The Dive is an underwater based linear horror game. Kind of.
The Dive opens with the main character, let’s call him Keith since he wasn’t given a name, on his motorboat in the middle of the ocean. Or some type of open water, which in and of itself is terrifying for certain people. Keith is tracking a submarine that was mining a mineral called painite, and after some research of my own, I discovered why he was going through some rather unscrupulous methods to obtain this mineral before rescue crews arrived to salvage the submarine. Painite, a real mineral, is estimated to be worth $50-60K a carat.
Before submerging yourself in the deep blue sea, Keith is sure to grab his compass and spear gun and then the adventure begins.
You start out with only one instruction. Head north. After heading north for a while and swimming through a school of fish, you see a red light in the distance. Keith abandons the compass and swims straight ahead. After a bit more swimming, the games first challenge, and boy was it a challenge, comes straight at you.
I spent a little over an hour on this game. The task of shooting this shark in both of it’s eyes took well over half of that time. After almost giving up, I managed to blind this poor shark and continue my swim to the submarine. Before reaching it though, another underwater creature, much larger than the shark, was sure to give me a friendly bump, alerting me to his presence and some foreshadowing for later in the adventure. Theres a quick circuitry puzzle to gain access to the submarine and then the next stage of your journey begins.
After gaining access to the sub, you find that the ventilation has been damaged and must be fixed. Your only option is to grab the crowbar and and dislodge the only discolored floor tile to go beneath the floor and fix the ventilation before you run out of air, which seems like a weird thing to have to do considering you’re wearing a diving suit that allows you to breathe while underwater, but who am I to argue? After solving the puzzle of scrubbing the dust off the chip to the ventilator, Keith enters a dream sequence that might be one of the weirdest things I’ve ever encountered in a video game.
Keith wakes up having just gotten out of a pool in what looks like a room from some sort of simulation. You can walk up a staircase to see the elevated hot tub you can’t get in. Or you can go down a hallway to the showers. On the opposite wall from the showers are three rooms that I didn’t get a chance to explore because of aforementioned weirdest thing. There is a row of lockers on one of the walls. Like any resourceful gamer, I wanted to explore the lockers to make sure I wasn’t missing any key items. Apparently that was a mistake, because upon opening the last locker, Keith finds a knife. After laying eyes on the knife, you lose control of Keith as he reaches for the knife and makes the strange decision to cut off his own member. Worst. Cut scene. Ever.
After that you wake up and carry on with the rest of the adventure that I won’t spoil here. Just be aware before you play this game, that it contains genital mutilation, which I thought was a joke in the description from it’s Steam store page. If you have an hour or less to kill, and $2 to burn, try something else. 2/5