1695328480 Video game test Under the Waves a poignant dive under

Video game test: Under the Waves, a poignant dive under the sea and into the psyche – Le Courrier Vendéen

From Frank Fischbach
Published on 9/21/23 at 6:49 p.m. View my news. Follow Le Courrier Vendéen

A video game that confronts you with the beauty of nature.
A video game that confronts you with the beauty of nature. (©Spotlight by Quantic Dream)

You may have missed one at the end of August Video game nugget ! Under the Waves is a game developed by the Parisian Parallel studio. And he caught the attention of one Quantic Dream, another Frenchman who has made an international name for himself thanks to his unique narrative games.

The two agreed, and here it is Under the wavesthat plunges into the middle of the battlefield, between Starfield, Baldur’s Gate 3, EA Sports FC, Mortal Kombat 1, Payday 3… However, we cannot deny it: this little French game is very wide the most original and… the most touching!

Video game veterans at the helm

Under the Waves was therefore developed by the Parisian studio Parallel Studio, a company he founded three video game veterans. The artistic director and CEO is Ronan Coiffec, who has already worked on Life is Strange, Remember me and Alone in the Dark 5.

At his side is the composer Nicolas Bredin (Remember Me, Heavy Rain, Twin Mirrors etc.) and the screenwriter Sebastien Renard (Life is Strange, A Plague Tale, Alone in the Dark 5, etc.)

The game is published by Headlight, which is none other than the French publishing label Quantic Dream. A name that made us dream with Detroit Become Human, Beyond Two Souls and Heavy Rain, to name just the most famous.

Beautiful and moving narrative games that like to play with our emotions. That’s why we know before we even begin that Under the Waves will create us shed a little tear.

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Containment under the North Sea

The game takes us under the oceans, all in one uchronistic reality : It’s 1979, but in a world where technology is more advanced than our reality. We are in the North Sea and play Stan, a professional diver who has accepted a maintenance job for a company that operates oil rigs.

This confinement at the bottom of the ocean makes it possible Isolate yourself from the world to try to overcome grief who changed his life forever.

Stan, the hero, flees to the bottom of the ocean to escape the trauma left by the death of a loved one.
Stan, the hero, flees to the bottom of the ocean to escape the trauma left by the death of a loved one. (©Spotlight by Quantic Dream)

But the confrontation with strange events will slowly make Stan question his own reality. And very quickly the player is immersed in both the magnificent underwater panoramas and the thoughts of Stan, who is searching for some form of salvation under the sea.

How could it be similar? a closed door in a half-open worldThe player is deeply touched by the moving dialogues between Stan and Tim, a friend of his father and, in a sense, a surrogate father to our hero.

In addition to these dialogue phases that enrich this poignant story, Stan also has to go on daily excursions on the orders of his employer. Then we can go Explore the seabedvisit wrecks, salvage items that can be recycled for better reuse in new missions…

A partnership with the Surfrider Foundation

The game aims to do that too Raising awareness for ocean protection, and the creatures that live there. Therefore, it is natural that the underwater environment will be integrated into this narrative adventure and into its gameplay. In a way, he almost becomes a protagonist in his own right.

It's a Quantic Dream game: that's why we often stop to think about it...
It’s a Quantic Dream game: That’s why we often stop to think… (©Spotlight by Quantic Dream)

To give this approach even more meaning, the game developers have formalized a partnership with the Surfrider Foundation Europe.

This collaboration allows Surfrider Foundation to raise awareness of ocean issues in a whole new way. The game offers us a great opportunity to reinforce our messages of prevention and protection by addressing the issues of water pollution and the impacts of offshore drilling, which are still unknown to the general public, as well as the impact of human activities on the biodiversity of the sea and the harmful consequences of maritime transport.

Surfrider Foundation Europe

And the message gets through: always thoughtful, but never moralizing. The game’s ecological approach is subtle and doesn’t try to be intrusive. It’s up to you to decide how you will behave the next time you come to the sea…

We would like:

  • A story that only Quantic Dream knows how to tell: first-class writing style
  • We love the journey under the ocean as well as the journey into the psychology of the hero
  • The extraordinary soundtrack by Nicolas Bredin
  • A very addictive game
  • The artistic direction
  • Between 7 and 9 hours of playing time, it’s fair for this price
  • A game that makes you aware of the cause of the oceans
  • A cheap price (30€)

We like less:

  • Some tasks too tedious
  • You can’t always see where you’re going underwater
  • Some mistakes
  • The marker that sometimes lacks precision
  • We would have liked a free mode to explore without having to go through missions


Under the Waves is a beautiful, well-written game with great music that touches on themes that will really move you. touch you in the heart. At the same time, is it really any surprise that David Cage’s French studio Quantic Dream is behind all this?

The developers play the emotional elevator, between poignant scenes and contemplative scenes.
The developers play the emotional elevator, between poignant scenes and contemplative scenes. (©Spotlight by Quantic Dream)

Under the Waves is also this video game what is bad on the agendajostled by the big machines like Starfield, Baldur’s Gate 3 or the whole clique of back-to-school sports games.

And it’s a shame, because if they’re flexing their muscles to meet the “big show” demands of the market, Under the Waves is a game that gives you something an authentic, human, profound experience, not to say conspicuous, and we can’t get away with it unscathed. Undoubtedly, we even grow from it…

You will have understood: when there are too many similar games competing for your favor, Under the Waves is the little touch of originality that we were missing. Players are eager to explore unknown universes, remembering that even if we don’t travel to distant galaxies, there is still much to discover near us: at the bottom of the oceans or simply in our minds.

Under the Waves is undoubtedly one of our (big) favorites of the year!

Under the Waves, by Parallel Studio, published by Quantic Dream, on PC, PS4/PS5, XBox One and Series X/S. Price: €29.99. From 16 years.

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