Naval disaster scenarios are popular fodder for video games. One popular example includes all of the games out there made to simulate the Titanic’s final moments. Of course, tragedy and video game narrative often come together in awkward ways, but the downloadable military submarine thriller Kursk does a good job of telling the history behind one of Russia’s worst-ever naval disasters while also presenting a compelling game.
You can download Kursk from Steam. The game is scheduled for release on November 7, 2018. To start downloading click the button located below the game review.
Kursk: the Review
Based upon the historical events of the same name, you play as an agent dispatched to retrieve information on Russia’s newest line of submarines as well as detailed specs about their Shkval supercavitating orpedoes.
Developed and published by Jujubee, the game sports an aesthetic that places it graphically between the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 eras. That is to say, it won’t impress and it really isn’t mean to do that. Where the game does go into great detail is in recreating the ship’s interiors and the investigation into its central plot.
Presented in what could ostensibly be called a cinematic style, Kursk is all about its narrative and the story is a strong and compelling yarn involving spies and delicate military hardware. Figuring out what to do and discovering more about the Kursk is part of the thrill of the game. The other part of the game that is thrilling, for better or worse, is when the actual sinking begins.
Unique to Kursk is the inevitable feeling of doom that accompanies the player’s actions. Though you can uncover all kinds of information about the ship, you are also aware of its ultimate fate. In recreating the events surrounding the Kursk disaster, the devs at Jujubee were inspired by television and film, drawing upon everything from political thrillers like the Hunt for Red October to documentary films.
This is probably because of the very sensitive subject matter at the heart of Kursk’s story. Sailors died on the ship and it was a huge international incident. Not only did it bring embarrassment to Russia but also presented Vladimir Putin with one of his first major challenges as president.
To underscore the mature nature of the narrative, the devs have warned that it does not shy away from realistic depictions of violence and gore. Of course, being a spy thriller at its heart, it is no shock that Kursk aims for a more mature audience but also a more considered one at that.
This is because Kursk is not an action-heavy game and gamers looking for that kind of experience might not find it enjoyable. Comparable to a puzzle game in many ways, Kursk’s devotion to its procedural narrative storytelling style goes well with this type of gameplay.
Kursk is more about uncovering the elements behind a mystery than it is about eliminating an enemy force. For fans of television shows or movies that take this approach to political thrillers, Kursk should be familiar territory.
- Excellent story
- Real-world events
- Awesome puzzle solving elements
- Graphics are not the best
- Sound is present but not special
- Turning a tragedy into a video game is still a little questionable but... on the other hand no one's questioning WWII games...