ABZU Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 72 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 335 Ratings

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  • Summary: ABZÛ is an grand descent into the depths of the sea, where players explore ocean environments with fluid swimming controls. The experience draws inspiration from the deep innate narrative that we carry within our subconscious: the story of ABZÛ is a universal myth that resonates acrossABZÛ is an grand descent into the depths of the sea, where players explore ocean environments with fluid swimming controls. The experience draws inspiration from the deep innate narrative that we carry within our subconscious: the story of ABZÛ is a universal myth that resonates across cultures. The name references a concept from the oldest mythologies; it is the combination of the two ancient words AB, meaning ocean, and ZÛ, meaning to know. ABZÛ is the ocean of wisdom. [505 Games] Expand
  • Developer: Giant Squid
  • Genre(s): Fantasy, Action Adventure, Adventure, General, 3D, Third-Person
  • # of players: No Online Multiplayer
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: E
  • More Details and Credits »

Trailer

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E3 2014: ABZU Trailer at Sony Press Conference
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 72
  2. Negative: 3 out of 72
  1. Aug 3, 2016
    100
    If you aren't entranced by mechanically shallow games like Journey, don't bother. But if you find exploration titles even marginally interesting, Abzu is an absolute must-play – it's the most majestic one yet.
  2. Aug 2, 2016
    90
    Abzu is something that was never even on my radar. Then I booted it up, and never let go. Every area was an experience, and it made an impact on me. I don’t spend my time trying to figure out what it means, I just enjoyed the ride, and it is easy to recommend. Especially to those that enjoy the idea of swimming in the depths of the ocean, and exploring the alien life found below the waves.
  3. Aug 2, 2016
    87
    ABZÛ is a wonderful experience that follows the path of games such as Flower or Journey, where we play to feel. This is an almost perfect masterpiece which should be played by everyone.
  4. Aug 2, 2016
    80
    Abzu is a testament to where we are with video game development and shows how diverse the medium can and should be, even if it's not quite as emotionally resonant as it perhaps could have been.
  5. Aug 7, 2016
    80
    ABZÛ is a very original game on the PlayStation 4 and if you played Journey before, you may see a few similarities but at the end of the day, this is game should be played on its own merits and on that level it succeeds.
  6. Aug 18, 2016
    72
    An astonishing, relaxing and beautifully crafted experience. It's not as thrilling as it pretends, but is able to link us with the ocean the same way Journey linked us with total strangers.
  7. Aug 2, 2016
    40
    This undersea tour is quite short. I got through it in about two hours or so and was surprised by the brevity, but it’s probably better that way. No matter how beautiful it is to swim with whales or to descend into an undersea crevasse, there is precious little to do in Abzu, and it’s never particularly touching or thought-provoking. If it told a better tale or if there were more to it than swimming and occasionally pushing a button, it might have been a knockout. As it stands, the appeal of looking at pretty fish wears off in a hurry, and there’s not much else to recommend it.

See all 73 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 75
  2. Negative: 7 out of 75
  1. Aug 2, 2016
    10
    A combination of Endless Ocean and Journey. A wonderful game and incredibly beautiful. When you are swimming with literally hundreds ofA combination of Endless Ocean and Journey. A wonderful game and incredibly beautiful. When you are swimming with literally hundreds of different kinds of fish at once it is like nothing ever. Completely breathtaking. Expand
  2. Aug 3, 2016
    10
    I've been playing games at a moderate level for over 25 years now, so I have some authority to speak on the topic like many of us I'm sure.I've been playing games at a moderate level for over 25 years now, so I have some authority to speak on the topic like many of us I'm sure. This game kind of transcends the medium, I believe. It's not a game, not in the traditional sense anyway. It's more of an experience simulator. One with gorgeous visuals, a sublime soundtrack and one of the most smooth and elegant control schemes I've encountered. It's a mechanically simple and direct setup, without the need to explain anything via menus or on screen text. In fact, there no HUD item of any kind, no map or marks, not even a health bar. You can't die or really get "hurt". You don't know where this world comes from or what it means. It's an undersea dream world though. That's the beauty of this type of media at this level, that you can bring your own experiences and emotions away from it. For PS+ users it's only $16. At just 3-4 hours of general playtime I still believe it's worth every penny of that. Another advantage it has going for it is that literally almost anyone capable of moving a joystick and holding a button down could play this and get something out of it. Only negative I could mark on it would be it's shortness, but again for the price it was worth more than that. I definitely wanted to see more creatures and see how far I would go down the rabbit hole. I also want to praise the graphics and art direction more specifically. There is a great balance between realism and game world here. In that I mean it's not trying to portray a true ecological version of the sea, but the aesthetic is very much intact. Replayability, yeah you could definitely play through this a second time and probably find some of the items you missed on the first run. It is a fairly linear game in that you're moving from one clearly definable area (sometimes smaller and sometimes enormous) to another. Within these areas you have the general freedom to move wherever you like and explore off the beaten path, but there's always a very simple mechanic upon which to progress, so you can't really go around the level design in that way. If you care about this sort of thing, there's a pretty wide variety of sea life to be found and they're all rendered very well and glide through the water convincingly. The giant schools of smaller fish swarming in a cyclone is something to be seen. With the excellent ambient soundtrack to boot, I can't recommended this one enough. Even after you've put the controller down it will stay with you longer than most games these days.

    TIP - the only menu setting is for the directional controls. I recommend trying out both normal and inverted on all three axes to find the right combination for you. Trust me, fool around with in the first level and tweak it to your preference, it'll be a better experience if you do this up front.
    Expand
  3. Dec 29, 2018
    9
    Abzu is a game that I never heard of until I started making a little list of indie games I'd like to play, and now that I've played it I canAbzu is a game that I never heard of until I started making a little list of indie games I'd like to play, and now that I've played it I can say for certain that it definitely deserves to be on everybody's little list of indie games to play. It doesn't offer a long experience, but it does offer an emotionally impactful experience through the beauty of its art design, intimate tale, and mesmerizing atmosphere. If you have Playstation Now, I say just start playing the game, you'll beat it in 90 minutes tops and will definitely not regret giving this game a try. Expand
  4. Mar 2, 2017
    8
    Though it is short, what Abzu does, it does very well. The exploration of the sea is handled with great care. With no plot, the scenery tookThough it is short, what Abzu does, it does very well. The exploration of the sea is handled with great care. With no plot, the scenery took on a meditative outlook. While some may deride the game for its "scuba simulator" gameplay, I applaud it for its calm tone and relaxing themes. Expand
  5. Jan 31, 2017
    7
    Abzu
    A peaceful scuba simulator
    Abzu comes from the mind behind the art direction in flower and journey and it shows… This game very much
    Abzu
    A peaceful scuba simulator
    Abzu comes from the mind behind the art direction in flower and journey and it shows…
    This game very much follows the same structure of those games for better or worse.
    Here you play as a mechanical diver…
    Because of this you have no gauges to keep an eye on or air to worry about...
    The burden or survival is completely lifted off of your back
    you just swim and explore...
    Its starts as such a nice calming adventure breathing life into the ocean bed
    swimming with the predators and prey with no care at all…
    Noticing little subtleties and reactions of the oceans inhabitants that really bring the ocean world to life…
    You can even grab onto the larger creatures and go for a ride...
    You feel as one while you swim forward exploring new environments…
    But much like flower there’s a turn for the worse as you slowly inch towards the finish line of this 2 hour game…
    Abzu goes from being a peaceful experience to being a bit of a typical stressful adventure game…
    You can’t die here.. But what starts as a peaceful swim and escape from reality turns into a throw switches, pull chains and avoid unpleasant mines while you do so…
    Time to relax is over…
    Now you have problems to solve...
    This is the majority of the final stretch of the game and it kind of ruins the initial feel this game has…
    Enjoyment is just a memory as you’re swimming through forgotten ruins that should’ve stayed forgotten
    or at the very least should’ve been briefly visited rather than turning into something to deal with because video games…
    It’s unfortunate…
    But this is still a pretty cool experience that offers a great feeling of exploration…
    Even during the final moments that I didn’t like..
    I give Abzu
    a 7.5/10
    Expand
  6. Nel
    Jun 20, 2017
    7
    Very simple artistic game, similar to journey. The game has wonderful music, and is very short. It does not have the best graphics, but theVery simple artistic game, similar to journey. The game has wonderful music, and is very short. It does not have the best graphics, but the graphics are very artistically designed, other than a few camera problems here and there I really enjoyed the experience Expand
  7. Aug 21, 2020
    1
    First of all I can not imagine ANYONE paying 20 bucks for this 2 to 3 hour "game". Can't even call this a game. There is nothing really to doFirst of all I can not imagine ANYONE paying 20 bucks for this 2 to 3 hour "game". Can't even call this a game. There is nothing really to do but go straight and "experience" stuff. But there is no message or experience. This rubbish is just trying to be artsy.

    Horrible controls and camera angles.
    No plot.
    Decent music, but the graphics look like something you'd find on a screensaver.
    Some points in the game you're actually required to get out of the water. I had no idea you could even do this and had to look it up. Thanks a lot for letting me know.
    Expand

See all 75 User Reviews

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