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Steel Diver

by Jonathan Metts - June 16, 2010, 5:19 pm EDT
Total comments: 7

In development since 2004, this game is finally ready to surface.

When we last saw Steel Diver, it was a dark, confusing submarine simulator that seemed like a poor choice to show off the brand new Nintendo DS system. That's right, the game debuted at E3 2004, then disappeared completely for years. The new version, being shown at E3 2010 for Nintendo 3DS, is much brighter and easier to understand.

For starters, the gameplay is now shown from a 2D side-scrolling perspective. This design limits the added effect of a 3D display, but it does make the game much easier to follow. It seems that Steel Diver has morphed into a sort of underwater platformer. The goal, at least in this demo, is simply to avoid the walls and get your submarine to the level's end without a catastrophic hull rupture.

Navigating the undersea canyons is easier said than done, since you don't have direct control over the sub. Instead, the touch screen is arrayed with virtual controls that you manipulate and manage in real time to "drive" the submarine. There's a horizontal lever for speed, a vertical lever for depth, and a rotating lever for pitch. Each tool is easy to use and understand, but the trick is managing the three of them as the sub moves through water. You obviously can't adjust every control at the same time, so it's important to pay attention and make small but frequent adjustments. The result feels more like a simulation than you'd expect from Nintendo, but the quasi-platforming gameplay is deceptively simple.

There are also torpedo controls on the touch screen, so maybe Steel Diver is hiding combat and other gameplay elements for the final version. Nintendo says the game is almost complete (as you'd expect, after six years in development) and should be available at or near the 3DS launch, whenever that time comes.


BeautifulShyJune 16, 2010

I was wondering what this was when I saw a press release yesterday. Nintendo Power actually had a little news story on it back in 2004. Glad it is seeing release.:)

Spak-SpangJune 16, 2010

I love how each submarine has slightly different controls.  It will definitely give a unique feel to each vessel.  And I think if they add some multiplayer combat, this game could be very cool.

KDR_11kJune 17, 2010

Chou Soujuu Mecha MG: Sub edition

I think I saw images of torpedoing ships in the IGN image gallery.

Fatty The HuttJune 17, 2010

Huh. Miyamoto's E3 roundtable comments this week made this game sound like it would be closer to Endless Ocean in a sub. I guess not. That said, I'd love a 3DS Endless Ocean, please and thank you.

KITT 10KMarch 17, 2011

Looking at the videos and pictures of the gameplay for it, it seems like a game that can be played while just kicking back and relaxing. One where you can play a game that just entertains you while not making you have to REALLY focus on it. Some people may not those kind of games, but I do like those kind from time to time.

Somehow, I don't think klaxons and relaxing mix.

Chozo GhostMarch 18, 2011

They should allow you to use it to raid merchant convoys.

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Game Profile

Steel Diver Box Art

Genre Action

Worldwide Releases

na: Steel Diver
Release Mar 27, 2011
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Steel Diver
Release May 12, 2011
eu: Steel Diver
Release May 06, 2011
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