GameStop is diving into the publishing business with Song of the Deep, a new underwater adventure from Insomniac Games, best known for its Ratchet & Clank series. The game stars Merryn, a 12-year-old girl searching for her father beneath the sea in an underwater labyrinth inspired by Irish and Gaelic mythology.
According to Brian Hastings, chief creative officer at Insomniac, Song of the Deep is "a journey of courage and discovery in a haunting and lonely environment." I played a brief slice of the game at an event earlier this week, and it was interesting to see how the team creates challenge in a game with complete freedom of 2D movement.
Instead of timing jumps over gaps and deadly spikes, Merryn can go where she pleases in her makeshift submarine. The challenge comes from solving various environmental puzzles, such as timing boosts to push through shifting water currents, and in fending off the wildlife. Merryn's aquatic world is fraught with dangers - from electric jellyfish to prickly urchins - but it's tempered with a sense of whimsy, the kind you might see through the eyes of a child.
"Merryn is a different kind of hero," explained Hastings. "She's not sexy badass or a bounty hunter. She's kind and smart and resilient and willing to risk anything to help someone she loves. She's also a reminder that we sometimes lose sight of what's best about ourselves. Too often we value ourselves based on our accomplishments or our appearance instead of valuing the things that make us truly heroic."
Insomniac's Ted Price and GameStop's Mark Stanley introduced their new partnership at the same event. Price described GameStop as a non-traditional publisher, noting that Insomniac still has complete creative freedom over the game. Stanley revealed that his company is already working on a full line of Song of the Deep merchandise, starting with a young adult novel that will be released alongside the game.
You'll be able to download Song of the Deep for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC starting this Spring, but if you want the physical version that is a GameStop exclusive. Both the digital and physical versions will be available for $14.99.