Choice-based games can come in different forms, some are very much narrative-driven like the recent invasion of visual novels where you are usually limited to making text-based choices to the many branching options of a game like Detroit: Become Human which can give you a very different experience depending on the route you take. Even the Ocean is an indie title from the makers of Anodyne, it is a game where you can make choices, whether they make much of a difference to the experience is something that could be argued.
In Even the Ocean you play as Aliph, a recently employed power Power Plant engineer who has to balance the light and dark energies. On her first day, she begins work in the area known as Fay Rouge. A senior technician, Cassidy goes with her to help, unfortunately there is a major disaster at Fay Rouge and Cassidy dies. When Aliph returns to Whiteforge City, Richard Biggs the mayor assigns her along with two other technicians to visit the other Power Plants to fix them before it is too late. As you progress Aliph learns about the various forces that inhabit her world and how they are damaging it, Aliph attempts to save it.
The plot to Even the Ocean is a slow burner, it’s definitely one for the long haul (unless you take advantage of the many options that can speed up Even the Ocean, if you do then you’ll miss out on a lot of content which sort of defeats the object of playing Even the Ocean but on the other hand will make acquiring the Platinum trophy somewhat quicker). Even the Ocean comprises three distinctive parts; There is a visual novel element to Even the Ocean, there are many moments where you simply make some narrative choices, there is the travelling and interacting with the inhabitants of the different cities and finally the Power Plant puzzles which are fairly repetitive in the sense that every Power Plant needs to be fixed in the same way.
The world and energies you interact with are very much Ying and Yang in essence. You must maintain a balance of sorts to progress, too much of one energy will not lead to a good outcome. Generally, you are balancing between two energies which give you certain abilities, for example, filling up on one energy will increase your jumping, but filling up on the other energy will improve another attribute. In Even the Ocean, Aliph also carries a shield that is very useful, it allows her to ride water and also defend herself but there are other skills it provides.
Even the Ocean is a slow and steady game. Perhaps you’re playing it more for the experience and story rather than the excitement or challenge that could be gained from the platforming and puzzling parts of Even the Ocean. Visually the scenes you traverse through are quite beautifully drawn except the Power Plant sections which are fairly bland, it’s just the in-game sprites that let Even the Ocean down a little, they are not easy on the eye. The visual novel graphics are pretty standard fare as well. Musically Even the Ocean excels in the ambience stakes, it’s a very exciting soundtrack which suits the gameplay perfectly. There’s about 7/8 hours worth of gaming in Even the Ocean with some replay value depending on which route you take.
Even the Ocean has a compelling story interspersed with some repetitive puzzling gameplay. If you fancy something that will surprise you and also a plot to get engrossed into then Even the Ocean is the kind of game you will enjoy, if you’re looking for something with a bit more of a challenge or more platforming then Even the Ocean won’t be for you. Even the Ocean is one of the few games that successfully attempts to deliver a message about real life, there may be some parts of Even the Ocean which are not polished but as an experience it’s one you will find interesting.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to our mailing list
Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox
Thank you for subscribing to Bonus Stage.
Something went wrong.
Even the Ocean Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 6/10
User Review( votes)
Can you balance the Light and Dark before it is too late in Even The Ocean?