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Video Game / Depth

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Depth is an asymmetrical multiplayer First-Person Shooter by indie developer Digital Confectioners, released on November 2014 on Steam. Players can play as a team of four divers collecting sunken treasure while being on the lookout for and fighting against sharks stalking them from every corner. The highlight of this game is that players can also play as the sharks, serving as the opposition to the divers.

Visit the official site for more information.

The 2020 open world game Maneater began as expansion for Depth before members of the development team were splintered off to create it as a standalone title.


Tropes used in Depth:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Most guns can be upgraded with tranquilizer darts, neurotoxin rounds, tracking tags, hollowpoints, or bullets that split into multiple rounds.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Of a sort; of the eleven species of shark available, five (great white, shortfin mako, tiger, oceanic whitetip, and bull) of them are known to occasionally attack humans without provocation, and of them only oceanic whitetips are actually naturally aggressive. The rest are rarely dangerous, even if they had several recorded fatal bites. Of particular note are thresher sharks, which are piscivorous (i.e. mainly eats fish) and are mostly harmless, except for the occasional accident of a human being battered by their tails. Meanwhile, the goblin shark has had no human attacks at all, mostly due to the sheer depths at which it lives.
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  • Animals Not to Scale: Downplayed example. The Megalodon in Depth is significantly smaller than it is normally reconstructed, barely able to fit even one person in its mouth (compared to this). It's somewhat justified in that if the Megalodon was as large as it really was, it would make it much harder for the divers to kill it.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Real sharks cannot swim backwards, straight up, or straight down as they can in the game. Certain species, such as hammerheads and great white, are also incapable of remaining completely static, as their biology dictates that they must always be swimming in order to breathenote . And for that matter, real humans can't spontaneously dash through the water. All justified for gameplay purposes, of course.
    • Goblin sharks, due to the immense atmospheric pressure of the depths at which they live, have very flabby flesh and small fins that facilitate slow and sluggish movement. Even assuming they can remain mobile at the upper sea levels that the game takes place in, their own structural integrity wouldn't allow them to attain such great bursts of speed they could during gameplay. Their jaws, while intimidating to behold, are not built for crushing bites like that of the other sharks, and thus aren't capable of tearing through dense human flesh and snapping bones. Really, being attacked by a goblin shark, however improbable that may be, is more akin to being nibbled on by a blob of jelly than chomped on by a massive animal. They are also not capable of pulling a Doppelgänger Spin, obviously.
    • Tiger sharks are sluggish swimmers in reality, befitting their hat as The Sneaky Guy in nature, as moving slowly helps them to blend in with their surroundings better. While they are known to exhibit quick bursts of speed, these sharks typically swim at much slower paces compared to how they are depicted in-game.
    • One of the great white's rarer skins turns it into an Orca. While its hostility is handwaved as the killer whale being driven mad from its time in the captivity of a SeaWorld Expy, real orcas are nowhere near as murderously aggressive towards humans, and will certainly not stoop to the level of eating them.
    • Lemon sharks normally tend to inhabit areas close to the sea floor, where their yellowish hide can serve as camouflage to help them blend in with the sand. Having a lemon swimming about the open ocean is like putting on woodland camouflage in the middle of the desert.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Players started referring to killing in the game as "snorkeling". The developers subsequently added "Get snorkeled" to the list of quick-talk macros.
    • There were also several memes added as emoticons one can type in the in-game chat, including Tsundere Shark and Dapper Shark.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: Four diver players play in the perspective of a First-Person Shooter against two shark players who play in the third-person. Megalodon Hunt takes this up to eleven, with five diver players pitted against one player controlling the eponymous Megalodon, with the one who killed the mega shark taking its place to hunt the humans.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: The sharks are classed as such. Out of the originals, the tiger is the balance, having balanced stats (ability to be undetected by tracking devices notwithstanding). The great white, being slow, but hard-hitting and durable, is the Power one. The mako is the skill shark, as he is the fastest, but the most frail. The gimmick shark is the hammerhead, who relies on doing damage using the environment.
    • The thresher shark fits between balance, skill, and gimmick; being a bit bulkier and slower than the Mako and having a unique way to damage players like the Hammerhead, while still being smaller and faster than the Tiger.
    • The bull shark is mix of power and gimmick. It sits somewhere between the Tiger and Great White in terms of base stats, and has a short-lived Super Mode powered by its rage at diver activity.
    • The goblin shark is another gimmick shark that compensates for its low speed with a Doppelgänger Spin courtesy of its Nightmare Face.
    • The oceanic whitetip is a Jack-of-All-Stats with its stats slightly better than average and a gimmick involving its resident school of pilot fish: they can switch between Defense and Offense Modes, reducing damage taken by up to 50% and dealing up to 48 damage per second.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: There's an achievement for a shark player busting through a wall and grabbing a diver on the other side in one lunge.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The thresher shark's ability is a powerful tail smack that does decent damage and knocks out flashlights as well as treasure. Any shark can do this to a limited extent by buying the razor fins upgrade.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The SPP-1 may not be very threatening-looking, but it's cheap enough to be taken with an ammo upgrade at the start, and you can afford the dual-wielding upgrade usually before your first death.
    • Twin pistols in general may not be as cool as a fully automatic underwater rifle or a long-range pinpoint-accurate harpoon gun, but it's very cheap and can shoot eight shots (the SPP-1) or ten (the P-11) without reloading.
    • Net launchers do no damage (they do a slight damage with an upgrade), but they can stop a shark cold long enough for a teammate to waste them.
    • The tagging upgrade for guns may not do damage like nerve toxins or hollowpoints nor stop a shark like tranquilizers, but it allows your whole team to see a shark with a clear red outline even through walls, and generally leads to everyone shooting at it simultaneously. Especially useful in the early game.
    • Tranquilizer ammo isn't fancy and does no damage, but strips sharks of stamina - on slower sharks, like the Great White, this means death as they slow down and get pasted by fire, in a game where mobility is important.
    • On the sharks' side, the Tiger. Tiger sharks are well-balanced across the board stats-wise, and don't have anything fancy about them other than their stealth abilities. They also don't have any hard counters to them, and tend to perform well on any map.
  • Comeback Mechanic: If the divers fall behind on tickets, their captain will place shark shields for free. If the sharks fall behind, they'll get some extra hit points.
  • Companion Cube: S.T.E.V.E qualifies for this. Even the developers refer to him as a character (with masculine pronouns) despite being nothing more than a miniature submarine with arms. If S.T.E.V.E is destroyed, Captain Stubbs' reaction is akin to having lost his best friend.
  • Crossover: Got an unexpected one with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, with the "Knights vs. Sharks" update that gave owners of both games exclusive in-game skins for diver weapons in Depth based off medieval weaponry, and shark themed armor and helmets in Chivalry. Both games also got a new map taking place in the same region at different times.
  • Cyborg: Specimen 8 and Specimen 7 are cyborgs; a great white and tiger shark respectively. Curiously, these seem to be canon, given Shelly and Finn are tasked with dealing with them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The hammerhead has very low stamina, only medium health, a large hitbox, and low thrash damage. But it does damage by smashing into walls or world objects, meaning it can kill very quickly when angled correctly, and its special ability restores stamina when striking things. The downside to this is you can't swim out before eating your prey like all the other sharks since you need to run into things to deal appreciable damage. The upside to this is that you can kill a diver in one strike with a well-timed shot and be close enough to do the same to a second. And then a third. And then a fourth. When done right, the Hammerhead can empty a room of divers while regaining health and place itself to spawn-kill the divers on their return.
    • Using the underwater scooter means that one diver is all alone in the open ocean, leaves the user extremely vulnerable to well-timed shark attacks and with no way to defend themselves effectively, and leaves teammates with one less gun for fending off sharks. In skilled hands, it can vacuum up ludicrous amounts of treasure and upgrade everyone to their favorite endgame weapons very quickly, as well as distract sharks from going after the rest of their team.
    • Fighting sharks in the open qualifies as well. It makes a diver vulnerable to attacks from every possible angle, but if they can gauge where a shark is coming from, they can avoid the lunge and get a couple free shots off before the lunge is ready again. Once you have a weapon like the harpoon or the netgun, 1 solid hit is enough to absolutely ruin a shark's day.
  • Discard and Draw: Winning a game as either the Tiger, Bull, or Mako shark unlocks a kindred species with similar performance and gimmick, which are the Lemon, Copper, and Blue sharks, respectively. These kindred species have similar yet mechanically-different gameplay and abilities, but conform to roughly the same general style.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: The goblin shark can use its Nightmare Face to make affected divers hallucinate another goblin shark. Fortunately, the fake cannot attack, but it's another horror in a game that already runs on Jump Scares.
  • Downloadable Content: Several skins for sharks and for divers' weapons exist as DLC, but thus far every major content update (new sharks, new maps, new game modes, et cetera) have been free.
  • Eaten Alive: How the sharks attack divers.
  • Enemy Mine: The newly added Haywire game mode allows sharks and divers to work together against another team of sharks and divers.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: For divers only. You start the game with a pistol or melee weapon, and that's all. You can end the game with an underwater scooter, fully automatic underwater rifles, a long-range harpoon gun, weapons that shoot special ammo, underwater mines, or electromagnetic shark shields.
  • Escort Mission: In the default game mode, the dive team has to escort a robotic submersible while it picks up treasure from sunken ruins. Fortunately, it has enough health to withstand a lot of abuse and can be repaired. It more serves to keep the dive team together so they can work as a team.
  • Fragile Speedster: The mako shark is incredibly fast, but has the lowest amount of health of any of the sharks. Divers can become one with an underwater scooter; they can move quickly around the map to gather treasure, but die just as easily as any other human.
  • Glass Cannon: Sharks die quickly when caught in the line of fire, but they can rip divers to shreds fairly quickly as well.
    • The thresher shark in particular is a Glass Cannon among the already frail sharks. It's frail yet fast (surpassed only by the mako) and smaller than the average shark. It tail can be whipped for serious damage to players and environment alike (even acting as an EMP of sorts to flashlights). They can also deal extra damage to divers around them with their large tails while dashing past one or while thrashing.
  • Gorn: This game does not shy away from showing missing limbs or even bodies torn in half by sharks, complete with internal organs floating out. Not to mention the blood... On the other side, sharks hit with anti-ship mines get turned into floating red chunks.
  • Healing Potion: An item you can drop as a diver is a box containing three syringes that restore health.
  • Hell Is That Noise: A heartbeat sound effect gets progressively louder and faster as sharks draw nearer.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: More or less mandatory for sharks. Even the Megalodon will not stand up to weapons fire for more than a few seconds. Most sharks (except the hammerhead) are meant to swim in, grab a diver, and swim out to eat them before the other divers can react.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • In late October, S.T.E.V.E. is dressed as a Bedsheet Ghost, treasure is replaced by candy, and money bags are replaced by jack-o-lantern buckets.
    • In late December, S.T.E.V.E. is dressed in a reindeer costume, treasure is replaced by ornaments, and money bags are replaced by stockings full of candy.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The tutorial teaches you how to play both as a diver and as a shark. You start off as a diver but halfway through get killed by a tiger shark, which you then start playing as. It is impossible to kill this shark.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The quick-talk macros have such gems as "Good luck, have fin".
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Sharks can regain health instantly by eating seals, or with the proper evolution, by eating divers.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The harpoon gun has the best damage in the game. With the expensive damage upgrade, it can one-hit kill any shark. Too bad by the time you get it, you're most likely at the end of the match and the sharks will have evolved boosts to deal with you.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Aside from bleeding the divers' tickets dry, the shark team will win instantly if they can destroy S.T.E.V.E. It's easier said than done, however.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The tiger shark. The hammerhead has pretty balanced stats too but uses a gimmick to deal damage. The oceanic whitetip as well, with its own defense/offense gimmick.
  • Jump Scare: Sharks are basically weaponized jump scares. One minute you're swimming along, the next minute teeth, blood, and muffled underwater screams.
  • Little Useless Gun: The diver's starting pistol has a small mag size, and in a game where most guns down sharks in less than seven shots, can withstand an entire mag. Dual-wielding and tacking on special ammo alleviates it, but most players opt to spend a little more for the direct upgrade, even if it leaves no room for dual-wielding or special ammo.
  • Loan Shark: Referenced in Marissa's profile, which states that the sharks of the sea are nothing compared to the loan sharks wanting her debt.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • What a shark reduces a successfully slain player to.
    • What a victim, shark or human, of a detonated mine becomes.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The thresher shark. Its bite and thrash power is lower than the other sharks sans the hammerhead, meaning that you'll rarely get a kill just from doing the basic combo. It's designed as an Area of Effect killer, using its whiplike tail to create a powerful burst that does 40/50/60 damage to all divers in range (as a note, divers only have 100 health). When it's thrashing someone in its mouth, the thresher flops and spins all over the place (as opposed to the other sharks simply shaking their bodies from side to side) which also damages any divers close by from its thrashing tail, so if the divers are bunched together a Thresher can do a lot of damage to everyone. If it has the evolution that resets its special ability after killing a diver, a Thresher can zoom in, grab one diver, immediately use its AOE to damage everyone, thrash to do even more damage, then use its AOE again to finish off the rest of the divers. A well-played thresher with the right evolutions can slaughter entire groups of divers repeatedly.
    • The great hammerhead, to a lesser extent. Like the thresher, its bite and thrash are weaker than normal, but it can cause devastating damage by ramming a diver into a wall, floor, or obstacle, with more damage being done the faster the shark is moving. With the evolution that allows a shark to dart/lunge while holding a diver the hammerhead can grab someone, aim at a surface, then dart/lunge straight into it and smash the diver to a pulp instantly.
    • The goblin shark focuses on mind games with its Jump Scare-inducing Doppelgänger Spin. Which of the terrifying sharks is the ''real'' one? The only way to find out is to start shooting and hope you hit the right one (thus wasting ammo) or wait to be eaten.
    • The oceanic whitetip has all-around stats slightly better than the tiger shark, but its pilot fish school allows it to be even tankier than the great white and do the highest amount of damage in the game. It can only do one or the other at a time, though, so you have to be good and quick at switching between them to get in/out alive and kill divers very quickly.
  • Megalodon: Has a game mode where you can play as one against a team of five divers. The match starts with six divers fighting an AI-controlled Megalodon, and whomever kills it gets to play as it. Divers who then manage to kill the Megalodon player will be given control of the monster shark, which repeats until the match is over.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Great White is the slowest shark in the game, but it has the highest health of any shark. Given its immense stamina reserve, the mobility skills can turn it into a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Depending on the maps being played, certain shark species are this. In open sea maps like Crude or Fractured, pelagic species like the thresher or oceanic whitetip are to be expected, but bulls and tigers mostly stick to the shallows or estuary regions, which incidentally contributed to their records of attacks on humans. Meanwhile, coastal locations such as Cove or Hillside don't tend to feature the aforementioned pelagic sharks, but tigers and bulls tend to frequent them. The goblin shark is usually misplaced to the much shallower depths of the maps compared to its own dwelling zone, and the special case of Antarctic renders all sharks terribly misplaced except for the great white.
  • More Dakka: The default ADS rifle, which lacks firepower, but makes up for it with a high fire rate.
  • Nightmare Face: In-game, the goblin shark's face is so terrifying that it causes divers to hallucinate an illusionary goblin shark.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Sea mines are not nearly as dangerous as they should be. Joule for joule, underwater explosions are much more deadly than surface explosions, yet divers can be within a few meters of one and take no damage, or recover with a quick shot of morphine.
  • Notice This:
    • For sharks, divers are highlighted. For both teams, S.T.E.V.E. is highlighted.
    • For sharks, seals are highlighted only when their health is low. For divers, medical kits are highlighted when their health is low and ammo boxes are highlighted when they're down to their last magazine.
    • An upgrade for the underwater scooter highlights gold. The same can be accomplished with a sensor.
    • Divers can highlight sharks by using flares, sonar buoys, sensors and tagging upgrades, the second of which can be destroyed by sharks.
    • An evolution for the sharks highlights mines.
  • One-Word Title
  • Prehistoric Monster: The great white has an alternate skin that turns it into a Dunkleosteus, an ancient armored fish with shearing plates instead of teeth. And is twice as terrifying. The Haywire event added the whorl-tooth shark Helicoprion as a skin for the mako shark, and like the Dunkleosteus is quite a frightening sight.
  • Rare Guns: Where did civilian divers get their hands on weapons like the APS and ADS underwater rifles or the SPP-1 and P-11 underwater pistols?
  • Regenerating Health: For sharks only, with the Hemogenesis evolution.
  • RPG Elements: Sharks can choose "evolutions"/perks to upgrade over the course of a match, which can allow them to cover up shortcomings or exaggerate a species' strengths.
  • Self-Deprecation: Some of the quick-talk macros include "Game is hard," "New meta," and "Instant regret."
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Most sharks in pop culture tend to focus on the great white, tiger, and bull shark for being the main three aggressive species with human fatalities, with the great hammerhead thrown in for novelty. The thresher and mako sharks? Not so much. The goblin shark is rarely seen at all due to the depths at which it lives and its short life span in captivity; it's most often encountered as deepwater fishing bycatch.
  • Shared Universe: Due to a crossover event, it seems to share a universe with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, just in different time periods.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better/Short-Range Shotgun: One of the guns in the game fires ten spears at a time. It's devastating up close, but requires the wielder be quick about firing before they're lunged at and grabbed.
  • Shout-Out: The 2016 and 2017 April Fools' joke gave all the sharks laser gun mounted on their heads.
  • Sniper Rifle: The harpoon gun.
  • Stance System: The oceanic whitetip's gimmick allows it to command its pilot fish friends to either protect it and increase its defense or attack divers and increase its attack. Interestingly, pilot fish actually have a mutualistic relationship with oceanic whitetip sharks, although the sharks can't actually command them.
  • Stealth Expert: This is the hat of Tiger and Lemon sharks. Tiger sharks can cloak themselves for up to five seconds, during which they are immune to detection and aren't highlighted when thrashing divers, while Lemons are indefinitely camouflaged until they attack, and will deal bonus damage if they can connect a bite while stealthed.
  • Super Mode: The bull shark's normal stats in terms of health and damage are a bit lower than tiger shark's, but its enrage ability temporarily bolsters its health, stamina, and damage to over double their normal amount. At full charge, it can briefly get durability on par with the great white while being faster and inflicting more damage.
  • Taking You with Me: Near-death sharks (or even sharks that are resistant to mines, like Hammerheads) can and do grab players to ram them into the nearby mines, killing both of them and clearing a trap.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Your captain, with lots of "ye"s and "o'"s. The reveal trailer had him speaking in much the same way. He even has an eyepatch and a missing limb!
  • Tempting Fate: The rooms S.T.E.V.E works in, where divers tend to camp, don't have much treasure in them. But there are often piles of six or more pieces of treasure just outside those rooms, in the open water...where the sharks come from.
  • Threatening Shark: As a diver, sharks appear out of nowhere to attack you. Unlike most games, you can play as the Threatening Shark and wreak bloody havoc against those hapless humans!
  • Verbal Backspace: If the Divers are getting massacred, one of the messages from Stubbs may be something along the lines of: "Don't give up now, lads! I... I mean, we need that gold!"
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can go out of your way to kill a seal as a diver. Doing so makes you lose 100 points, and get an achievement called Unethical.
  • We Have Reserves: Stubbs' comments heavily imply he's sending in wave after wave of divers at the sharks.
  • Why Won't You Die?: A Copper shark at full rage can keep itself from dying for up to four seconds, though the challenge is getting there, as rage gain is uncomfortably slow even with a maxed out species ability.

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