When I sat down this morning to play something for 30 Minutes Of I really figured it would be finishing up 140. Then I realized that it doesn’t save your game at a checkpoint, so I would have to start level two over from scratch. Not a big deal, but it seemed unlikely that I would be able to beat the game in the half hour I had to play. The next game on my list was Abyss Odyssey, which I had already played and didn’t love. And that means that ABZÛ is up.
I adore this game. If you listen to the podcast, you’ve probably heard me talk about Austin Wintory’s soundtrack more than once, because I adore it. I probably listen to it easily once a week on Spotify. In fact, according to my end of year Spotify summary, I’m in the top 1% of Austin Wintory listeners on Spotify and To Know Water was in the top three songs I listened to this year. Considering I only heard it for the first time maybe three or four months ago, that says a lot.
But a great soundtrack doesn’t make for a great game. Fortunately, this game is amazing too, as long as you aren’t one of those people that insists that a game needs levels and characters and boss fights. Or a plot really. In ABZÛ, you play the role of a diver swimming through the most beautiful version of the ocean you can imagine. Schools of fish swim past as you make your way through forests of seaweed or are pulled through canyons by an ocean current. Along the way you find robotic submersibles that help you on your way, discover new sea life while meditating and occasionally raise giant monoliths from the ocean floor. I’ll be honest, I have no idea why any of this is happening and I just don’t care. This game is a work of art that I have the privilege to experience.
According to the internet, I’m maybe a quarter of the way through this game and I just can’t wait to continue playing. Even once I’m done, I’m sure it’s a game that I will come back to again and again.