Earth Atlantis – We Explore the Depths Hands-On at PAX West 2017

” In a single day and night of misfortune, Atlantis disappeared into the depth of the sea.”-Plato

Over many thousands of years, the happenings of and events of humans shaped the planet of Earth. There was only so much mother nature could take before its patience was reached and could not contain the ire any longer. The water rose, cities fell, and human civilization has fallen. However, deep beneath the surface lies dangerous secrets and great rewards, tucked within the ruins of what once was the Earth.  HeadUp Games and developers Pixel Perfex encourages players to step into the world of Earth Atlantis.

Earth Atlantis

At the “Nindies At Night Event” at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, I had the special opportunity to play Earth Atlantis for myself.  The game is making its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but will also be debuting on the Nintendo Switch. I had the opportunity to play the game in the handheld mode on the Switch. The demo lasted ten minutes but gave me quite a lot of insight into the game in the short amount of time.

With human civilization gone, there are great, monstrous creatures and an entire labyrinth to explore. Earth Atlantis is an exploration and monster-hunting game, where players will descend deeper into the Ocean with each monster slain.  The game is portrayed in a visual style similar to ink drawing on a scroll of paper, adding to the sensations of mythological lore.

In fact, the developer revealed to me that the game was directly inspired by the ancient maps of the 16th century, where large illustrations of mythical sea monsters, were placed as a warning to traveling sailors. As a side-scroller, players will encounter all sorts of obstacles and creatures, with the ultimate goal of hunting down and destroying deadly mechanical sea-monsters and perhaps uncovering more truth to the great calamity that has befallen the Earth.  Players will have access to multiple ships and unique weapon power-ups on their journey.

I began at the surface, and fought smaller mechanical creatures, like squid, crabs, and fish. As I fought, the enemies dropped “P” bubbles. Anyone who has ever played a side-scrolling shooter would see this as a power-up. My single shot of lasers than doubled. As I fought more enemies, my power-ups continued to increase.  Eventually, I had gotten a special power-up that had launched small bombs. After about five minutes, the developer pointed me to the boss, where I was able to clearly see how useful the radar was.

Upon arriving, a giant mechanical squid set its sights on me in an attempt to utterly destroy me. It was shooting out two electric tentacles that would yield high damage if I made contact.  I swiftly avoided the tentacles and other attacks, pummeling the squid with constant fire and explosives.

The boss wasn’t easy, as its evasive maneuvers were swift and keen. As my sub was at half health, I used careful, precise shooting.  Eventually, the squid was destroyed, bursting into fiery bubbles and subsequently, being crushed by the depths. At this point, an entirely new area opened that would allow my submarine to go deeper. However, this marked the end of the demo.

Earth Atlantis is looking to be a remarkable, solid exploration and monster-hunting game for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox One. I really enjoyed the fresh visual style, while appreciating the gameplay mechanics and focus on monster-hunting combat. Earth Atlantis lands this coming Fall 2017 for the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

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