Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. Feb 8, 2021
    Submarines, Bionts, Dystopia and shooty shoots, what’s not to love? Buy this, slap on your cowboy hat, and stick some Linda Ronstadt on as you drive “every kind of rig that’s ever been made” in the deep blue.
  2. Oct 27, 2020
    Aquanox Deep Descent is a very welcome return for an underrated series. In this era of modern re-imaginings, this game delivers in introducing Aquanox’s world to a new generation of players. The movement may be slightly cumbersome and things may get a bit hard, but it always manages to be engaging and fun. The world and story, combined with the solid multiplayer elements for both PvP and co-op, make this a well-rounded experience and essential purchase for fans of six degrees of freedom-type shooting games. If you’re interesting in dipping your toes in its waters, swim on over here to check it out.
  3. Oct 15, 2020
    A very solid entry in the genre by Digital Arrow that narrowly misses on true greatness due to some small missteps. A bit more attention to detail, better enemy AI and higher production values would have hugely benefited an otherwise very enjoyable action/simulation game.
  4. Oct 15, 2020
    Duking it out underwater is a lot of fun in this game. The visuals are well-done, it plays well, and the story is quite strong too. Very much worth a look for anyone intrigued by its premise.
  5. Oct 15, 2020
    With its interesting setting, engaging story, great combat mechanics, and tons of customization options, Aquanox Deep Descent is a more than worthy new entry in the classic series. Bland mission design and a repetitive structure does damage the experience a bit, but all those that enjoy dogfighting games, no matter where they take place, will find plenty to like in the game.
  6. Oct 28, 2020
    Despite the lack of polish the game is actually quite good, the story is still interesting and the game play is just ‘ready to go’. There is no need for learning a complicated control system, or hours of investment to identify how to identify the tactics to fight enemies, just load it up and start shooting. This game can offer a great escape for anyone who wants to spend the casual 30-60 min gaming session at the end of a long day of work without using any brain cells. The repetitive nature of the battle system and scenery will make most players feel like they have mastered the game play very quickly and the story element breaks up this monotony enough to sustain most players attention.
  7. Oct 15, 2020
    Aquanox: Deep Descent is an enjoyable blaster that will keep you engaged for the time it takes to get through the story. The multiplayer modes feel a bit bolted-on, but the deep-sea environments are top-notch, the story is functional if not thrilling, and the shooting feels satisfying throughout.
  8. Oct 15, 2020
    As resurrections of near-20-year-old franchises go, Aquanox Deep Descent is a very solid effort that, with a few tweaks and a bit more polish, could potentially be special. Here’s hoping that THQ Nordic gives Digital Arrow the opportunity to make another one.
  9. Oct 15, 2020
    Aquanox: Deep Descent continues a journey into the depths of the sea started in 1996 and proves blowing things up underwater is more fun than the Bends.
  10. Jan 4, 2021
    In the end, Aquanox: Deep Descent does everything it has to, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. The combat is thrilling, but the story and quests fail to intrigue, the environments don’t have much variety, and there just generally isn’t much to it — it’s a solid 3D shooter set underwater, and not much else.
  11. Oct 22, 2020
    As a first project for Digital Arrow, Aquanox Deep Descent can be considered a good game, even though there are lots of issues regarding its combat and control system.
  12. Oct 15, 2020
    Aquanox Deep Descent is a beautiful follow up to a series that many may have forgotten about over the years. However, it was clearly made on a budget, which seemed to hurt a few of the game’s more necessary modes. Boring supporting characters, lacking enemy environment, and a subpar coop mode won’t make any new series fans. However, those who truly dive into what this game offers will find a responsive and atmospheric submarine shooter with a deep level of strategy.
  13. Oct 15, 2020
    The underwater combat in Aquanox: Deep Descent certainly feels right, however the lousy enemy AI, the consequent generally low difficulty, and several naiveties in the gameplay formula do not allow the game to be enjoyable from start to finish. It doesn't help that the plot and dialogue writing is abysmal. The end result is unfortunately an all too generic, sometimes soporific, submarine shooter.
  14. Oct 28, 2020
    Aquanox Deep Descent isn’t a bad game. There are just plenty of opportunities for improvement. Piloting the ship throughout Aqua’s underwater world feels great. Honestly, I kind of wish the game had featured more of an open-world to explore, especially with the amount of salvaging and looting you perform throughout the campaign anyways. But that’s not the case, leaving little reason for me to dive back in after playing the game once through. Hopefully, a more robust online community will allow the game to thrive with its multiplayer component, but as it stands, Aquanox Deep Descent will likely be most enjoyed by hungry mech-genre fans who are looking for another ship to pilot. Just don’t forget to bring a towel.
  15. Oct 23, 2020
    The return of the legendary underwater shooter isn’t as stunning as it could have been. The fights are difficult and a lot of fun, but the missions themselves are quite boring - as is the loot and the environment.
  16. Oct 15, 2020
    The ocean setting is still amazing, controls are fine and the action is satisfying enough. However there is a ton of stuff that feels undercooked or downright boring, such as story, mission variety, loot or the superficial upgrade mechanics. 4 player co-op is easily the most interesting feature of Aquanox Deep Descent and could be worth a look, at least once the devs iron out some of its shortcomings.
  17. 60
    Aquanox: Deep Descent works well enough to justify its existence. Performance is fine, gameplay is fine, story is fine, length and price are fine - Aquanox is just fine. It won't wow a lot of people, but the people it does impress will be enamored by it. And, you know what, sometimes that's all you need out of a video game.
  18. Nov 1, 2020
    AquaNox: Deep Descent is by no means a bad game, nor is it a particularly good one. It is instead exceedingly average, something for people like myself who carry fond memories of vaporizing intergalactic cat people to while away an hour or so at a time over a few weeks. If you don’t happen to fit inside this very particular demographic, then I strongly doubt AquaNox: Deep Descent is the best place to start within the genre.
  19. May 6, 2022
    Aquanox Deep Descent is the "perfect" mediocre game. It does nothing bad, but nothing that good either. From the weak story, characters, and atmosphere, to the almost uninvolving gunfights, and unimaginative quests, this fails at being a big recommendation - especially to fans of the series. Oh, sure it has no competitors in the 'First-person Subaquatic Dystopian RPG' genre, but this doesn't mean it gets a free pass.
  20. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Feb 17, 2021
    Deep Descent ended up hitting the rock bottom. Instead of breathtaking underwater adventures we’ve got a very basic shooter. [Issue#251, p.64]
  21. Oct 29, 2020
    Aquanox Deep Descent isn't a bad game - it's just not that great, either. Earlier this year, when THQ Nordic released Spongebob Squarepants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, the game was well-received because players knew what to expect. In that right, THQ Nordic had succeeded in reviving a long-forgotten cult classic title. With Aquanox Deep Descent, THQ Nordic has attempted to resurrect an entire franchise with a brand new title, but the total package feels outdated and fails to stay afloat in today's diverse sea of video games.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 7 out of 26
  1. Oct 18, 2020
    Enjoyable game play to say the least. Great graphics and a nice story. Had a lot of fun playing it.Good job developers!
  2. Oct 30, 2020
    [Aquanox Deep Descent: Jacques-Yves Cousteau simulator. And, surprisingly, real Jacques-Yves Cousteau is more fascinating]

    Pain. That is
    [Aquanox Deep Descent: Jacques-Yves Cousteau simulator. And, surprisingly, real Jacques-Yves Cousteau is more fascinating]

    Pain. That is the only feeling I experienced while playing this game. Every aspect of Aquanox is excruciatingly painful, from gameplay, especially combat-wise, to plot. In fact, I have not found a single feature that this game could be commended for.

    First, game mechanics. To better understand what this game feels like, try to imagine an incredibly boring and, at the same time, unreasonably difficult side mission in an otherwise good game. Like searching for minerals in Mako-truck in Mass Effect 1. Now, imagine that someone played this side mission and said to themselves: “Wow! That is so perfectly useless and anticlimactic! I should make a whole game out of it!” As a result, Aquanox Deep Descent was born.

    Nominally, the game positions itself as a shooter but it is anything but. “Doom” series are exemplar shooters: apart from the fact that there is fire everywhere, they are fast and captivating. On the other hand, watery Aquanox is a complete opposite of those: the game is slow and depressing. In addition to lame combat-regime, the submarine interface is extremely inconvenient. I mean, for real deep-sea explorers such an interface might be perfect. However, for a player it is extremely annoying to do a 360-turn every time they need to find the objective or strain their eyes to discern the remaining level of oxygen.

    Then, Aquanox has a plot. Or, well, it is said that the game has a plot. In fact, the story is a combination of endless loose ends that, even if they are tied up in the end, do not spur the player to beat the game. For example, the surface of the Earth was destroyed. How? Why? Who is responsible? What is more, while at the very beginning of the game, I was interested in such questions; 5 hours into the game the only problem that bothered me was “how do I not die of boredom?”.

    Besides, the main characters of the game are as stale as the plot. First, there are four of them. Having multiple protagonists is not a bad idea of itself (remember “Heavy Rain”), but in that case, they need to be equally well-developed. Conversely, in Aquanox, the main characters are not interesting at all. I did not know their past but I cannot say I cared about their future. Plus, the dialogues in the game are so pompous, pretentious and, at the same time, mostly meaningless that I do not want the characters to speak ever again. Like, a person asks the ship captain (sic!) if the fauna is dangerous, but the latter answers with a pathetically meaningful intonation: “It is different from what you experienced before. You will see…” I am off to a dangerous mission, you drama queen! I need an appropriate brief!

    To recap, painful gameplay and the atmosphere of pompous boredom are major flaws of Aquanox Deep Descent. There are numerous smaller shortcomings but the ones mentioned are already enough for me to advise not to play this game. After a 5-hours walkthrough, I could not force myself to go further.

    3 out of 10
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2020
    This is an action game with terrible combat and poor writing. Okay for a 2010 independent title, but not a 2020 game with a famous name attached.