I didn't know I needed a creepy fishing game, and that's where Dredge comes in.
In this drifting exploration game, you'll head out on a trawler in search of fish and "long-buried secrets." It's a peaceful(ish) job during the day, but when the sun goes down, horrible creatures surface. If you're afraid of the ocean, maybe sit this one out.
Dredge is the debut title from Christchurch-based Black Salt Games and publisher Team17, who has a knack for finding projects with intriguing new concepts in familiar genres.
This trailer is more about establishing the serene-meets-sinister vibe of Dredge, which is fine — it serves its purpose. But if you want to see gameplay, I'd check out the Steam page for some more illuminating screenshots and gifs. The lighting is fantastic.
Yer fond of me lobster, ain't ye?
I like the idea of roaming between islands for quests, snatching up and selling sell fish, earning enough money to upgrade the ship, and heading out into the great unknown, potentially at my own peril. The inventory system also catches my eye as a perpetual Resident Evil 4 replayer; it's going to be fun to twist and turn odd-shaped items (in this case, fish and gear) to squeeze them all into a tight space to maximize trips.
[caption id="attachment_342338" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Making room for all the fish on the ship with a bit of "inventory Tetris."[/caption]
I'm hazy on how the nighttime mechanics work — how screwed are we? — but the scenery is unnerving. (And I'm generally not one to be too put off by freaky Subnautica-sized sea creatures.) As the creators of Dredge put it, you'll be able to "strengthen your mind and use special abilities to survive trips out on the water after dark."
Dredge is launching in 2023 on Nintendo Switch, PC (via Steam), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. There's much more to see before then, and I'll be keeping tabs.