Subnautica is a brilliant survival game that stands out from the rest. Instead of being stranded on an island or in a forest, you’re left to fend for yourself in a massive ocean on an alien planet. Explore deep dark trenches, enjoy reefs as they come to life with radiant light at night, and encounter unique sea creatures as you build a base under da sea. Read the rest of our Subnautica preview below.
Platform Used For Subnautica Preview: Gigabyte P35, Intel i7-4720HQ 2.60GHz, 16GB Ram, GeForce GT 965M
Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Survival
Recommended If You Liked: The Forest, The Long Dark, Stranded Deep
Survival games these days are quite intently focussed on throwing all sorts of hazards, enemies and other debilitating factors at you until you either prevail with a cold sweat, or die after just a few days. What I really love about Subnautica is that the dangerous enemies are completely optional to encounter. You could be very happy hanging around the area you start in and not worry about venturing forth to unknown areas where sea creatures become hostile.
The other thing that’s great about Subnautica is the massive size of the map. Being set under water, the addition of being able to travel both upwards and downwards through the water allows for so much more to be found and explored.
Your spaceship, the Aurora, has crash landed in the middle of a vast ocean on an alien planet. In order to survive, the only direction you can head is down. Explore sun drenched coral reefs, to more dangerous deep-sea trenches whilst managing your oxygen supply and keeping yourself fed and hydrated. Each of the numerous sea creatures are as curious about you as you are of them, however some of them are quite harmful.
Beginning the game inside an escape pod, you are immediately confronted with a fire that needs to be extinguished by a nearby fire-extinguisher. After putting out the last of the flames you are forced to come to the realisation that you are lost with no chance of rescue due to the communications system being destroyed in the crash.
From here on out it’s up to you to scavenge what you can from the resource-filled ocean stretched out before you, and try to craft the right equipment to make some repairs. Harvest pretty much anything you can see, from fish to metal ore. You’ll need to find food and a way to make yourself drinkable water if you want to survive, as your hunger and hydration metres start to tick down from day one.
Subnautica allows you to explore the entirety of the map from the word “Go”. However, if you want to be prepared for a good long explore, it’s a good idea to take some basics with you such as food, water and something to protect yourself.
By utilising a machine that allows you to create basic and advanced materials, you can use the items found throughout the ocean to craft helpful equipment such as scuba gear, storage boxes, navigation beacons and heaps more. Materials can also be salvaged and created in order to build new dwellings.
The entire ocean is your oyster in Subnautica and it provides such freedom that you’ll have a great time setting up underwater bases to swim to and from in your quest to survive.
Swimming can take quite a while to get from place to place, so you can build items to speed things up. Some are small enough to fit in your limited inventory space, like the SeaGlide, which is a hand-held diver propulsion vehicle. Others come in the form of small or large submersibles. Eventually we’ll get to craft a mech-suit that allows for the deepest exploration of sea trenches.
By obtaining blueprints you gain access to new items to craft. To get your hands on these blueprints you need to scan fragments that are scattered around the ocean floor. In order to get the scanner in the first place, you need to find the following items: 2x Titanium & 1x Battery. Titanium is quite easily found by picking up metal scraps to salvage or by hacking away at limestone deposits. A battery can be crafted by combining 2x Acid Mushrooms & 1x Copper Ore. Alternatively, you might be lucky and stumble across a battery in an item box.
The crafting system in Subnautica is incredibly satisfying and you won’t have to go farming hundreds of materials to progress. Going out to gather mats is quite fun too, but as night falls, gathering ventures can become a bit tricky. So try and plan your outings for day time or invest in a torch!