Critical Depth (video game)

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Critical Depth
Critical Depth computer game cover.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s) SingleTrac
Publisher(s) GT Interactive
Platform(s) PlayStation
Release PlayStation
  • NA: October 31, 1997
  • EU: December 1997
PlayStation Network
  • EU: November 17, 2010
Genre(s) Vehicular combat
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Critical Depth is a vehicular combat game made for the PlayStation, developed by the game studio SingleTrac and published by GT Interactive. It was released on October 31, 1997.


Critical Depth is based on concept and engine of SingleTrac's original best selling Twisted Metal franchise. This game is basically a demolition derby which permits the usage of ballistic projectiles, but occurs under water and every vehicle used in it are submarines. Players choose a sub and an arena in single mode to engage in fights with opposing sailors. A variety of weapons and upgrades are obtainable by pick-ups scattered throughout the stage as well as each sub having their own exclusive "special weapon". The goal on an arena is to retrieve all five pods, which are scattered throughout the level, and find the escape gateway. Each pod gives its holder an extra power.

This game also features three modes of play: a mission/story mode, where the player (or two players cooperatively) can battle through eleven levels; a battle mode, where the player captures pods in a selectable level; and deathmatch, where the player battles against the computer or another human in a split-screen mode.


The story is based on the disappearance of undersea explorer Douglas McKragen and the discovery of five mysterious and powerful alien pod-shaped objects. Twelve different factions enter the sea to find out more about these forces and uncover their mystery, each for its own reasons. Each faction battles several competitors in order to retrieve the pods.


The playable ships are divided into factions, one of which the player must align with at the beginning of the game. Once he does, a mix of the eleven other ships will constantly stand in his way. Four additional characters can be unlocked by reaching certain goals in the game.

  • Dr. A. Pocalypse captaining the Armageddon

Pursuit: To power a machine capable of eliminating the entire human population so he and his mistress may initiate an era of a "superior breed" of humans. His demeanor seems similar to Hitler. Sub Type: Submarine appears to be based on a scorpion, with the exception of a tail. It special weapon is a grappling hook which will attach to enemy subs and drag them toward two clamping arms.

  • The revolutionary organization the VLO with The Anarchy

Pursuit: Gaining vengeance on the industrialized world which has exploited Venganza, a fictional island, for petroleum and other resources for years. The name "Venganza" is a play on the word "vengeance." Sub Type: A makeshift submarine made from the remnants of industrial waste. Its special weapon is a flurry of spiked metal balls called the "Fragmentor."

  • Several men-in-black types from the CIA with The Manta

Pursuit: To keep the energy pods, as well as the multitude of UFO conspiracies, a secret. Sub Type: As the name implies, the sub is based on a manta ray. Its special weapon is a "Plama Disruptor," an electromagnetic flare.

  • The Soviet Die-Hards and The Stalingrad

Pursuit: To usher in a new era of communism. Sub Type: Very ordinary, although quite heavy and slow. Its special weapon is a ram attack.

  • The Indiana Jones-like Professor Armstrong and The Archimedes

Pursuit: To capture the pods and place them in a museum. Sub Type: Inspired by the Nautilus, with an over-sized propeller. Its special weapon is a flurry of "liquid fireballs" obtained by the professor on a recent discovery.

  • Greenpeace wannabes Team Earth Hope and the Siren's Song

Pursuit: To protect the pods from exploitation by industrialists. Sub Type: A large, mechanical dolphin, powered by a "technoflipper". Its special weapon is a homing torpedo which looks like a mechanical dolphin.

  • Ex-children's show host Captain Cutlass with the Sea Dog

Pursuit: Captain Cutlass is in the pod hunt to "look for a good fight." Sub Type: This submersible appears to be a pirate ship, or rather a wooden U-Boat. Its special weapon are two cannons.

  • The evil Mordrid Corporation and the Bottom Liner

Pursuit: To exploit the pods as an energy source. Sub type: Resembles a jet plane. Its special weapon is a beam classified as "C.A.S.H." (Capital Accumlating Super Hydrobeam) which steals weapons from other subs.

  • Jack "Lockjaw" Keon and The Lockjaw

Pursuit: To add to his own collection, intending to surpass his former mentor Professor Armstrong. Sub Type: A quick-moving mechanical shark. Its special weapon is the Jaws Of Death which latch on to an opponent and shakes it violently.

  • Deadhead Joe Skullion and the Death Sled

Pursuit: To capture the pods because "everyone else wants 'em." Sub type: A small propelling device which Joe merely holds onto. Its special weapon is a Psycho Disc which disorients other subs.

  • The mystical Order of Nishroch and the Ohm

Pursuit: To awaken the sacred "Zornad." Sub Type: Submersible appears to be a golden starfish whose method of propulsion is gyration; this makes the sub ideal for quick turns. Its special weapon is a mystical electrical arc generated by a green crystal on the sub.

  • The French Oceanographers and La Griffe

Pursuit: To gain respect in the scientific community. Sub Type: A standard exploratory submersible. Its special weapon are claws which spin to create a vortex to draw in any sub in the vicinity.

Bonus Characters[edit]

  • Mr. Phatt, AKA Sebastion Titan, and the Kronos
Pursuit: To gain enough power for a mind-control device that will be used to enslave the world.
Sub type: Bulky, green sub similar to the Stalingrad (also built by Titan). Main weapons are a school of skeletal piranhas and red laser beam far-range, homing ram at close-range.
  • Agent 326 piloting the Barracuda
Pursuit: To prevent Dr. A. Pocalypse from annihilating humanity.
Sub type: Resembles a red sports car. Main weapon is an electric blast much like the Manta.
  • Abaddon and the Razor Fin
Pursuit: Programmed by Dr. Pocalypse to collect the pods, and will fight off anyone and anything, even Pocalypse to get them.
Sub type: Submersible is trident-shaped. Main weapon is a series of small homing exploding harpoons.
  • The Overseer piloting Hydro Spydor
Pursuit: To keep the "primates" from capturing the pods.
Sub type: Pod-shaped with spider-like legs. Main weapon is a green electrical shot similar to that of the Ohm's.


The reviews are rather mixed from critics. The rankings are 61% to 70%.

External links[edit]