Endless Ocean Luminous review: the ultimate diving experience

Endless Ocean Luminous review: the ultimate diving experience

Unveiled only a few weeks ago during a Nintendo Direct, Endless Ocean Luminous will land on Nintendo Switch on May 2. Akira studio and Nintendo team up again to deliver this 3rd title in the scuba diving game series. This one takes up the very relaxing side of the first two games released on Wii, but by doubling down on multiplayer, the variety of environments and the number of creatures to discover. For diving enthusiasts or for those who are curious, but don’t have the time or courage to do it, here are all the details.

Endless Ocean Luminous Data Sheet

  • Release date : May 2, 2024
  • Style : Diving game
  • ESRB / PEGI rating: E/3
  • Developer: Akira
  • Editor: Nintendo
  • Operating language: Offered in French
  • Exclusively on Nintendo Switch
  • Tested on Nintendo Switch OLED
  • Price during the test: CA$64.99 / €49.99
  • Official websiteL
  • Version sent by publisher

Follow HQ and OceanIA

No, it’s not a dubious play on words in my opinion, it is indeed an artificial intelligence called OceanIA which directs the solo adventure. We play the role of the new recruit hired by HQ who has agreed to participate in their marine research project. The action takes place in the Veiled Sea, a unique ocean region that changes with every dive.

During the intro, the AI ​​goes through the tutorial with us and explains how to scan the different creatures and the luminescence effect around them. She then presents us with the sea tree. This is a mix of corals that would be crucial in maintaining the region’s marine ecosystem. Unfortunately, there is a form of necrosis beginning to form on the tree. Thus, it is in order to identify the reasons for the phenomenon and stop it that the Égide project, of which our character is a member, was created.

Eventually, another diver joins our adventure and, together, we can explore every corner of the Veiled Sea. In addition to discovering the many species found in the ocean, our character will have to get their hands on various mysteries, including several treasures. The story is not particularly long, but you have to do several solo or team dives to unlock all the chapters.

The narrative does not extend much and is not particularly striking. On the other hand, it is a good excuse for us to experience some impressive encounters and to enhance the exploration.

Very informative

Endless Ocean Luminous is not a game for everyone. You have to have a certain interest in marine fauna to be interested in it. There are a staggering number of over 500 species and a lot of research has been done around each. We observe this immediately when we scan them.

First, we are told the size and name of the creature followed by a fairly detailed description. The few lines of presentation are also entirely dubbed in French by a slightly robotic voice which actually resembles an AI. Considering the number of species, we can highlight Akira’s work. For my part, I learned a lot and, although the gameplay is not very exciting, I found the experience interesting.

I would even say that it is very relaxing. No matter how huge and menacing the beasts swimming around us are, they are completely passive. All they do is follow their path designed by the developers. So, it makes exploring a lot less stressful, but it’s also a shame that they don’t really have any interactions with each other. I would have liked to have scripted animations where a shark attacks a whale for example.

A changing sea

To advance in the story chapters, you must do solo or group dives to scan as many marine animals as possible. This is what slows down progress and, at times, it was a bit heavy. There are a little over 500 different species in the game, but towards the end to unlock a chapter you have to analyze 2000 of them. This gives an idea of ​​the repetitive side of Endless Ocean Luminous. All this for a chapter that lasts less than ten minutes. In short, it gives the impression that Akira tried to stretch the sauce a little artificially.

Fortunately, the dives are still fun and the marine geology changes from one swim to the next. For example, in my first one, there was a large ice structure covering a large area. In the 2nd, I was able to discover very deep crevasses plunging me into darkness. During my 9th grade, there were a lot more very narrow corridors and subtly placed crevices. I appreciated that the experience seemed different each time.

Overall, there are lots of different places to explore whether it’s with seaweed, corals or sea mountains. The developers even hid a few caves and other secrets. Obviously, the environment has an impact on the marine life to be discovered. This reduces the redundant side of the adventure a little.

In addition to the creatures, the sea contains several treasures that crisscross the ground and even some walls. Thanks to radar, we can locate them more easily and they allow us to accumulate coins. These can then be swapped out for cosmetic bits or poses that our diver can take. Besides, for collectors, there are a total of 99 various mysteries to find and they are well hidden.

Endless Ocean Luminous

Dive in groups of 30

To test Endless Ocean Luminous’ multiplayer, Nintendo organized a few sessions with journalists and members of the Nintendo Treehouse. Thus, we could see that this 3rd title goes much further to play in groups while up to 30 divers can make the jump in the same game. We don’t all start at the same place so it takes a while to find each other, but the overall progress is shared. What’s more, if you swim near other players, the absorption of luminescence is shared which is very practical.

What I particularly loved about playing in a group was that people were marking rarer creatures and treasures on the ocean floor. As there are more than 300 finds to discover including 99 mysteries of the ancient tablet, it is very useful to have this sharing. I hope that once the game launches that people will be as friendly and helpful as the people at Treehouse.

Plus, it’s much easier to do hidden missions in dives and make a mythical creature appear. However, despite the absence of voice chat, it was still easy to communicate with the “emotes” and the marking icons. Still, it’s a bit backwards as a method. We will hope that the next console fixes everything.

Finally, without being a visual feat, the modeling of the creatures is excellent and quite detailed. I would say that it is more in terms of the textures of the elements of the environment that the game lags behind. It all comes with a soundtrack that doesn’t change much and won’t attract attention.

Verdict on Endless Ocean Luminous

To conclude, Endless Ocean Luminous is a nice little relaxing experience that will please fans of the deep sea. I would have liked the game to be a little more dynamic and that we had the chance to see the creatures interact. On the other hand, the research work carried out is very impressive and the game is an excellent educational tool. Finally, if you have the chance, exploring the depths as a team makes everything much more enjoyable. Especially when the time comes to find all the little treasures hidden at the bottom of the water.