Sewer levels are a lot like orbs: without them, is a video game really a video game? While sewer levels are widely reviled, they’re near-ubiquitous, and I honestly think they can be good. So I’ll tell you about some I like, and you tell me: what’s your favourite video game sewer level?
Destiny 2 has some cracking sewers in its raids. One encounter in Scourge Of The Past makes us race hoverbikes through the Last City’s sewers while chased by a murderous flaming orb (both in one: video game confirmed). That’s fun, that. And when we visited the Leviathan, a vast planet-eating ship, we spent a good bit of time running around the grotty infrastructure behind its gilded facades, scaling ventilation shafts and leaping through drainage tunnels. My favourite part is the Aqueduct, a tunnel lined with rotating platforms over deadly water like a big washing machine. Not just for the ribbing when someone inevitably stacks a jump and falls in.
Speaking of infrastructure… Infra, the first-person explore-o-puzzler about a structural engineer inspecting facilities on a distastrous day, has so many forms of sewers and drains and water tunnels. I think it represents almost every form of sewer level, everything from glowing radioactive waste and crawling through pipes to valve puzzles and a weird coffee machine puzzle with psychedelic drugs as a potential prize? And, unfortunately, one awful sewer bit where you have to ride a raft. But apart from that!
In Infra I did ache for the sewer levels to end, but because I felt trapped and wanted to escape. At times, our weird dude is underground for hours, out of contact with the surface and getting into increasingly surreal territory. It inspires a genuine concern that he might be abducted into a secret subterranean society. I was so relieved when I finally resurfaced to see daylight and residents casually living their lives. Thanks for building that tension, sewer levels.
Rather than gripe about bad sewer levels, reader dear, I ask you: which have you enjoyed?