The original Subnautica is a kind of video games I want I may wipe from my reminiscence in order that I may plunge in and comb its depths for the primary time once more. No one’s labored out how to do this with out some fairly extreme uncomfortable side effects, however Subnautica: Below Zero is the subsequent smartest thing: despite the fact that it’s a bit smaller, it provides us an entire new watery sector to discover, survive, craft, and construct superior bases in, and it’s simply as exhilarating.
Returning to the largely submerged alien world of 4546B a while after the occasions of Subnautica, Below Zero tells a extra private and emotional story. You are Robin Ayou, a pointy, defiant xenobiologist trying to find her sister after the Alterra company pronounced her lifeless in an accident. And what sort of rube trusts a faceless megacorporation to inform the reality, particularly sooner or later? There are more bizarre, alien mysteries to find, together with much more in regards to the enigmatic Architects. This is all accompanied by wonderful voice appearing that may lead you on a bread crumb path towards the reality.As you monitor down deserted Alterra amenities and use context clues and voice logs to piece collectively what occurred, you may get to unlock and play with new know-how just like the spy pengling, an lovely little robotic that may entry areas Robin cannot. Combat remains to be fairly restricted, particularly within the water, however that is by design. It would take numerous the sense of hazard out of Subnautica for those who may simply bolt a machine gun onto your go well with. It’s way more enjoyable to should sneak by or outrun the enormous ice worms and sea monsters that function guardians to some key story areas and helpful assets.
And after all, Unknown Worlds’ artwork path continues to be astounding. With a number of new land and underwater biomes to discover, I used to be full of marvel as I navigated the tangled passages of the Twisty Bridges or swam alongside alien wales within the Fallen Lily Pads. The use of coloration and form provides such a powerful id to every space and creature, with immediately recognizable and memorable silhouettes for essential landmarks and species. It’s only a stunning, stunning recreation. And the jarring texture pop-in from the unique Subnautica appears to be all however extinct, although I did nonetheless run into it in a pair areas, like across the edges of icebergs.
The sound design and music are additionally simply as superior as ever. The icy, oppressive, but beckoning feeling of the Arctic sea actually comes alive when you’ll be able to hear the distant calls of large oceanic life types and the effervescent of your rebreather by the shimmering gloom. I obtained to the purpose that I may shut my eyes and make a tough psychological map of what sort of creatures have been round, together with their relative place and distance – which isn’t solely helpful however fairly rattling spectacular that it is attainable in any respect in such an enormous, 3D setting.
The map itself is considerably smaller than the unique Subnautica’s, although. I could not assist however really feel disillusioned once I reached the map edge solely about 10 hours in and mentioned to myself, “Wait… that is it?” Even so, it doesn’t really feel small. If you performed the unique, you may need some thought why measuring by pure floor space may be deceptive. And for those who did not, I’d choose you get to see what the late recreation is hiding for your self. But even Below Zero’s deepest secrets and techniques do not measure as much as the sheer scale of these in the primary recreation. It makes this journey come throughout extra as a standalone enlargement than a real sequel.
The upside of that is that there’s much less empty area, and each space has been given numerous love. Almost each nook of the glacier and the ocean flooring has one thing attention-grabbing occurring, and there are some very elaborate hidden areas to discover.
Subnautica: Below Zero Screenshots
Below Zero’s gameplay feels immediately acquainted, however has gotten some good contact-ups throughout the board. Gone are the zippy Seamoth and the colossal Cyclops submersibles. Instead, you get the rugged Sea Truck, a modular car that may be geared up with additional storage, a crafting station, and a docking bay for the trusty Prawn Suit. This permits you to function a wholly cellular base, whereas additionally providing you with the choice to detach the cabin and pilot it independently when you actually need velocity. There’s a superb serving to of recent stationary base modules, too, for constructing and adorning your personal deep sea analysis station or occasion pad.
The different massive addition is the glacier that takes up the Northwest nook of the map, the place you may have loads of oxygen however always battle hypothermia and quite a lot of land predators. It’s a pleasant change of tempo, but it surely would not actually match as much as the underwater adventures that make Subnautica so cool. Even with the addition of the agile Snowfox hoverbike, it nonetheless felt like a facet space. I might have most likely most well-liked much less of this to make room for extra water areas.