Late 2013, a company called Unknown Worlds Entertainment announced a new game, Subnautica. This indi developer decided to make a survival game unlike most on the market. They decided to set this new survival game on an alien world. To make it even more alien, they decided to place the player in an alien ocean.
What is Subnautica?
Subnautica is a survival game that puts you in the shoes of an unnamed male character. The game begins with sirens blaring and a synthetic female voice alerting you of an orbital hull breach. You watch through a first person view as you enter an life pod and escape just before the space ship, Aurora, explodes. As the life pod shakes during decent through the atmosphere, damage causes a panel to break lose and strike your head. You wake up surrounded in fire and are prompted to use the fire extinguisher to put it out. The life pod is damaged, but intact. As you exit the first time, you see the Aurora in the distance, heavily damaged but in one piece. All around you, ocean as far as the eye can see.
Under the water, the world in Subnautica is divided into biomes to explore. Some areas, like the one you start in, is a shallow reef filled with plenty of fauna and flora. The environments can be pleasant to look at while other can be creepy, but there are dangerous creatures to avoid. Gather alien fish for food and water should you have the survival mode enabled. Gather materials on ocean floor and from plant life. The fabricator machine in the life pod can help turn the alien fish you find into food and other materials into items for crafting new gear. Collect some scrap from the wreckage and some quarts crystals on the seabed to craft an upgraded air tank to dive longer. Get some silicone rubber from a creepvine seed cluster to make some swimming fins or combine it with titanium from scrap metal to make a survival knife. Everything you need in the game, you can build.
Build and Explore
Eventually, you will be able to build an underwater sea base to survive in and even grow food and filter ocean water to survive. While exploring, you’ll find wreckage of useful items that you can scan for blueprints to recreate. A seamoth submersible to quickly get around and even the Cyclops submarine to explore the more deep and dangerous locations. While exploring, you’ll learn of the Degasi crew’s fate decades before your crash. You’ll discover the Kahraa Bacterium, slowly killing life on planet 4546b. You discover your infected and must find a way to cure yourself before it kills you. You’ll even find alien facilities scattered across 4546b, an alien race refered to as Precursors who tried to stop the Kahraa from spreading. Survive, explore, cure yourself, and eventually escape.
Subnautica recently left Early Access and officially launched on January 23rd, 2018. With this update, you can finally build the Neptune Escape Rocket, officially adding an “End” to a player’s playthrough of the game. Time Capsules where also added for the launch. This allows you to add a screenshot from in-game as well as up to 6 items for another player to discover in their game.
Subnautica is a unique game in gaming industry. It’s one the only survival games that discourages violence. There are no guns or ways to shoot and kill a target. The developers decided to go down this route as games today are plenty violent as is and they felt it wasn’t necessary for their game.
- Survival: Your basic gameplay with a hunger and thirst meter to worry about. They must also worry about their health as well as maintaining oxygen while diving.
- Freedom: Same as survival, but without the need to eat and drink to survive.
- Creative: Storyline is disabled and health, hunger, and thirst are disabled (you can’t die). They also disabled the draining of energy, meaning batteries, power cells, and seabases never run out of energy. This allows the player the fun of just exploring and building to their hearts content.
- Hardcore: Similar to survival, but death results in your game ending and save being deleted. You die, you have to start from square one.
A great survival game
Of many of the survival games on Steam right now, this game has some of the best graphics and gameplay. While you will see the occasional fish magically swim through your seabase, you’ll enjoy the view outside into the mysterous deep ocean. While the story is kind of short, it’s still fun to play and still great for the price (Currently about $20-25 on Steam and XboxOne)
A great survival game from Indi developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment. Survive and explore the beautiful and often dangerous oceans of an alien world. A great game for a good price.