Debris is an interesting title that came across the ethereal wooden surface of my existential desk not too long ago. I finally had time to play through it today, and while walking simulator is a definite genre at this point, maybe there is room for a swimming simulator sub genre (ABZU, Debris)?
Anyway, how was my three hours or so with Debris? Let’s find out.
Debris is the tale of three divers doing a photo shoot at a dive site where meteor debris is littered about. This alien debris has become a new power source in the world and these three are I suppose doing PR? Anyway, the dive site, which is largely in a cavern, collapses, and the three divers are separated. The rest of the story focuses on the protagonist, Ryan, trying to escape this underground cave system and get help for the other two.
This is also a game that deals with the issue of psychosis, which has been a popular topic of late. So, what you experience during your journey will feature a mix between the two central plot points.
The story was interesting, although the science was unquestionably suspect throughout. 6.5 out of 10
The gameplay in Debris is pretty standard walking simulator fare, only underwater, which I suppose technically makes it a swimming simulator. However, if provides a couple wrinkles. First off, you lose your light pretty quickly, but you are able to find a remote squid drone controlled by one of the other two divers, and that drone provides your light.
Additionally, both your suit and the squid require power, which can be found by collecting the alien debris pockets. In addition to having an actual clock counter, you do find a dual purpose flare/shock gun that you will use throughout of some of the more aggressive enemies. This gun does of course also drain power with its use.
Fortunately, the squid is adept at mining Debris and you two will share your pool of energy. The enemy and flora placement as well as the maze of tunnels function as the games puzzles.
I thought the gameplay was pretty tight and perfectly functional. I also experienced zero technical issues during my playthrough.
8 out of 10
The graphics in Debris were nice and definitely served to elevate the level of tension in the game, which was cool. That said, you will go long stretches without encountering any sort of different environments.
This wasn’t an issue for a single play through, but this game features four endings each requiring a full play through, and I think the design would be cumbersome for a completionist. The actual wildlife and flora designs were very cool though and the levels, despite being repetitive, were cool looking as well..
8 out of 10
The audio in Debris was solid. The actual sounds of the world were interesting and definitely helped give depth to the experience. The voice acting was also pretty good. all in all, Debris was solid from an audio standpoint.
7 out of 10
For me, Debris was an interesting and even pretty fun game, and I intend to give co-op a try sometime pending having a friend who also owns the game, but overall, it’s not what I consider a stand out title other than the setting itself, which was really cool. That said, I concluded the game having enjoyed myself. It is worth noting again that there are four endings, although from what I can tell, you would need to replay the game in its entirety four times to see them. So, YMMV. Personally, the thought of playing four times isn’t appealing despite enjoying it once.
7.4 bit of alien meteorite debris supplying power to my awesome dive suit out of 10 possible. I redirected the remaining 2.6 to my cool flare/shock gun.