The superb role playing diving game returns and once again sees you taking on the role of Leo. Everblue was like a breath of fresh air when it was released early last year. In Everblue, Leo and his friend Zucco were situated on the island of Daedalus. This time though they are in the Caribbean, courtesy of getting shipwrecked within the vicinity, and a whole new set of challenges await you. Leo and Zucco find themselves on the isle of Valentir and Leo has to prove himself to the local diving club, the Amigos.
If you have played Everblue then you'll know exactly what to expect. For those who haven't played Everblue then a little explanation is in order. You begin as a novice diver who has very limited, in terms of it's usefulness, diving gear and little in the way of money. Your diver has a health rating (HP) and also a limited supply of air too. As you complete your missions you'll acquire experience that will earn you greater HP and the items you discover will earn you money so that can buy better equipment.
The action isn't just underwater though. After completing a dive you have to take your finds into the local town and have them appraised to find out what they are. The next step is to sell the items which will of course bring you the extra money that you need. Your HP and air can only be replenished by spending the night in a hotel. The better equipment that you buy will enable you to dive to greater depths and find objects of different materials. You can also acquire missions from the local citizens as you progress through the game. It is always worthwhile talking to them to see what they have to say or offer you.
Graphically things haven't changed since the original Everblue. On land the game has a point 'n' click adventure game quality to it with it's 2D pre-rendered screens. You move the pointer around the screen and click on the places you want to go to and the people you want to talk to. This may sound old fashioned and I suppose it is, but what it does enable you to do is move around and do what you want to do far more efficiently than having to move a character around the screen. Once you're under the water the game switches to 3D and looks good. There is a limited draw distance though and it's noticeable that you never come across giant collections of fish/sharks/dolphins but nevertheless it does give the impression that you are underwater. The control is limited to moving backwards and forwards and turning around. You don't see your character enter the water or ascend. When you are inside the sunken ships your movement switches to full 3D and this allows you to swim down as well as up in order to explore the sunken wrecks.
What's nice about Everblue 2 is that it is wonderfully deaf gamer friendly. All important noises are visually represented, usually by a flashing symbol on the HUD. There is no speech in the the game and the story and conversations are all given in text. The text is clear and easy to read. You can even change the colour of the text overlays (the boxes in which the text is situated) if you find the default one gives you any problems, although I found the text easiest to read with the default choice. The text requires a button press to move on so you'll get all the time in the world to read what's on the screen. Everblue 2 is every bit as deaf gamer friendly as Everblue was.
All things considered Everblue 2 is a good sequel to Everblue. The real disappointment is that it doesn't advance the game in any way in order to improve upon the original game. What I would say though is that the game takes time to explain the basics in more detail than the original Everblue so if you didn't purchase the original game you might find this one easier to get into. It would be really great to see Everblue 3, assuming there is going to be one, take the game a lot further and add more depth to both the diving side of the game and adventure sections of the game.
Game Rating: 7.8/10