The Shark Perspective
Depth? I've never been out of mine I'll have you know! Such foolish bravado is almost admirable in some situations. Situations such as being the last man standing on the terrorist team in Counter Strike Source as you face off against the remaining few counter-terrorists with the deceased members of both teams watching you every move. Such foolish abandon won't get you very far in Depth, however. This a game that's designed to thrust you into tough situations situated in deep, murky waters, forcing you to use your skill and intuition in order to simply survive long enough to even get the opportunity to learn the game's controls.
Never thee worry, however, since playing Depth as a Shark can have its advantages. While it's preferable that you've racked up many an hour playing the game from both the human and shark perspectives first, I've designed this cheeky collection of tips to allow Depth noobies to have a chance at assuming the role of the shark for long enough to be successful at it. For intermediates, these tips should act as some polishing tools for your already-existing skills that by this point should be well on their way to refinement.
Not To Be Taken Lightly
Remember that Depth ain't no Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus - Depth is a game which requires both a decent amount of skill and a little bit of strategy as well. This strategy must go beyond simply rushing into areas and chomping/shooting up everything that looks like an enemy.
In order to get an idea for the kind of strategy required to be a good Depth player, you absolutely must have experience playing as both a shark and a diver. It's no use entering into a match as a shark having only ever played from this perspective - you will miss out on the traits, techniques, and tricks used by the divers to get a strong advantage over you. More importantly, you will miss out on experiencing the disadvantages that divers suffer from first-hand.
You will need to know how the enemy (the diver) moves, what kind of hardware they will likely be using, what parts of each of the levels' maps are ideal for cover and which are potentially lethal traps. The only way you're going to acquire this knowledge to the extent of being able to use it in practice is to get Depth and get a fair few hours of Shark and Diver gameplay under your belt.
General Sharking Tips
Safety in numbers: that's common sense, right? Wrong. You'll be surprised how many divers don't seem to think so. You'll always see stragglers in a match, but what about the sharks? Well, it's important that sharks work together as well. If you insist on splitting up and working independently, you're in with only half the chance of success when it comes down to the crunch. Working together causes twice the stress for the divers as they have to deal with two threats in their field of view. Attacking as a pair is generally the way to go about things; entering into populated water alone is a one-way ticket to not being alive any more.
A Case of Stamina
The only thing worse than entering a room full of divers? Doing so without any stamina. This can mean the difference between a clean kill and being killed. Always save up stamina and allow to replenish fully before initiating an attack - you may need the last drop of it to get away!
Get to know the maps. Again, this may seem obvious, but one of the mainstays of shark strategy is utilising the environment around you to your advantage. Get to know the open areas of any map since this is shark territory. Divers in open water are extremely vulnerable due to their poor field of vision. Pick these idiots off whenever you encounter them. Also get to know the enclosed rooms of the map, making note of exit points. If you see a diver milling about between two entrances/exits, you can gobble him up and make an escape and barely have to stop whilst doing so.
Seal to Heal
It can be easy to forget that you can heal up nicely if you are able to locate the seals that swim about the level. If you're injured, going to hunt for a seal or two and replenish your health and return to the killing fully refreshed.
This sort of belongs in with the whole "working together" sentiment above, but is distinctive enough to deserve a special mention: make use of distractions. Remember, if you've played as a diver, you know how atmospheric the game can be. Every sound and movement on the screen can at times be worthy of your attention. As a shark, you must take advantage of the humans' edginess and paranoia but creating distractions. At times, it can feel as edgy as Bioshock 2's underwater atmosphere, and that's saying something.
To do this, you simply have to swim about, possibly crashing into items or smashing breakable surfaces when appropriate. This can make divers quite edgy and nervous. Even groups of well-coordinated divers can be forced into error and panic through coordinated efforts of distraction. Make use of the divers' heartbeat feature (heartbeat will thud loudly in the diver if a shark is close) to unnerve divers. If a diver hears the heartbeat he will immediately be spooked and possibly be forced into taking evasive action, confusing or even breaking up the group.
Specific Sharking Tips
- Evolution Progression - Though some abilities are useful, don't go spending all of your points on the cheaper ones right away. You will do better to save points and purchase the more expensive evolutions (which ones you buy really depend on your strategy and the way you play). Remember you'll start out basic, but given the right evolutions you can potentially be dominating in the later stages of a match.
- Starting Evolution - I strongly recommend you choose the Hydroacoustics upgrade at the beginning of the match. This costs a mere one point and increases your detection range of humans and seals. This is one of two upgrades offered to you at the match's outset - only ever choose Hydroacoustics as the alternative is terrible.
- Observe Notifications - On the top of the screen you will see the sharks vs divers indicator that tracks the number of deaths on each side as well as the current status of each team. As a shark, you should watch the number of humans and take advantage when one or two are killed as this can often be prime time for clearing up the rest.
- Getting Tagged - Divers can purchase tracking ammunition that manifests itself as a red light that is attached to you. If this happens, it is best practise to avoid divers temporarily. Take this time to heal up by going to eat some seals.
- Trademark Sounds - Get to know the distinctive sound of weapons with slow reload like the harpoon and the net gun. Remember the divers have a number of slow-reloading weapons, possessing an arsenal superior to those you will find in other diving games of the likes of Depth Hunter 2. You can take advantage of missed shots here, capitalising on the error to take limbs of your unfortunate opponent.
- Right Mouse Button - If you click this repeatedly it initiates your long-range attack. This can be used to travel quickly across the level, which is particularly useful when you've just spawned.
- "Grace" Period - The only thing more useful than being able to hurry across the level with the right mouse button is the fact that the start of the round usually involves the divers scrambling for some initial treasure on the ocean floor. You'll often find one that gets left behind - you know what to do here (it involves dismembering in case you can't haven't guessed.
- Don't Forget S.T.E.V.E. - Getting in a few shots at S.T.E.V.E. is a great way to gain extra time in the match. Remember the match will end with the sharks losing if you haven't completely eliminated the divers or destroyed S.T.E.V.E. before it returns to the boat.