Insomniac Games announced its next project, a new 2D side-scrolling action game called Song of the Deep, Thursday morning. The announcement follows a cryptic trailer released by the developer Monday teasing the announcement, showing environments from the game and asking players to “dig deeper.”
Inspired, in part, by Irish mythology, Song of the Deep tells the story of 12-year-old Merryn, who explores the ocean in a hastily built submarine to find her father, who’s been lost at sea. As both the teaser and announcement trailer show, Merryn will explore ancient ruins and will fight some underwater creatures along the way. The story will be told with fairy-tale flair, featuring cutscenes drawn to resemble a children’s book.
According to Polygon, the the moment-to-moment gameplay resembles a more puzzle-oriented version of classic “Metroidvania”-style gameplay. Merryn will find (or build?) extra components that will allow her to progress through the game and find new power-ups, such as a diving suit, which will allow her to exit her sub and swim though openings her vessel can’t reach.
The game’s true novelty, however, is taking places behind the scenes: Song of the Deep will mark retailer GameStop’s first forée into video game publishing. In addition to releasing the game digitally on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, a disc-based version of Song of the Deep will be available exclusively through GameStop. GameStop will also sell non-gaming merchandise based on the franchise. According to GameStop marketing VP Mark Stanley, their partnership with Insomniac is a cautious experiment for the company that may or may not lead to further projects.
“This is the project we’re completely focused on right now,” Stanley told IGN. “It’s the first time we’re doing this. There’s been a lot of learning along the way, and I think there’s still a lot of learning to be had. Based on this, we’ll obviously consider all options. I think one of our focus points and one of the reasons why we dove into this project is part of my role is to look at different ways of expanding our business and bringing more value to our customers.”
Song of the Deep will come to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Spring.