriate tone of the world, while others are far less polished. Dialog remains lore heavy, but the pacing is still a bit off, something that I hope is addressed by the time the game releases in October. 

Unlike 2001’s Aquanox, which focused on a singular protagonist, Deep Descent introduces players to four characters with various backgrounds. They’re presented in a somewhat tone-deaf, hero-shootery way, and don’t seem to have much bearing on the overall story yet.

The game will feature drop-in co op and PvP at launch (though I wasn’t able to test multiplayer here), so it will be interesting to see how these characters play into that and if they bring their own skills to the table. 

Where the narrative seems to diverge from the original, movement and combat in Deep Descent remains virtually the same. Each ship has base values for stats ranging from speed to hull strength to agility. Ships can also be outfitted with a retinue of weapons from Gatlin cannons to missile launchers and shrapnel guns.

For some vessels, movement can be clunky and downright irritating, especially for those expecting something clippier like Descent. If the demo I played is indicative of how the final game will begin — which I believe it is based on the narrative and mission structure of the two missions available — I am a bit worried that some players may find it hard to forgive Deep Descent for dropping them into a ship that moves like oil through water. 

That’s not helped along by the nature of the game’s initial combat encounters, which can be unforgiving at best, especially if players skip the tutorial or gameplay tips because they want to jump straight into the action. Knowing to lock onto enemies is a complete game-changer, one that makes the game immensely more enjoyable. 

It is worth noting that there will be multiple ships in the final product, as well as modules that can be equipped to those ships. Different makes and models, as well as hull and engine attachments, can be swapped out at ports and will surely make significant differences for players looking to customize the game around their playstyle. 

One vexing bugbear I do hope receives attention before launch is the dodge mechanic. Since Deep Descent is a 6DOF shooter, you can move forward and back, left and right, and up and down. In combat, where enemy ships can quickly melt your shields and hull, dodging is a critical maneuver. 

Darting left and right is simple enough, but the vanilla controls for dodging up and down (double-tapping the spacebar/left CTRL) are also tied to the input for simply moving up and down (holding the spacebar/left CTRL).

Sometimes, the game registers a hold as a tap, sending you flying up or down though you didn’t want to. This can be an instant killer in combat, especially if you get caught in any part of the environment (which will also damage your ship). 

There’s sure to be a lot more to talk about when it comes to Aquanox: Deep Descent, including its beautifully rendered but sometimes drab environments, as well as its economy, trading systems, and side quests. But that will have to wait until our final review in the coming weeks. 

Overall, I’m hopeful for what Digital Arrow and THQ Nordic are building lives up to the legacy of the games that came before Deep Descent. I have my concerns, especially regarding the game’s initial stages and its difficulty, even on its easiest setting. But it’s hard to judge a game entirely by the first hour or so. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve played through the missions four times now, growing to enjoy the game more each time. Despite my initial reservations, that’s got to count for something. 

Stay tuned for more on Aquanox: Deep Descent, which will release on October 16 for PC and retail for $29.99.