Deep Fighter can best be described as an underwater Wing Commander. You play the game as a private who's part of an underwater defense force that's trying to protect its underwater civilization and survive long enough to build a giant mothership that will carry the entire civilization away from hostile waters.
Before every mission you have to attend a briefing that explains the details and specific objectives you are to accomplish on your next trip. These briefings are FMV sequences, which are very similar in look and feel to those that were in the Wing Commander games. Once you have all of the specifics, it's time to jump into your fighter submarine and head out into the deep blue.
Many of the missions you have to go on are of the errand type: go here, pick this up, take it over there. But even some of those are kind of fun, thanks to all of the gadgets you get to use. When you get a mission that calls for action, the game's pace really shifts into high gear. Dogfighting underwater of course lets you spin in full 3D, which makes for fast and furious shooting at enemies that swarm in from every direction. To cope, the game has a wide array of unique weapons for you to use as well as a few special attack moves that make you look like an ace, once you get them down. You can also continually upgrade your fighter submarine so that it becomes even more powerful throughout the game. One of the things that Deep Fighter does well is conveying the vast diversity of the ocean. For instance, when puttering through an area just above the ocean floor, it's common to find an underwater canyon that allows you to dive even further into the planet's surface. In these areas that are deep below the ocean floor sunlight gets to be a bit weak, forcing you to turn on your pod's exterior lighting. In all, there are five realistic environments to explore, including the Abyss, Atlantis, and Jungle.
Visually, Deep Fighter looks beautiful. The underwater environments are quite expansive and sprawl out in every direction. The canyon walls and the rocks below have rich, realistic-looking textures. You'll see bright, colorful schools of fish that can be blown up into little pieces, though you're not supposed to do that. You'll also run into giant-sized fish, which look and move in an authentic manner, in spite of their size. The various underwater craft are detailed and move through the depths of the ocean as you'd expect, complete with bubbles that rise off of them.
Deep Fighter is scheduled to ship this spring, and while the early build of the game we've got is certainly impressive, we'll have to wait and see how the final version of the game comes together. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, be sure to check out the screens and video.