Subnautica Review

Subnautica Review

Platform:PC[Reviewed] Xbox One

Release Date:January 23, 2018

Should you get it?: If you like survival games centered on story telling and a few drops of suspense, then yes.

It's not often that I find myself taking a deeper look at a game that I initially dismissed as something I wouldn't be interested in. Not only that but something I've become kind of obsessed with since I started to play it. It's your typical sandbox survival game and yet, its nothing like anything I've ever played before. First off, the game is breathtakingly gorgeous. The vastness of the ocean, the plant and animal life under the waves is just awe inspiring. However, there is something much darker about the game than any other survival game I've played. The constant fear of starvation, dehydration, and drowning is ever looming. Every minute you spend hunting for new tech or resources is a time you feel you should be searching for food and drinkable water.

The game has a very interesting progression system in terms of the tech you can unlock and build. You have to find either straight blueprints of something or piece it together finding scraps of it on the ocean floor. For example; to build the various submersible crafts, you have to swim around and scan fragments with your scan tool in order to compile a full blueprint. Typically you'll find them more or less in the same area save for the cyclopes. The game gets awesome once you build the cyclopes, a full-sized submarine with a small vehicle dock that allows you to park either the single seat Sea Moth or the mechanized Praw suit.

Once you start exploring the various alien ruins and progressing deeper into the story, the fear factor starts to creep back. You may think yourself invincible with a giant submarine, but you could not be further from the truth. You're now just a giant, noisy target for the various leviathan fish to come after you. Hit enough times, the Cyclops will start to leak and catch fire while 900 meters+ deep underwater. If you're claustrophobic, I would probably skip this game. It gets that intense. Once you're at the deepest parts of the game, you'll run into rivers of lava, gigantic monster fish, and aliens trying to kill you. I won't spoil the reason why, but its pretty ingenious and all makes sense once it all becomes clear.

Long story short, I had a blast with this game. The story was compelling enough to keep me searching for more answers, the base building was fun and functional, and starting every session trying to decide what I needed to take with me, despite feeling pretty sure it was going to be my last dive, was an amazing experience I think most people should put themselves through. Have you played it yet? Had it on your list and wasn't sure about it like I was for a year? Let us know either way in the comments here.