Games of the Year

Subnautica

Subnautica Screenshot 1
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You have crash-landed on an alien ocean world, and the only way to go is down. Subnautica's oceans range from sun drenched shallow coral reefs to treacherous deep-sea trenches, lava fields, and bio-luminescent underwater rivers. Manage your oxygen supply as you explore kelp forests, plateaus, reefs, and winding cave systems. The water teems with life: Some of it helpful, much of it harmful.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Go into it as blind as possible, the less you know the better

Review from Steam

Take it slow, do not rush. Keep usage of guides to a minimum. You will only play this for the first time once!

Review from Steam

I'm 63 and have been playing video games since the Odyssey system. That being said, Subnautica has been my favorite gaming experience in all that time; the best game ever.
I don't review games in general, but this game deserves an exception. It is an amazing experience.

Review from Steam

See beautiful fish, follow fish, get lost, panic, repeat

Review from Steam

game

Review from Steam

Subnautica knows how to make you uncomfortable and it does so perfectly.
On my first night I played 2 hours before I had to go to bed. The second day was a free day for me and I ended up playing for 12 hours in one sitting. The last time I had played a single game for 12 hours straight was maybe three years ago!
I actually don't enjoy Survival games that much. Base building and meaningless crafting isn't really a selling point for me, however Subnautica isn't a simple survival game, it's a horror exploration game. Yes, you're gathering materials and crafting stuff, but it's all being used to progress, to make better tools and equipment to let you dive deeper into the ocean's void and reach that distress signal at the ocean floor.
Yes you can make a fully fledged base that houses everything you could ever need, but you could also just make 2 rooms to house all the tools and storage you need. It will still be sufficient. So it's up to you to decide if 2 rooms is enough or if you have to make a base in every biome.
During exploration you'll first be scared to take a 90m dive inside the hole in the ground you just found. You don't know what's down there, or if you'll even make it out of the hole itself.
As time goes on you'll find yourself making it to 150, 200, 300 and further depths, but the catch is that the fear part doesn't go away!
That's the thing about this game, you always need to go deeper. The secrets of the world aren't just scattered across the surface for you to find. You need to head for the depths and that's where it gets scary. The deeper you go, the further you are from the surface. The world won't be the sunny shallows where all the cute fish are anymore, no. You're now in the depths. You're either in an underwater labyrinth of tunnels, far away from a straight swim to the surface, or you're in the middle of dark open waters where anything can come for you from any direction.
In this game, no matter how much you progress, you'll always feel scared. It's f*cking terrifying, but also addictive! You're scared $hitless at the depth you are, but you can't wait to improve your equipment so that you can go even deeper than what you just dared. To meet whatever else lies in the void.
The Graphics are beautiful. You'd think the cartoonish looks would take away from the experience, but they don't. It's beautiful when wants to and terrifying when it needs to. It also has amazing and almost photo-realistic lighting in water which really captures that feeling of being in the ocean. So yeah, you know those underwater videos of people swimming in open waters where every direction they look, the water slowly fades to an opaque darkness where you have no idea if something's in the water with them? You're gonna be seeing that here and you WILL be diving in it. If you didn't already have thalassophobia, you will after this game.
The setting of the game makes for a unique gameplay, but it doesn't end there. The designers didn't just think that the setting alone would make up for a good game, no. They knew they had to put in work and they did. They also knew how to design their greatest weapon: The atmosphere.
To be honest I can't fully describe the amazing atmosphere this game creates. I can't compare it to anything else. Maybe Iron Lung but that only covers a fraction of what this game has to offer. All I can say is that it's immersive and terrifying. For people like myself who don't enjoy having a character who talks BS every minute, I'm glad to inform you that your character doesn't talk, which greatly helps immerse you in the game, although you will still hear his screams of agony when being eaten alive at 500m depth.
The Story is told through Logs found in wrecks and events happening in front of you. Some logs are Text Logs and others are Voice Logs. Voice acting is good, doesn't get cringy and doesn't try to be over dramatic when there is no reason to.
Your only "companion" is your PDA's onboard AI which does drop in to give you information from time to time, but not at all close to being an annoying voice in your head. Never. In fact, since it is just an AI, it talks like a machine rather than a human and at times the information it gives you is information you'd rather not know.
How? Let's give an example for real life: You're in a pitch black jungle and can't see $hit. Well, you can probably go to sleep and wait out the night until morning, right? But what you are then notified that you're not alone? That in fact, you are being watched right now? How would that make you feel?
Truly the game's atmosphere is it's best feature and you will only beg for more while sitting in your soiled pants.
A very fun system is the Time Capsules. When players finish the game, they can leave a Time Capsule behind with a few items inside (with limitations) for other players to find. Other players can find these capsules and use the contents. These can be very fun to find. For example, two of the crucial tools I needed, I happened to find just at the right time in a capsule. Truly a lucky find, especially since other players instead had to complete the blueprints to make it.
Alright, time to stop kissing a*s
What are the negatives? No game is perfect right?
Well if you didn't have thalassophobia, you do now! :))
Okay jokes aside, here are the issues you might face:
This is an exploration game. Most things are not marked on the UI for you to follow. You need to actually explore to find most things. Blueprints are one of these.
You don't know how to craft everything from the start. You need to search through wrecks for blueprints to learn how to craft the item. It's a good system, but because of the exploration needed, one player might find a blueprint on their first try while others spend hours searching for the same fragment.
Of course you can a Scanner Room which helps you find what you're looking for in that area, but I personally didn't bother to make it before I was 80% done with the game. I also didn't unlock two blueprints even after finishing the game. You can always check the Wiki to get what you want but this is what playing Vanilla will be like.
Story Locations:
Much like the Blueprint Fragments, you need to explore the ocean and find these locations yourself which means the same problem can occur where you might have a hard time finding the desired location. For me this went smoothly and I don't think it's as troublesome as the Blueprints.
Conclusion
Yes, I absolutely recommend this game. I'm not one who is easily impressed (you can check my other reviews and see for yourself) but this game is one of the few that I not only recommend but will regard as one of the best and unique experiences I had!
This game brings fresh new things for you to experience that you just can't find anywhere else. The amount of positive reviews given for this game are well-earned.
If you want to know how many hours of gameplay you're gonna get out of this, I can tell you how long it took me to finish it:
By building a major base and two small outposts, exploring most of the map (not every bit and cranny), using little help from Wiki here and there, and doing anything I found fun, it took me around 49 hours to finish the game. Of course you could use the Wiki, just be REALLY LUCKY and finish the game quicker, or even f*ck around more than I did and even longerr! Whatever the case, for me, it was well worth the money.

Review from Steam

I didn't really know much about Subnautica, or really ever had any interest in it.. however my 11 year old had been watching youtube videos of someone playing it.. and he begged me to get it... So I picked it up mostly for the kids, but thought I'd give it a try.
What a wonderful game.. so beautiful and detailed and vibrant, with such great exploration and survival gameplay. I played "Survival" mode so I also had to maintain food and water as well as managing my oxygen.
The game has a really neat base-building aspect to it, which I love. Especially that you have to unlock the blueprints for base components by finding and scanning fragments. There's a really interesting story too, which unfolds as you play.. however it's entirely possible to play and enjoy the game without even progressing the story.
I completed the game in just over 60 hours and earnt all steam achievements.
Overall I had an absolutely wonderful time playing subnautica and I highly recommend it.
I did try a hardcore playthrough, but died because of a game-breaking bug after about 12 hours... I do not recommend playing hardcore with such bugs still around.. but I restarted with a normal survival progress and continue to enjoy this fantastic game.

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