I’ve been lurking for a long time, but this article finally got me to make an account, and it is because I am A BIT upset about how Abzu is portrayed in this piece.
Disclaimer: it’s one of my favorite games. I’m biased.
With that said, Abzu does care about and take time to display the problematic situation the oceans are currently in. Each new zone needs to be “awakened” because it is in a state of decay. There’s a lot of stuff at the end that’s metaphorically about using and abusing the resources of the ocean. That’s a lot of what the game is (symbolically) about, and its upsetting to see it portrayed here as just a “wonder” game where you wander around with fish.
There is a lot of wonder in Abzu, but it also definitely addresses the ocean’s current issues and has some stuff to say. It’s not super complex. It’s not deconstructing and detailing pollution, but the changing oceans are definitely a feature of that game. Maybe Cameron saw it differently, maybe he hasn’t played it all the way through, I dunno.
It’s a great game though and I would highly recommend it.