Subnautica (PS4/5)

I just finished this. It was a fun ride. I played basic survival. I died a lot at the beginning but rarely toward the ends which feels about right for a survival game. It was at times creepy, beautiful, tense, fun and scary. It definitely confirmed that I will never go cave diving. It was so easy to get turned around in tight spaces. The cave breadcrumb tool was awesome whenever I remembered to use it. Usually I thought about it way too late.

Base Building
Base Building

I was playing the PS4 version on the PS5. It ran well and looked great. There were some visual bugs, nothing too distracting. I had it crash once and had to replay about an hour. I ran into the Prawn movement bug many times. Fortunately, I had already installed the grapple arm. It slowed my enjoyment down several times.

If you’ve ignored it, Subnautica is about surviving on a dangerous water world after having ejected from your starship. You start with just your escape pod and its contents. From there you’ll have to figure out how to survive and eventually thrive and finally come up with a plan to escape the planet.

The Prawn
The Prawn

There are the obvious dangers of the planet including many fauna that want to eat you. There are also more subtle dangers and problems that you’ll discover along the way. In fact the sense of exploration and discovery is the best part of the game. Each new area and biome give you scenic vistas and wonders to behold as well as resources to exploit and mysteries to solve.

I enjoyed the story a lot. The humor didn’t really hit with me. The rest of it was great. It felt like a real world with layered history and an active ecosystem. I constantly had little goals that were leading toward bigger goals that lead me all the way to the end of the game. I did use some online maps towards the end so I didn’t spend forever wandering around the Lost River or Lava zone.

Exploring ancient Wonders
Exploring Ancient Wonders

Each tech and base improvement brought a surge of satisfaction. It really felt amazing to see how far I’d come from the beginning struggling for air and exploring with only a knife. Perhaps the early frustration enhanced the sense of accomplishment later. Overall, highly recommended. It’s a very much a great game as long as you don’t mind the quirks of a survival game.

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