I remember when Subnautica first came out on Steam’s early access. There were many early access games back then, but none of them with the sheer graphical beauty of Subnautica. The developers, Unknown Worlds Entertainment, created the first release as an experiment, a glorified tech demo if you will, and weren’t sure what to do with it. But even the initial release was drop-dead gorgeous. The devs soon turned to the player base for ideas, and the game grew through early access to incorporate survival and crafting elements and an intriguing story. Subnautica has been out of early access for some time – in fact, there’s a sequel on the way soon.
Subnautica literally drops you onto a future-tech alien water world and you’ll be spending most of it beneath the waves where the corals glow with colourful bioluminescent plants and strange alien fish swim past or try to eat you. The atmosphere feels like an underwater Avatar (anyone remember that film?) and is both breathtakingly beautiful and utterly terrifying once you start exploring the depths. Like most crafting and surviving sims, you’ll unlock tools as you try to solve the mystery of the planet and make your escape, but the world is so wonderful. Why would you want to leave?
What I’ll whine about:
Crafting and survival sims are some of my favourite games, but the crafting options felt a little limited here. I’d have loved more decoration options, though some of the underwater bases you can build can be immense. As with these genre of games, you’re limited by your imagination!
If you hate jump scares, then Subnautica can get your heart pumping. There are some seriously terrifying moments in this game, so if you can’t watch The Abyss without hiding behind the sofa, this might not be for you.
What I’ll gush about:
The atmosphere in this game is just absolutely stunning, from the beautiful biomes to the claustrophobic horror of deep sea diving. It’s accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack which really does set the mood. I simply enjoyed swimming around the different areas and scoping out a new place to build a base.
Subnautica is one of the most amazing and polished early access games that I’ve played, and I’ve played lots! If you love survival and crafting games, or wonderful new worlds to explore, then this offers something unique.
Find Subnautica on Steam – Also available on console