Subnautica has been in Early Access for almost three years, but it’s finally ready to set sail on January 23rd. Despite being in a development stage for all that time, nearly two million folks have purchased the game.
Judging by comments around the ‘Net, the virtual reality undersea survival / base building / exploration genre-bending game is a terrifying experience. Maybe it’s the confinement of being underwater. Maybe it’s the thought that one wrong move is death. Or perhaps it’s simply realizing that there are places humans are ill-equipped to deal with.
Perhaps Eurogamer’s Matt Wales put it best: “It’s bloody terrifying, one of the most harrowing, suffocating horror experiences I think I’ve ever had in a game, especially in VR. You might have an easier time if you don’t find the ocean to be an immediately horrifying proposition. Mostly, I just sat very still in my submarine, squinting through the inky, alien depths hoping I didn’t attract the attention of 60-foot sea things with tentacles and claws.”
To celebrate launch day on January 23rd, Unknown Worlds devs will be hosting a special stream event from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The event takes place at 6:15 pm Pacific / 9:15 pm Eastern via Twitch and YouTube.
You can look for the game on XBox One, PlayStation 4 and on PC via Steam.
You have crash-landed on 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.
After crash landing in your Life Pod, the clock is ticking to find water, food, and to develop the equipment you need to explore. Collect resources from the ocean around you. Craft knives, lights, diving gear, and personal water craft. Venture deeper and further form to find rarer resources, allowing you to craft more advanced items.
Build bases on the sea floor. Choose layouts and components, and manage hull-integrity as depth and pressure increase. Use your base to store resources, park vehicles, and replenish oxygen supplies as you explore the vast ocean.
What happened to this planet? Signs abound that something is not right. What caused you to crash? What is infecting the sea life? Who built the mysterious structures scattered around the ocean? Can you find a way to make it off the planet alive?
The ocean teems with life: Use the ecosystem to help you. Lure and distract a threatening creature with a fresh fish, or simply swim as fast as you can to avoid gnashing jaws of roaming predators.
As the sun goes down, the predators come out. The ocean is unforgiving of those caught unprepared in the darkness. Areas that are safe to explore during the day become treacherous at night, but also reveal a beauty that those who hide from the darkness will never see.
Cave systems wind below the sea bed, from dark claustrophobic passages to caverns lit by bio-luminescent life and burning-hot lava flows. Explore the world below the ocean floor, but watch your oxygen levels, and take care to avoid the threats lurking in the darkness.