I had never been a fan of survival games. Their grindy, repetitive gameplay, and often disappointing storylines had never captivated me in the same way that other games could. Then I found Subnautica. This game blows almost all other survival games out of the water (pun intended). There’s a deep story, interesting mechanics, and all sorts of cool flora and fauna.
Subnautica is a survival/crafting game set on an aquatic alien planet. The playable area is the inside of a volcanic crater, with the crater edges serving as boundaries. Within the crater is a plethora of explorable biomes, some safe and some deadly. As there is no provided map, you’ll need to learn how to find your way around with a compass and some landmarks.
The storyline is well-executed without feeling forced or choppy. The main thing I like about this game is that there’s not much hand-holding. There isn’t a concrete tutorial, and you can play the game for hours without completing any of the story elements.
Finally, one of the best things about this game is how it uses terror. I wasn’t expecting this game to be scary. It was absolutely chilling. Rather than using cheap jump scares or gore, this game gets you to scare yourself. When you’re in the middle of a pitch-black ocean and you hear a roar in the distance, or when you look down to see nothing but crushing depths, it’s terrifying. It’s really well done.
The only complaint with this game is performance. The game normally looks stunning, but there is often lag and rendering issues. These problems slightly break your immersion, but if you’re okay with some graphics glitches every now and then, it won’t be a problem.
Overall, this is a great game for anyone who doesn’t have thalassophobia (look that one up). Other than a few performance-related issues, there’s nothing I’d change about this game.