Subnautica is an interesting take on the survival game genre in that it takes players into the depths of an alien ocean. Players begin as astronauts of some kind but, after a violent crash, will find themselves hunting and gathering whatever they can to survive. My first recommendation when playing Subnautica is to put on a headset and kill the ambient lights and distractions. Immerse yourself as much as possible in this amazing, dangerous, and very alien world. Yes, doing so will cause you to get startled from time to time, but that’s part of the fun. Subnautica is a very easy game to lose yourself in for hours at a time. Once you leave the “comfort”, and I use that term VERY loosely, of your broken escape pod, it’s time to start working on survival. You hunt and mine for everything in Subnautica, so get fishing!
The developers took their time creating things loaded with intrinsic beauty, in colors, lights, and general design, and they made things that let out low roars in the darkness. Subnautica is a feast for the eyes and sharp-eyed gamers will do well in visually locating minerals, fish, and more in the varied and detailed depths.
Of course, there is an actual storyline in the game and that can be completed in around 50 hours. If you want to take in all the haunting scenery, see all the amazing creatures and what they can do, you could easily play for hundreds of hours. Some creatures have abilities that are amazing to behold, others are vicious beasts that have you frantically swimming back to your home base before running out of air or health.
I did have one complaint with my time in Subnautica – objects and elements seemed to just “pop” into view. I checked with other players and found I wasn’t alone with the issue, so hopefully it can be patched out of existence. At the time of posting this article, I am not at the end of the game – nowhere near, actually. Subnautica is a game that I play in bursts as it is so immersive and, in many instances, intense.
Subnautica is also compatible with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR systems and, after playing it for a brief time, can say the experience takes on a whole new level of immersion. Seriously, the game is one of the best VR titles I have yet to experience – albeit with a sort of wonky movement system in moments.
Subnautica is going to be one of those games I go back to time and again. The downsides are minimal, the gameplay can border on infinite, and the cost is about half the price of most games. In liquid space can they hear you scream? Probably especially after you hear a Leviathan roar…