What do you get when you mix the mystical semi-infinite world of the ocean, an unknown world to explore, and the talented genius that is Art Director Matt Nava? You get a magical game Abzu.
Abzu, deriving from AB=Water and ZU=To Know, is the latest game from indie developer Giant Squid and publisher 505 Games. What is important to know is that, Giant Squid is the studio created by Matt Nava… the very same Matt Nava who was Art Director for the magical, mystical, spiritual, amazing (I can keep going on these for pages) game, Journey. If you haven’t played Journey, it should be on your bucket list. You can also read my previous article on it (and one of my first posts for Don’t Forget A Towel) right here.
From what we can see in the trailer, we will be getting a creative, beautiful and unique game that exemplifies what it is to break video game boundaries, and unite the world of “Art” and “videogames” in ways that few developers do. And the importance of the title (which they went out of their way to explain), must signify a search for knowledge; ff water represents the unknown, or possibly unknown territories (considering the oceans depth and mystery). To top it off, Journey’s musical composer, Austin Wintory, also returns to score this game. Again, you need to have played Journey to know how amazing that soundtrack is, and how well it’s entwined in with the gameplay. (I seriously have the soundtrack on my iPod and listen to it frequently).
I won’t go into the details of Journey here. What I will say is that, if Journey shows as anything, it is the ability to have a game that is beautiful, magical, enjoyable, unique, and even (to some extent) spiritually enlightening. Mind you, I’m choosing my adjectives very carefully here. That being said, what better setting to create a game like that, than to place it in the mysterious ocean. And if you take into account the importance that “water” is one of the most crucial elements for life… We’re definitely in for an meaningful experience.
Check out the trailer below, and you will see what I mean by something that is visually beautiful and mystical. And from that very last shot in the trailer, it looks like there will be much more to it. If it is anything like Journey, this game will provide and adventure that is not only personal to the player, but one that will create a memory to last a lifetime.
Let’s hope the game fulfills these sentiments.