Have you ever thought about going into the ocean to look around? Maybe you wanted to find some buried treasure? Possibly you have gone scuba diving where you enter another world to see life, big and small, in its own habitat? For some they may never get that chance to get into the depths of the oceans or maybe for those that have, wish that they could escape every day into those waters in some manner from hours to even short bursts…to enter that ocean…another world. So does developer Triggerfish Games bring the ocean life home? Let’s find out with Bodies of Water for PCVR.
Bodies of Water allows you to immerse yourself as you learn how to Scuba Dive, Freedive, and Snorkel over various action-packed, exhilarating, and challenging adventures! Activities from learning how to scuba dive at poolside to even night diving in these waters to help enhance your diving skills as you try to find doubloons, search for shells, identify fish, find some hidden treasure, and more.
So before you dive right in there are some things that you will want to do. First, this is best played while seated. So make sure you have your favorite chair. Second, have an open mind. Bodies of Water is not about killing things or causing harm to anything, so just have some fun. Third, as always, make sure your controllers are charged. You do not want to go in the depths of the water seeing a shark and you can’t control your air intake all because you didn’t check to make sure controllers were charged. So with that said, let’s continue.
When you first start Bodies of Water, you are in the locker room of the pool This is just really a way to get you used to the movement when you are not in the water. As you make it to the pool area, you will see some diving equipment. However, and the game doesn’t tell you this, but you need to get into the water first and swim to then be able to go grab the equipment. Once you do, it allows you to do things like swim a little faster thanks to the acquired fins, clear the mask, using the wetsuit, mess the BCD to you can get used to being submerged, increase or decrease your Buoyancyand just the overall movement under water. But one of the key things to remember is not to ascend too fast or you may get sick from the bends or decompression sickness. Trust me, it’s not fun in the water.
Once you have tried the equipment it is time to go to Sunrise Resort where you get to take what you learned and hopefully retained the info to make sure that your scuba adventures are as simple, relaxing, and fun as they can be. I will say that getting to Sunrise Resort with just a single motor raft seeing the sunrise over the waters with the clouds in the sky as you make that turn into the resort is beautiful. I do wish that controlling the boat was an option as it would be fun to make some waves before entering your destination.
When you first hit the beach, you are told to equip yourself at the dive shop which is to your left. There you meet a guy with no name. I shall call him Jucque who is wearing sunglasses inside and a table that has the equipment you need. However, they cost money aka doubloons. Since the game doesn’t tell you this upfront, I will save you some time. Instead of going to the dive shop towards the right when you first hit the beach, go to the left, swim across the water to the other beach, and find a snorkel, fins, and two doubloons (coins). Once you do this, then the game will tell you to search the bay for more doubloons. The easiest way to find the doubloons is to look for shiny circular objects. But remember, at this point, you just have a mask and fins, so you can only go down so far while holding your breath. So once you find enough doubloons, you will have to make a few trips back to the dive shop as you will need all the equipment which consists of a Depth Guage that cost 6 doubloons, the Scuba Tank costs 10 doubloons, and the Wetsuit costs 3 doubloons. So that’s 19 doubloons then to be able to do other adventures, you will need 3 doubloons to do the Luxury Beach Dive. So that is 22 doubloons all together to progress minus the 2 that you have, so that means you have to find 20 more throughout this level.
However, something else the game doesn’t tell you is that two of the doubloons you need are up in the cliffs. So yes, you will have to do some climbing to find them. Just do not dive off of the cliff when you do, because you will die. But I will say one thing about the developer, is that after talking with them, they added more doubloons as it was difficult at first to find them. The fact that they did it and more that quickly shows that they do care about their game and that is a very good thing. On an extra note, if you also go by the wall from the cliff where you grabbed those two doubloons, you might just find a few more. Other than that, get to diving, enjoy the music, and enjoy the calmness that is in these bodies of water.
Once you have collected all the doubloons needed, it’s time to enter that door that you paid 3 doubloons for of the luxury dive. This is the other side of the beach where to experience the Beach Dive and have objectives such as Get Narced (which is diving more than 60 feet that can cause this hallucinating effect and recover a giant pearl next to the shark net. Keep in mind with this being the depths of the water, there are strong currents that may make it a little difficult to reach the objective. You just need to keep trying.
Night diving is just like it sounds as you try and identify fish at night and have a light that can only see so much in front of you. You can see the outlines of different sea creatures in a distance as you try and get closer, but being a guest in these waters at night in VR adds a different level that wouldn’t have the same effect in non-VR. Not saying it’s scary, but just had me thinking if I was scuba diving at night what I would be thinking. So this needs to be experienced.
But I think my favorite adventure thus far is doing the first Open Water Dive, Coral Rock, that you get to ride to on a boat, which apparently there is only one employee of Sunrise Resort as Jacque is the captain of the boat. This is where you have to recover 15 of the special shells, not dive more than 30m, and come back when your air supply hits the 70 bar mark. There is just something about seeing the light from above shining on the ocean floor below. Then add the music and it really becomes this beautiful poetic experience that I probably spent more time exploring than I should.
Let’s talk about graphics and sound. There are some parts to Bodies of Water that really can put a smile on your face like the night dive or open dive to find the shells. I think being under the water is really where the game shines seeing the different ocean life and having the reflections of light hit at the right parts to give you that best attempt feeling of being under the water. But also some parts, like Jacque, for example, that seem a little lifeless. Not saying he didn’t move, just no real facial expressions to him. Sound-wise, it’s when you are under the water, do you start to hear that calming and relaxing music, you hear the bubbles as you are breathing, and the movement of swimming that really sounds great. But the audio of the voices, including Jacque (sorry Jacque) sounds robotic. It would just have been good to have actual voices added to help bring some life above the water.
There are a couple of things I would love to see added. For one, adding a map of where the doubloons are all located at the beginning or have the words appear on the screen notating the different areas where the doubloons are located. Some players may get a little frustrated without knowing that you have to look in the cliffs when there is no mention of it. But hopefully with what I said above should help. Second, more adventures in the future. How fun would it be to scuba dive to explore the Titanic or different wreckage from the Bermuda Triangle? And third, multiplayer. If you could scuba dive with your friends and communicate and have it sound as it would hearing someone under the water trying to talk. Is multiplayer needed, no, but it could still be kinda fun to do.
Bodies of Water shows that there are times when we may not be able to do the things that we enjoy. Sometimes other things in life may get in the way. But, being able to escape into the things that we can enjoy from the comfort of our own home, is better than not doing anything about it at all. It’s the passions that we have to bring those dreams to life and sometimes all it takes is for us to believe in ourselves to make that dream come true in new ways.
Bodies of Water is out now on Steam. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go escape in the water.