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Still Wakes the Deep


Release Date

ESRB Rating




Bob Hoose

Game Review

Still Wakes the Deep is an action-horror game crafted by The Chinese Room—game makers who have developed a number of compelling adventure titles such as 2015’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. And like other titles by this company, this one focuses on a great peel-back-the-onion-layers story that taps into a gamer’s emotions. 

The story takes place on the Beira D oil rig, located somewhere in the North Sea. Gamers play as Scotsman Caz McLeary: He got himself into a wee bit of trouble back home. So he used his skills as an electrician to obtain a job—on a weathered rig that can use all the skills it can get—that puts a fair chunk of distance between himself and the authorities.

Of course, the police aren’t the only ones that Caz is separated from. His wife is angry that his foolish choices have driven him away from her and their daughters. And she impatiently lets her husband know that he’s on very thin ice.

And it’s with all this roiling in his mind that this forlorn highlander wakes to a bleary and rain-drenched December 25th in 1975.

Just about the time that Caz’s cold and soggy situation could seemingly not get any worse, though, it definitely does.

The Beira D’s undersea drill hits something beneath the ocean floor that causes a massive explosion and severely hammers the entire oil platform. It’s not just some impenetrable rock shelf or gas pocket they’ve hit, but an actual thing. A nightmarish entity begins to seep up, tearing open the rig’s steel walls like a rolled-back tin of sardines and absorbing crewmembers into its tentacled and tumorous mass. 

In Caz’s first-person shoes, gamers are called upon to make their way through the multileveled and crumbling Beira D; avoid the ever-growing Cthulhuesque beastie and its transmogrified humans; solve environmental puzzles; and save as many fellow rig dwellers as possible.

Still Wakes the Deep is a single player game that does not require an online connection to play.


This is a very nicely crafted game. The roiling ocean visuals alone are incredibly impressive, and the game’s leaky oil rig environments and creepy creature visuals follow suit.

The slowly unfolding cinematic story and its characters also challenge gamers in compelling ways to consider the value of marriage and family. And the game showcases folks who willingly sacrifice themselves to save the innocent.

One other somewhat unexpected difference from many typical horror games is the fact that this title doesn’t devolve into being a creature killing game. Instead, it focuses on the psychological roots of common fears—the fear of heights, drowning, loneliness, darkness and tight spaces. And it challenges players to avoid dangers as they wrestle their way through these disturbing situations.  


All of the above said, however, we find quite a bit of carnage and gore in this game’s mix. Large gelatinous masses peppered with malignant growths, tentacles and half-absorbed, moving, talking bodies, attack the game characters in bloody ways. Body parts are ripped off and the dead are left grotesquely torn open with hanging and oozing entrails.

We see a guy fully naked from the rear in a shower.

On top of all those graphically detailed visuals, the game also layers on some extremely profane language: f- and s-words, c-words and crude misuses of God’s and Jesus’ names (including blendings of “Jesus Christ” with an f-word) among other crudities.


This latest horror-action game from The Chinese Room is impressive on one level, but wincingly dreadful on plenty of others.

Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.