Under the Waves is a captivating love letter to deep-sea grief

Set in the depths of the North Sea, Under the Waves is a narrative-driven adventure game set in the techno-futuristic 1970s from developers Parallel Studio and publisher Quantic Dream. Following its first announcement at Gamescom in 2022, Under the Waves is finally coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, and PC on August 29. 

In this underwater adventure, you take on the character of Stan, a professional diver challenged with facing a life-changing loss and navigating a future unknown. To coincide with the game’s release, Parallel Studio, and Quantic Dream are partnering with Surfrider Foundation Europe, a non-profit association based around the enhancement of lakes, rivers, oceans, waves, and coastlines to support the message of ocean preservation which is echoed throughout the game itself.

Under the Waves is designed to serve as a love letter to the oceans, alongside being a manifestation of isolation and loss felt when dealing with grief. The story will be brought to life through cinematic visuals, emotive storytelling, and an enchantingly peaceful soundtrack, as shown through its original announcement trailer. 

(Image credit: Quantic Dream)

Throughout the game, you will be tasked with traversing the abyss of the ocean to admire wildlife, salvage waste, and collectibles, and piece together Stan’s backstory before facing the difficult decision of whether or not you are ready to return to the surface – both figuratively and literally.

During the journey, you will also need to rely on your resources to craft equipment to continue exploring, emphasizing the importance of decision-making and persistence at a time when it would be so easy to give in and succumb to the pressure.

It’s safe to say while Under the Waves’ initial focus rests on all things under the sea, the message this game portrays goes a lot deeper, perfectly sitting among some of Quantic Dream’s existing titles such as Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human.

For more on all the games announced this summer, check in with all of our E3 2023 coverage.

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