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"Subnautica": Game Review

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Learn all about this open-world survival game.

Learn all about this open-world survival game.

What Is Subnautica?

Subnautica is an open-world adventure survival game. You take control of a character whose ship was shot down and crashed on an unknown planet covered in water. Despite seeing nothing but water, there are two islands on the planet for you to explore and gather materials from. The player must gather materials, make a base, and construct tools and submersibles, all while staying fed and hydrated.

The main objective as of now is to explore the environment, collect materials, and survive against the creatures that inhabit the planet. There is also a story explaining what shot down the ship, as well as what happened to the natives of the planet.

When Subnautica was first released, there wasn't much to it besides some building materials and a few creatures. Now, there are more biomes to explore, as well as more creatures to discover. But be warned, some of the creatures are not friendly and will go after you.



Precursors and Carar

The Precursors are the native intelligent species that you slowly discover information about during your exploration. They built four bases around the planet over one thousand years ago, three of which are found underwater.

  • Ground to Air Weapon System: The large gun, found on one of the islands, that shot down the Aurora.
  • Secondary Bio-Research Facility: This was a testing facility for creatures infected with Carar. However, the base was destroyed when one of the creatures escaped, an event that unleashed the Carar onto the planet.
  • Thermal Power Generator: This base specifically powers the other bases as well as the Warpers, a bio-mechanical life-form developed to stop the spread of Carar.
  • Primary Research Facility: This facility is located in the planet's deepest biome, which currently houses the largest creature in the game, the Sea Emperor.

Carar is a lethal bacteria. Anything infected with the bacteria, including the player, shows green, glowing spots on the skin.




On the lovely planet, you will come across many different species of creatures. Most can't hurt you; some you can't even interact with. However, there are some that will go after you. Some of the creatures that can be found also act as a food source, mainly the smaller fish.

  • Peeper: These little fish can be found all over the planet and act as a good food source for the player. They are easy to find, as they just have a huge eyeball on the side, but they are very fast.
  • Airsac: A weird, fan-shaped fish that can be used to make water as well as food.
  • Reefback: These are gentle giants. All they do is just float around in the water and make a sound similar to that of a whale. They are completely harmless.
  • Stalker: These are vicious creatures; they will attack the player if they get too close. They can be tamed by giving them a fish. They will actually bring scrap metal to you and drop teeth, which are used to make reinforced glass.
  • Reaper Leviathan: One of the more dangerous creatures, these guys are usually found around the Aurora.
  • Sand Shark: These guys tend to appear out of the sand if you get close, and they attack the player.
  • Warper: These biomechanical life forms are meant to kill any living thing infected with Carar, as a means of destroying the infection. They also hunt the player after discovering they are also infected.
  • Sea Dragon Leviathan: This is a very large, very dangerous creature found in the Inactive Lava Zone. There are two, and they both spit fireballs, usually a one-shot kill.
  • Sea Emperor: This is the largest creature in the game. There is only one left, being held in the primary research facility, due to Carar killing off its main food source. It is the only creature immune to Carar. Note: The Emperor has not been added to the game yet.


The Biomes

So, let's talk about the many biomes. There is a wide array of biomes around the planet, each with its own materials and creatures. As you explore, you discover each biome's secrets. The Lost River might as well be the entrance to the Inactive Lava Zone. It is filled with all sorts of odd-looking creatures, very few of which attack the player.

Currently, the Inactive Lava Zone is the deepest point in the game. There is a base to be found in the lava zone biome; just beware of the sea dragon leviathan.



Submersibles, Game Modes, and Full Release

There are a few vehicles you can find parts for and create.

  • Sea Moth: A small, miniature submarine that's a lot faster than the much larger submarine. It can be used to get through smaller areas and get from one base to another faster.
  • Cyclops: The giant submarine can hold lockers filled with materials and also has a special docking area for the sea moth or prawn suit.
  • PRAWN Suit: This suit is mainly used to walk along the sea floor. It does have jump jets but does not float.

There are four game modes in the game.

  • Survival Mode: The main mode, keep an eye on your health, food, and water
  • Freedom Mode: Hunger and thirst are disabled to allow more exploration.
  • Hardcore Mode: This is the same as Survival; however, if the player dies, they are no longer able to re-spawn.
  • Creative Mode: Hunger, thirst, health, and oxygen features are disabled. All crafting blueprints are acquired, no resources are needed, and submersibles do not need energy and can be damaged.