Console gamers: prepare to explore the underwater open world survival game that PC gamers have been raving about for years!
Subnautica, developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, had its full release on Steam early last year (23 January 2018) after being in early access since 16 December 2014. It has been enamoring PC gamers ever since, receiving a rare but well deserved rating of 9/10 on Steam. The game was (finally) released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One back in December 4 2018 all thanks to video game studio Panic Button who partnered up with the developers to bring the game to a wider audience.
For a bit of background, Subnautica is set a few centuries in the future, where humanity has mastered space travel and is now spreading across the outer reaches of space. You play as a nameless protagonist who is a crew member on board the Aurora, the latest and most advanced spaceship in the Alterra fleet. However, as these games go, the maiden voyage does not end well, with the Aurora being shot out of orbit by an unknown source and crash lands. Although you manage to get out of the Aurora in an escape pod before the crash, you soon come to realize that you are stranded on an alien planet that is almost entirely submerged in water. In order to flee the planet, the player must explore its watery depths, unravel its mysterious history and survive encounters with its diverse and dangerous sea life.
Although the game has typical survival components, such as managing your food and water intake, players have found that their fears of the open ocean have resurfaced through playing this game. According to the developers, this happens unintentionally, hence why the game is not listed as a horror game. But players have good reason to be scared by what lurks beneath the water. Not only does the game host a cast of giant ocean monsters, it also contains an unforgiving environment filled with labyrinths of cave systems, dense seaweed forests, lava vents, and dark abysses, leaving you at times scrambling to the surface in a panic for oxygen. To even the odds, players have the ability to craft tools, assemble a submersible fleet and even build a suave sub aquatic base to feel just that little bit safer in this underwater world.
What has made this game such a huge success is how the developers have created moments of familiarity from our own watery world, ensuring that we are occasionally trapped into a false sense of security. They also draw upon the very real fact that we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. So making a distant planet filled with alien sea creatures is kind of a double whammy. The culmination of these simple yet effective themes has birthed a truly unique virtual adventure.
Even if you are not a fan of horror or survival games, Subnautica is not to be looked over. You only need to look at the overwhelming praise it has received to know that you will not be disappointed. The support from the gaming community has lead to the developers announcing a DLC for Subnautica, called Subnautica: Below Zero, where players will be able to explore a frozen pole of the planet, guaranteed to be filled with new creatures of the deep to out-smart. Although a date has not yet been set for the release of the DLC, players are already hungry for any details that they can get. The game also supports a VR mode for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, allowing for a more visceral and immersive experience from what the game has to offer.
So grab your scuba gear and dip your toes into this whole new world, ripe for you to discover. Don’t get too comfortable though, for in Subnautica, it will never be safe to go back into the water….
Subnautica is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more details on Subnautica and stay updated with the latest news for the DLC, click here to go to the game’s website.