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Aquanox: Deep Descent

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Digital Arrow
Release Date: 2017

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'Aquanox: Deep Descent' Announced, Seeks Crowd Funding - Trailer

by Rainier on Aug. 18, 2015 @ 4:58 p.m. PDT

Pilot customized fighter ships, explore a deep sea dystopia torn by the struggle for resources & survival!

Aquanox Deep Descent is a re-imagining of both the gameplay and world of the original AquaNox-series, taking into account the scientific advances made since the first game. Like its predecessors, the game will be an underwater vehicle shooter, in which players control a variety of customizable ships to engage in submarine battles in the dystopian deep sea world of Aqua.   

Nordic Games and Arrow Digital have launched a kickstarter campaign for Aquanox: Deep Descent, looking for $75,000, to finish up development, with multiple stretch goals adding additional content, as well as PS4 and Xbox One versions.

“Reaching the main funding goal of the Kickstarter campaign will allow us to create a new Aquanox game of the size and complexity it deserves, for gamers around the globe. At the same time, it also allows us to make its future players an integral part in development decisions surrounding the game at its earliest stages,” comments Norbert Varga, project lead at Digital Arrow.

“We’ve had long discussions with Digital Arrow about the scope of the game and the transition to Unreal Engine 4. Based on our positive previous experience with Kickstarter (The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 together with the developer KING ART), we firmly believe it is the right platform to help us achieve our joint vision for the future of Aquanox”, adds Martin Kreuch, producer at Nordic Games.

In addition to that, assets and research from an unreleased THQ underwater action game called Deep Six have been integrated into the pre-production of the game.

Aquanox: Deep Descent is set hundreds of years after a cataclysm has forced humanity to abandon the surface of the Earth and populate the oceans. The scarce remainders of the human population struggle to survive in loose settlements. Traditional countries have seized to exist, instead powerful factions battle for supremacy and control over the resources of the deep sea.

Aquanox Deep Descent does not tie into the original series directly. Still, the foundations of its story world are derived from what made the original game world stand out:

  • The deep sea, unexplored, mysterious, hazardous
  • Humankind forced to live under dire circumstances, far from the world we are used to, but still faced with the most basic of human problems
  • A multi-layered ecosystem, in which the political and economical balance of power is ever shifting; the struggle for survival does not grant the luxury of simple categories like good or bad
  • A dystopian vision of our Earth and oceans, no alien planet, no parallel dimension
  • Characters whose personal problems inform and dictate the narrative of the game

In short, a world worth exploring.

Torpedoes, mines, mortars, counter measures and more. Just like the original series, Aquanox Deep Descent's core gameplay focuses on dynamic shooter action. Due to the underwater setting, all combat elements change drastically, creating a completely new experience. The weapons, the physics, the movement and of course the deep sea flora and fauna open up a lot of possibilities for unique gameplay.  

As the game will feature solely vehicle-based combat, we can focus on creating movement and combat controls that really make you feel the deep sea pressure and the impact of underwater currents. A well-timed directional boost might decide whether an enemy torpedo passes by you or sends you down to Davy Jones's Locker.

Changing around the various parts on your ship will work similar to equipment in an RPG game. Each part will affect your vehicle in different ways, improving stats like damage output, maneuverability, speed, as well as depth reach and range of sight. Our goal is to allow you to mix parts from all factions in the game. Each faction differs in style and level of technology.

Combat is at the center of the game, and so are the weapons. We are experimenting with various combinations of primary and secondary weapons. The primary weapons will each have a unique feel, reflecting the shooter nature of the game. The secondary weapons allow you to diversify your play style, e.g. equipping a lot of automatic weapons to focus on salvaging, or tactical weapons like mortars (for attacks from above) and mines (if you're being chased).

The story experience has always been key in the Aquanox-series and we want to make sure that the game plays great whether you play it on your own, or with your friends in our 4 player drop-in co-op. We are planning a system that ensures that all four player characters are involved in the narrative, so that when you play with a friend, you are also part of the story.

To make sure you can also just have a few quick dogfights against your friends, we'll also have classic multiplayer modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag etc., all adapted to our underwater setting. We hope to get a lot of our backers involved at Beta stage to help us refine the multiplayer and co-op, as we believe that you can't create a great multiplayer experience without the input of the players.

The deep sea is at the heart of everything in the game and exploring it is just as important as fighting other ships. The game world of Aquanox Deep Descent will be what we call a semi-open world. It will be divided into larger zones, each zone can be explored freely, and the player can always travel back to a zone he or she came from.  

To encourage the players to interact with the world of Aqua, we will implement RPG-elements like trading, looting, salvaging and mining. These will all be related to the core combat gameplay, and widen the range of options on how to improve your equipment in the game. 

You can salvage the enemies that you have destroyed, and the salvage will depend on which weapon you used to destroy them. You can explore the depths to find sunken wrecks that might hold rare equipment parts. Or you mine hydrothermal vents - black and white smokers - and sell the obtained resources.

Key Features:

  • Fight - Action-packed vehicle shooter combat that supports a wide variety of play styles  
  • Co-op - 4 player drop-in co-op, with four unique pilots who are all involved in the game story
  • Customize - Create your ship from an extensive range of ship pieces and various customization options
  • Explore - Discover the deepest corners of the ocean
  • RPG Elements - Mining, salvaging, trading and looting
  • PVP - Classic multiplayer modes, including Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch Dogfighting

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