Somewhen beyond the Sea

Whenever I get to know someone, I always dread telling them about my passion for video games. This is not because I am ashamed of being associated with the stereotypical gamer, but because explaining what types of game I actually play usually leads to an awkward ramble about “well, all types of games I am interested in”. The short answer is that I like to see weird shit, but you can’t mention that in polite company, and it doesn’t fully explain that my interest in games is, for the most part, not tied to the mechanical frameworks that we named our genres after. In other words: I am not exclusively playing real-Time Strategy or First Person Shooters or Lucas Arts-style Adventure games. Instead, my interest in games more closely follows the thematic genre sensibilities established in other types of literature, such as novels or films. I like Science Fiction, surreal landscapes, wide, open spaces, post-apocalyptic societies, giant monsters, desperate struggles and the search for existential answers. Most of all, however, I enjoy games that carry strong enough themes to stay in my mind for a while.

Aquanox 2: Revelations is one of those games, although I would hesitate to call it a good game. It carries what many would call serious flaws, beginning from the manner in which it tells its story, to the disconnect between setting and game feel and, finally, the rather unfortunate localization. During my sessions with the game, I was tempted to just shut it off and move on to other projects, but something pulled me back in.

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