The fact that neither Journey nor Flower made it onto PC, thanks to an exclusivity deal with Sony, only makes the appeal of Abzû that much greater. Matt Nava worked as art director on both of those games before leaving to form developer Giant Squid, and Abzû feels very much like a spiritual successor. Which is to say that it’s meditative, beautiful looking, I’m guessing likely quite short, and aims to hit you right in the transcendent feels.
Barring occasionally surfacing to glimpse the sun, the game is played underwater. The E3 demo involved hitching a ride on some of the more substantially-sized fish, avoiding the ministrations of a shark, and exploring mysterious temple-like structures. To what overall end we couldn’t say, but we are pleased to report that the lithe scubaperson is consistently enjoyable to control, and never having to worry about running out of air immediately removes another big complaint levelled at swimming in games. One for the arthouse crowd, no doubt, but hopefully also a refreshing experience for those bored by third-person adventures with grappling hooks and guns.