From the creative minds of Journey and Flower, Abzu makes its splash into the PlayStation Store after sitting in three years of development. On August 2nd, Abzu was released as a digital download exclusively for the PS4 and PC. The freedom of exploration that Journey brought has been given a new life in an aquatic setting, focused primarily on discovering as much as possible from the vantage point of a single diver.
With an emphasis on freedom, Abzu gracefully creates an atmosphere where players are expected to search, whether it is for fish, or structures of civilizations long past. The world heavily relies on the harmony of color, light, and sound to bring to life an experience like those manifested in Flower and Journey. Matt Nava, the creative director of Giant Squid, says:
“The Ocean turned out to be the perfect setting for this kind of storytelling, as even simply adjusting the distance you can see into the murk can have a huge effect on the player’s emotional state.”
The high quality of Abzu can be expected from a team who took the time to explore sea life in real life by visiting aquariums, and even going so far as to take diving trips to study the dynamics of water and kelp. The game’s strong point rests with the fact that at any time the player can divert themselves from the main story and observe the environment in a “meditation mode” as Nava describes it. Abzu is a unique and intimate experience and Giant Squid, an appropriately named studio, has gone above and beyond to provide players with an experience they dreamed of sharing with the world.