Subnautica is a survival/exploration game made by Unknown Worlds. You play as the sole survivor of The Aurora, a ship that has crash-landed on the oceanic alien planet of 4546B. After opening your life-pod, your only goal is to survive.
Subnautica is one of the diamonds in the rough when it comes to Early Access, and is also the shining example of what Early Access titles should be. The developers actively listen to the community, and gradually added more and more to the game as time went on. And because of that, it has led to this. One of the coolest, most fun surival games out there.
The basic mechanics of Subnautica are similar to other survival titles, you manage your hunger, thirst, health, but also oxygen. As the game goes on you can scan and unlock blueprints that make the survival aspect less of a hassle. Of course, you can also play the game in exploration mode, which disables most of the survival parts and lets you go nuts.
The base-building is an utter joy, and also crucial to gameplay. The moonpool, for example, lets you upgrade your ships. You can also decorate the interior with a score of fun little things.
There's also the ships. Throughout the game you will find yourself creating a variety of unique vehicles that will assist you in further exploration. The Seamoth is a small, somewhat fragile mini-sub, and most likely the first major vehicle you'll be making. Next is the Cyclops, a behemoth of a submarine that can act as your mobile base. Then there's the PRAWN suit, which is basically the Power-Loader from Aliens.
Subnautica is a big, wide ocean, and there's always something new to find. As the game goes along, you'll begin receiving radio broadcasts from other life pods, which gently guide you to the other biomes that permeate the game, and the many creatures and secrets that await.
And there's still more to find. Unknown Worlds has hinted that they plan on adding even more content in the future.
I would say more, but this game is better experienced than explained. Just know that I heartily reccomend this game, and hav the utmost praise and respect for Unknown Worlds.
I will, however, tell you this: Don't think everything about 4546B is nice and friendly. There's a reason The Aurora crashed. To quote one of the voice logs you can find in the game...
The WarZ (Infestation: Survival Stories) 2.0 ladies and gentlemen....
I've given up. I'm done. You had one job, Dean. One God damn job. And you blew it.
I bought this the day it came out, played it almost every day for a couple of weeks. Then I stopped, and after coming back a couple months later, found a completely different game.
Then, in Summer of 2014 I re-install the game to play, and it is broken beyond belief. Zombies wouldn't register that I had just bludgeoned them to death with a fireaxe until the fourth or fifth time I hit them. Everything is broken, with lag and all sorts of other nonsense ruining the fun that could even remotely be had. It seems to me that the latest version is even more busted than version 0.1!
Want my advice? Buy Arma 2 or 3 and get the mod for that, it is twenty times better than this almost two-year old alpha.
God damn it, Dean...
Posted November 14, 2014. Last edited November 15, 2014.
Do you want an excellent horror experience filled with blood and fear? Than Outlast is for you.
Miles Upshur, an investigative reporter, receives a tip from an employee of the Murkoff Corporation. The tip says that the Corporation is conducting potentially illegal operations at the Mount Massive Insane Asylum. Armed only with his video camera with nightvision, Miles investigates. What he finds is worse than he could have imagined. Now, trapped inside the Asylum, stalked around every corner by its' inhabitants, you must guide Miles to freedom and help him reveal the truth to the outside world.
While the setting may be off-putting to some (Ohh, an insane asylum. How original.), Outlast's atmosphere and intensity will make anyone who plays immediately forget about that. The game has a good length, totaling at least four to eight hours in length.
Instead of a standard flashlight, you are equipped with a camcorder with night vision. The night vision runs on batteries, which can be few and far between in the beginning, but grow slightly more common as the game progresses. But one must use them sparingly, as they have the lifespan of an exploding firework. The camera also allows you to collect notes if you focus on a certain event or object of interest for long enough. These notes add a bit more of character to Miles, detailing what he thinks about the event or object. You can also collect files that are scattered throughout the game, offering a look into how this madness all began. These notes and files give you a clearer view on the game's story. The camera changes along the way, sustaining a crack in the lens and occasionaly distorting with static late in the game.
But enough about the camera, let's discuss our main character, Miles Upshur. Miles is a regular, everyday person. So he doesn't know how to fight; your only options being run, hide, or die. The character model is fantastic, allowing you to see your body and arms. Your hands wil grab onto doorknobs as you open them, press against the wall if you're leaning against one. I will say there is a moment mid-way thorugh the game that temporarily effects you character, but I wont go further than that.
You can use the "Q" and "E" by default to look around corners, or look behind you when you are running away from that knife-weilding psychopath. Speaking of psychopaths, let's briefly touch upon the game's antagonists. There's a big, ugly, guy who acts as the "Main Villain" for the first part of the game. He will be following you throughout the game, and will not discuss this further. The patients are diverse, although facial models do end up getting re-used quite a bit, but that doesn't detract from the experience that much. Since these are mental patients, they can be unpredictable. Some simply sit in a corner, crying. Others are actively hostile, a few try to help you escape, and smome are friendly one moment and hostile the next. This adds a layer of suspense to each encounter.
Some of the encounters do get a little repetitive, using similar variations of "Collect 'X' amount of items for 'Y' object to activate 'Z' objective.". And it does become predictable as time goes on, that the moment you press a button, chances are something will start stalking you. But they do throw some different scenarios in there every so often, like being trapped in an extremely dark courtyard with a bad guy audibly moving near you. The A.I. is pretty good, actively looking in places you could be hiding in. Stealth is key at times with certain enemies, while other encounters have you sprinting for your life, slamming doors and pushing barricades in front of them as whatever's chasing you gets closer. The graphics are great, bearing an extremely gritty, realistic resolution to it. The motion blur can be disoreinting to some, so feel free to disable it if you want, it doesn't detract from the immersion in my opinion. The screen has an apparent "Film grain" quality to it, becoming more noticeable when you use your camera. There is little to no HUD of any kind, besides the camcorder overlay, offering a very immersive experience.
This game is horror at its' finest. And while Outlast isn't the perfect horror game, it is still a fantastic journey. My only complaint is that they could have offered a little more variety with the encounters and objectives. Instead of, perhaps, having an enemy appear when you activate something, have nothing happen. THis would cause the player a massive amount of anxiety, waiting for something to happen. And when nothin does, and they start to calm down, hit them with a jump scare!
Overall, I would give this game a 9 out of 10. A fantastic experience overall, that any horror fan worth their salt should give a try. I will not spoil the ending, but I will say that it leaves a lot to be desired. Besides that, this was one of the best horror experiences I have ever had in a video game. And I would highly reccommend you play by yourself, at night, with headphones on, for the ultimate experience.
This is an extremely well done game! This kind of stuff is something you would usuallly pay ten or fifteen dollars for, but it's free! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good adventure, with plenty of story, atmosphere, and action mixed in with it!