Imagine your working life on an oil rig in the North Sea, sounds remote enough doesn’t it. Sharing your life with a limited number of people, the same people day in and day out. Imagine that, and then things start to go catastrophically wrong and you can’t seem to see a way out of the predicament. Still Wakes The Deep developed by The Chinese Room and published by Secret Mode puts you right in that spot. Set on the Beira D off the Scottish coastline, you take the role of Caz, an electrician. Much to the dissatisfaction of his wife and leaving two young kids at home, you’ll unravel the story as you go along, which I don’t want to spoil.

Immediately you’ll get the vibes that the workplace isn’t happy, morale is low and you have a boss who is an absolute dick towards you. There is no Christmas bonus and everyone is royally pissed off, yet things take a turn for the worst and it isn’t long before you’re slapped in the face with occurrences. At first it appears like some sort of accident or storm has happened and given the Beira D a battering, but things are a hell of a lot worse than this, and you’re about to walk the journey ahead of you.

All Isn’t What It Seems

I don’t want to ruin anything whatsoever here for those who haven’t played it, since the storyline hooked me from the get-go. The way things pan out reminded me a little of the conversations you’d have in the Dying Light games. For instance, go and speak to someone and then try and solve whatever the issue is. There isn’t much in the way of combat scenarios, but you will sometimes occasionally have to figure out how to navigate somewhere or traverse an area. It isn’t long when you start to realise the Beira D is in critical status with you discovering many of your colleagues deceased, in panic status or in other states. You absorb the sense of surprise, desperation and horror as it becomes a frantic task of how to escape this oil rig with your life for the sake of your wife and kids.

Oil Rig – Parkour Edition

As you probably guessed, the story really carries the game exceptionally well and along with how fabulous it looks you’re probably wondering how the game actually plays. It isn’t like your typical horror with inventory management, health status with crafting elements to stay alive. Instead you’ll be venturing across the rig doing important stuff like repowering generators, sourcing lifeboats, checking in with colleagues who are still alive and so on. As the game progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to access certain portions of the rig and this is where the challenge comes. Having to hide and throw creatures off your scent to get to an all important fuse box or key, creeping throughout the darkness not to expose yourself to potential death. Venturing outside or in the depths of the rig comes with added risks like taking jumps across broken metal bridges or clambering up what is left of a ladder to get to safety.

Everything just keeps you engaged throughout and I’ve personally never played a horror game with a setting so unique. There is just something about the overall experience that wants you to see out the entire game in one sitting and whilst this is possible, I savoured my playthrough across three evenings. I’d honestly say I haven’t played many games where I’ve almost felt like I’m there. Sitting in the dark with a decent headset on, it just has to be done with Still Wakes The Deep.

Visuals & Audio

Graphically Still Wakes The Deep is stunning and by far one of the strongest areas of the game. The art design team have managed to nail the feeling of claustrophobia head on. Squeezing through the tightest of gaps, sprinting desperately to find hiding spots and attempting to gain access to hard to reach areas makes you feel like you’re actually there. I have to give a virtual salute to those who worked on the lighting effects because there are sublime and photorealistic. Surveying the sheen and glimmer from the minimal light in areas against pipework, water and even reflecting of a spray can just shows truly amazing attention to detail.

The layout of the rig is incredibly believable as well and I’d imagine the scale that it appears to be close to a real life version. Character design is superb and this is complimented by exceptional Scottish voice acting that really feels close to home for us British folk. Hearing the bang, clash and thuds of everything going wrong on the rig puts the fear of god in you and when you think the turmoil of that is bad enough, then wait till you hear the eerie screeches of the creatures that you encounter throughout the game. The teams have nailed the presentation both in aesthetics and sound to create one of the best looking games I’ve played so far on Xbox Series X.

Final Thoughts

Still Wakes The Deep is just a must play experience and whilst it does sound short at around 6-8 hours for a playthrough, it is sheer quality gameplay throughout. Everything about the adventure from the setting on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, to the personalities of the colleagues who work there and the sheer randomness throughout just consistently shines through. The development team have done wonderful work at setting the tone and atmosphere both in the design of the rig and the events that unfold. If you’re looking for a horror title that constantly has you on the edge of your seat filling you with that anxiety in the dark that something will jump out at you, then this is the game for you.

Horror fans will adore this one and if you’re normal go to games are titles such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and the likes, then there is more than enough for you here. Those on Xbox will be happy to know that it is part of the Xbox Game Pass catalogue, so you can dive right in now and get stuck in. But for those on other platforms, not only is it well worth your time, it is well worth a purchase. One of the best games I have played so far in 2024 which gripped me from start to finish!

  • 95%
    CX Score - 95%



  • An incredible storyline that sits at the top of the pile for horror games
  • Magnificent visuals, lighting, gameplay mechanics and atmosphere
  • Outstanding character design and presentation in looks and voice acting



  • Whilst not really a con, some may find the lack of combat a minus point

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