Review by gelkster
Excuse the long review, but the game is THAT GOOD
The underrated Everblue 2 (EB2) could exist in its own category- the only games remotely similar I can think of are Treasures of the Deep & Aquanaut's Holiday. Safely said, EB2's uniqueness & depth (ha!) make it so good- & are also what can turn people off.
The story is the heart of EB2. You befriend some kids & form a diving club to go against SeaDross, the "evil Empire" of sea salvage. The rather dull story has some twists & turns, but is mostly uneventful. There's a theme of friendship, caring, & helpfulness which likely will alienate some.
Your adventures begin on the resort island of Valencia. You'll meet many people who ask you to recover objects from the sea. The list of obtainable items seems endless: small stuff like coins & tools, to statues, artwork, up to heavy furniture, even a car! Of course, you begin barely equipped, & must buy/win better equipment as you proceed, via minigames including speed races, auctions, timed scavenger hunts, etc. As you progress, you may sell/give items freely, & certain people collect them- paintings, weapons, instruments, etc- which earn you "shells of allegiance" (friendship symbols) & "titles" bestowed on you, as does attaining certain ingame goals. Doing this simply prolongs play as do some quests later on- none of which are required to "beat" the game.
Underwater, your air & health decrease depending on your salvages & attacks you sustain. You can carry first aid (which takes up bag space) but I've had some close calls, barely escaping alive! You also use a sonar system that can be changed at will depending on your search, as well as "Fish Call"/Away" that attracts/repels creatures to prevent attacks.
EB2's technical aspects, while not spectacular, are where it really shines. The undersea environment teems w/ flora & fauna in bright, vibrant colors. The water even has particles floating in it. Sea life moves realistically- I wont forget the first time I saw a shark...swimming along, admiring the seascape, when suddenly eerie, ominous music kicks in as a Great White charged RIGHT AT ME- I almost wet myself! Most of the time, you'll explore in peaceful bliss- the vast sea has many locations & secrets! The sheer thrill of discovery cant be beat, & EB2 overflows w/ it. The game even classifies/catalogs every creature you photograph, & species can be put into & watched in an aquarium YOU build!
As you may have guessed, Everblue 2 isn't action-packed or fast-paced, though you'll always be busy. Nothing very exciting happens. Diving becomes repetitive, & there's no voice acting- everything must be read onscreen. Despite these slight faults, it's VERY enjoyable, perhaps the best game I played this year & easily one of my all-time favorites.
PROS: deep exploration, bright graphics, lots to do, educational
CONS: slow story, repetitive, too "different" for most, lifting a car? C'mon!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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