Iron Fish (PC) Preview

By Luna Eriksson 04.09.2016

Review for Iron Fish on PC

Water covers larger parts of the surface of our planet, yet what hides deep in it is still unknown, making it an exciting place for exploration and adventure. IronFish lets players explore the deep blue sea in person and alone to reach into small places, or with a submarine to cover greater distance in this in-development title. Cubed3 delves into the sea to take a first look at IronFish.

It is a huge underwater world to explore that waits when diving into IronFish, which is a great sign, as the theme in the game is exploration by swimming or by submarine. The vast and deep ocean feels very alive with all the life going on and all the little places to explore.

The demo serves mostly to teach the controls and mechanics by making the player complete some missions, starting with getting the submarine repaired, up to more exciting tasks, such as finding crews that have lost themselves beneath the ocean. The gameplay seems stellar and focused around exploring and surviving the dangers found under the sea, which might keep the game exciting for a long while if pulled off correctly.

The controls are good and very responsive, creating a fine gameplay experience during underwater discovery. The only drawback is that some things feel very unnatural with the control scheme presented, especially how spread out some things are, and it is obvious that this is made with a control pad in mind. It doesn't get better, as sometimes the control instructions for some important features just flash by for a couple of seconds during dialogue, which makes them very easy to miss. This is nothing a remapping feature in the full game can't fix, however.

Screenshot for Iron Fish on PC

The big weakness the demo shows, though, is how empty this vast world feels. While there is much space to discover, there is very little to actually get excited about when exploring the deep ocean. While this certainly is a demo, this is something that could end up ruining a great experience in the full game, as while exploration is fun, it is required that the world feels alive to stay exciting after a while. Surprises are needed to keep the game feeling fresh.

IronFish shows great promise, but can end up going either way at this point. Either it can become a very niche deep sea exploration game that few will enjoy due to its emptiness and how quickly it risks growing dull, or it might become a benchmark game that others will try to follow the success of. This all is dependent on how well it is handled from this point on, as what already exists is stable and stellar gameplay that is easy to build upon. Create more exciting adventures, easter eggs, and even random events to keep the game feeling fresh will help its longevity.

Screenshot for Iron Fish on PC

Final Thoughts

What already exists in the IronFish demo is great bread-and-butter gameplay and a huge world to explore. However, it is important that the world does not feel like a void in between some important mission objectives, but an exciting world to explore that awakens the curiosity of the player. How well this is handled might very well be the important deciding factor in whether IronFish ends up being a small niche game that is enjoyed in the pond of hardcore fans of the genre and Twitch streamers, or a hit that might even reach deep into the mainstream. IronFish shows great promise; now it is up to the developers to deliver on that!


Dean Edwards







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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