Of all the corners of all the underwater wrecks in all the oceans in all the whole wide world, you humans go and interfere in my territory at the peak of my mid-morning hunger? This must be precisely what it's like to be in the brain of one of the two Shark players in underwater multiplayer-masterpiece Depth. Sure, you can play as the treasure hunters with their submersible treasure-digging robot, but to truly experience the ocean as a native you'll want to be a shark.
It's still not easy playing as a shark however, since you can be left vulnerable frequently, not to mention it's 4 humans Vs. only two of you. That's why I've compiled some handy tips for any relative newcomers to the aquatic tension-adventure that is Depth.
Same Coin, Different Sides
Stating the obvious? I don't like to make a habit of it, but when so many people don't seem to be able to grasp the said obviousness of core gaming strategies, it's sometimes worth mentioning. The obvious in this case is that Depth is a game of two sides. I don't just say this in the meaningless way that commentators like to when running out of things to say during a football match: getting to know Depth from both perspectives is in this case extremely rewarding.
By this is simply mean that you must immerse yourself in both shark and treasure hunter gameplay. You need to accumulate some serious minutes and hours playing as a shark if you're going to be a good shark player; this goes without saying. What doesn't however is the fact that you should spend an equal amount of time getting to know the nuances and particulars of gameplay from the diver's perspective. How they move, how they perceive the environment around them, and hell, even the very hardware they use are all troves of knowledge that can help you to be a better shark.
Things like the loudening of the human's heartbeat when a shark gets near is something you won't know until you play as a diver. Even if you're just being a diver to extract strategy tips from the diver teams, it is completely worth doing. You will both get to know the practices and habits of many diver teams as well as physically experience the diver's perspective - both of these forms of knowledge will make you a better Depth player. There simply is no substitute for experience (though the tips below will definitely give you an advantage).
Don't Be Rigid
First and foremost when thinking about at very least surviving in Depth, if not being remarkably successful (this should be anyone's goal obviously) at playing as a shark, is to not try to pre-plan your strategies too much. Playing as a shark is more about adapting to the nuances of each individual match rather than trying to line up two or three strategy frameworks and trying to smother these like an ill-fitting blanket over every possible situation.
Obviously it helps to have playing at least a few matches first so you can get a feel for how each type of shark handles as well as the maps, but adapting is crucial to consistent success. This is because the number of different strategies the divers will use in any given match is unpredictable at best. Some like to camp in a room, others will know the map like the back of their hand and will not hesitate to chase you around it.
Denial and Timing
It is worth bearing in mind that although you need to be reactive in your strategy when dealing with the diver team in each match, your ultimate purpose as a shark can be condensed into two important objectives: gold denial and time management.
By gold denial, I mean just that: minimising the quantity of gold that the diver team is able to acquire in any one match. This can obviously be done by first and foremost coordinating with your fellow shark partner in order to put pressure on the diver team through use of fear, intimidation, and so on. Remember that you can deal direct damage to the divers' robot buddy S.T.E.V.E. as well (more about this below).
By time management, I mean you have to make your mark on the match as soon as you can because S.T.E.V.E. makes its way through each of the underwater """"rooms"""" in a random order before heading back to the ship. Your initial concern is keeping the kill ratios skewed in your favour, then as S.T.E.V.E. journeys back to the ship, the pressure is really on to eliminate either S.T.E.V.E. or all of the divers, lest you fail as sharks entirely (in the context of the game, anyhow).
Patience for the Waiting
Some may intuitively understand that being a shark is all about patience, whilst others may not automatically see it this way. However you see it, patience really is your biggest asset if used properly. The temptation when you're new to the game is to simply blast into any room you can and rush whomever you have in your field of vision. This is a mistake. You get players that love to congregate in a room, some hiding in the corners waiting for you to make a move. Don't be the idiot that gets hammered by all four divers within seconds of brazenly entering a room and making yourself vulnerable.
I know you'll be itching to deny the humans gold. This is natural because you're on a time limit of course, but a little patience and refinement in your technique. Want to rush a crowded room? It can be done, but know your escape route first. Know you're likely to be killed? Ensure you'll at least take one human with you to balance out this kill, or even better take a diver's life and escape unharmed (best case scenario). Remember that backing off the humans for a bit to go and snack on the seals in the water can be a good thing. This kind of balance between all-out assault and patient planning makes all the difference in Depth. trust me.
Gold Application: Denied
I mentioned this above so I'll try and keep this brief, but Gold Denial is an absolute must and goes hand in hand with the whole patience thing. If you've played as a diver you'll know that when a shark is in close proximity your heartbeat becomes more audible. As a shark you can use this to your advantage. Instead of rushing a diver (even if he's alone and vulnerable), try skulking around a reasonable distance away from him so that he hears his own heartbeat but isn't able to see you. Just remember that divers have a poor field of vision compared to yours. Work this to your advantage.
The last thing a diver wants to do when he knows there is a shark in close proximity is carry on collecting gold when his death may be just seconds away. So to sum up: deny, deny deny; creep, creep, creep. And only kill if you're certain you won't both die - you can guarantee the divers will farm like they're serfs in 1900s agrarian USSR if you both die at the same time.
Plan of Attack
I'll keep this brief, but just use your common sense when attacking. Don't rush a crowded room if you've not got an escape route. Try to sneak behind walls, pick lone divers off (there will be arrogant ones that like to think they're able to survive when alone), or even drag divers away from a group and around the corner where you can make your kill and sneak off again. Be ruthless of course, but be refined in your ruthlessness.
Different maps, and even different areas within each map, have varying fields of view. Deep, murky, enclosed areas have low visibility whereas nearer the surface is brighter. Nonetheless, you must take advantage of the human's relatively poor field of vision. Be wary of detection methods. Destroy buoys if you see them, try to avoid being tagged with tracking ammo, and stay away from flares. The fastest way to die is once you've been detected, so stay away from human detection hardware and use cover as much as possible.
Know Your Shark, Know your Movement
It's important to know the subtle nuances that distinguish each shark type. Mako sharks and Tiger sharks, for example, require that you lunge and sprint in short bursts to get around. The Great White Shark on the other hand has more stamina for longer bouts of sprinting.
Get to grips with the Spacebar and C keys as well, which allow you to make finer movements, in this case floating up and floating downwards respectively. These can allow you to fine-tune your trajectory and turn a miss into a direct kill.