PLOT Must-sees under the sea.
DETAILS PlayStation 4, PC; $19.99
BOTTOM LINE Come on in, the water’s fine.
In Abzu, play voyeur to a whale, jellyfish, shark or any number of undersea inhabitants. While Abzu is far from a documentary or simulation, perhaps no other video game has ever been so singularly focused on re-creating the vast, majestic and mysterious nature of an aquatic universe. It does this with no voice, no text and no conflict. Your character in Abzu cannot “die” in the traditional video-game sense. Instead, the game centers on postcard-worthy imagery — swarming, silver schools of fish, sparkling green leaves and warm, orange coral — and Austin Wintory’s thoughtful, patient score. Our hero, an enigmatic female diver, doesn’t have to worry about oxygen tanks or any other clunky inventory management. Just swim. It’s less “Finding Nemo” and more “Fantasia,” not to mention one of the year’s best games, where only symphony and wonder are the goals.