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Hidden Deep Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

Billed as a "2D Action & Exploration Sci-Fi thriller," "Hidden Deep" unfolds approximately 1.6 km beneath the ocean floor. As the head of a search and rescue team, you delve deep into a network of suboceanic tunnels to determine what happened to a mining facility and the researchers who sought answers in the uncharted depths. Drawing inspiration from "Aliens," "The Thing," and "Half-Life," "Hidden Deep" promises encounters with terrifying alien oddities, deadly environmental challenges, and other lurking threats.

A solo endeavor crafted by developer and former app programmer Lukasz Kaluski (a.k.a. Cogwheel Software), "Hidden Deep" seeks to join the ranks of great games created by tiny teams. "I'm developing 'Hidden Deep' full-time for 3 years at my own cost," wrote Kaluski. "Without a doubt, 'Hidden Deep' is the biggest project of my life into which I put all my heart and sweat and I love doing this."

If an atmospheric and dark sci-fi love letter to '80s and '90s classics sounds like just the distraction you need while you wait for "System Shock 3" or "The Callisto Protocol," here's what you should know about "Hidden Deep."

What is the Hidden Deep release date?

According to the official website, "Hidden Deep" started out as a side project for Kaluski in 2014 before he transitioned to working on it full-time around three years ago. At some point during development, Daedalic Entertainment saw something it liked and signed on as the game's publisher. It announced "Hidden Deep" in late January, even providing some pre-alpha game footage and a release window: 2021.

"Hidden Deep" has spent several years in production, indicating that it might hit its launch target. Of course, multiple games have already been delayed this year due to the challenges of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also one-man indie studio Cogwheel Software's debut title, though Kaluski asserted that he has over 15 years of web and desktop app programming experience under his belt. He also developed three games for the Amiga computer system in the '90s.

If all goes according to plan, "Hidden Deep" will release at some point in 2021 for PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox.

Is there a trailer for Hidden Deep?

Cogwheel and Daedalic have shared three trailers for "Hidden Deep." The first, which highlighted the game's core features using pre-Alpha footage, debuted in August 2020. An official announcement trailer dropped in early 2021, followed by a spot during the Future Games Show Spring Showcase two months later.

Clocking in at nearly a minute and a half, the latest trailer introduces the central premise of "Hidden Deep" before highlighting its gameplay features. You get some glimpses of several environments, ranging from claustrophobic tunnels to nail biting underwater areas. Beyond the alien lifeforms and setting, it seems you have to contend with an additional danger: your fellow humans. The video warns you to "trust no one" before concluding with a scene seemingly straight out of John Carpenter's "The Thing," complete with a defibrillator and arm-munching chest teeth.

Kaluski certainly isn't playing coy when it comes to the influences that fuel "Hidden Deep."

What is the gameplay like in Hidden Deep?

In "Hidden Deep," you command a team of four as they descend into a maze of subterranean caverns in search of answers. You can take direct control of each team member or guide their actions by issuing commands. Your men have a variety of equipment at their disposal, such as scanners, grappling hooks, and heavy machinery, allowing you to traverse and interact with the destructible terrain.

When you fire up "Hidden Deep," you have two options to choose from: Story Mode and Survival Mode. Story Mode consists of over 50 levels and requires a minimum of 20 hours to beat. In contrast, Survival Mode boasts quick-paced, high intensity action spread across random levels. Based on the Future Games Show trailer, a Co-Op Mode is also in the works, with Early Access planned for May 2021.

To unravel what happened to the original research team, you must navigate a host of disturbing creatures and environmental traps using your wits, guns, and equipment. Just remember: nowhere is safe and even your own teammates can't be trusted.