Skip to main content

The Terrors of the Deep - A "Subnautica" Game Review

Beatrice is a horror movie enthusiast who has absorbed countless movies throughout the horror subgenres.

Introducing... Subnautica!

Introducing... Subnautica!

So, What Is Subnautica?

Subnautica is an open world exploration and survival game taking place below the waves of an alien planet. It's developed and published by Unknown Worlds Entertainment and was released on Steam on the 23 of January (after being in Early Access for quite a while).

For more technical information about the game, I highly recommend checking out the store page.

This article is spoiler free! (Unless you count the Crabsquid below as a spoiler.) Spoiling the story would just be mean.

Graphic settings that I will never achieve, sadly... Also, that's mildly discomforting to run into!

Graphic settings that I will never achieve, sadly... Also, that's mildly discomforting to run into!

What Makes Subnautica So Terrifying?

Take a look at the picture above. If that's not reason enough for you to think that this is terrifying, please do keep on reading.

So, what exactly makes Subnautica such a scary game to play? First of all, you're stranded on an alien planet with dangers lurking everywhere. Not only is it an alien planet, it's 99% water, resulting in loads of underwater adventures.

Second, the depths quickly turn against you as you realize that you're not alone on this planet. It's filled with loads of different lifeforms from cute little Boomerangs and Garyfish (whether those are actually cute or not is a different topic) to the Leviathan class creatures swimming around.

Leviathan translates to: "Get the hell outta here as soon as possible!", or at least it does so in my head. Seems like a logical response to me when you see these things.

This might only apply to some of Subnautica's fanbase, myself included, but swimming around underwater is terrifying in itself, even without the giant things that are trying to eat you. Seriously, I would call this an unofficial horror game, it's horrifying...

Not only do I have to deal with the Reaper Leviathan in-game, I also had to look up this picture...

Not only do I have to deal with the Reaper Leviathan in-game, I also had to look up this picture...

The Reaper Leviathan?

You know, I feel like this 'beautiful' creature deserves a section of its own.

The Reaper Leviathan, more commonly known as just the Reaper, is the reason why you don't explore, though you will force yourself to do it anyway.

Alright, imagine this; you just built a small submarine (known as the Seamoth) when you spot this giant red tail in the distance. You freeze. What do you do? Do you turn around and never come back? Before you can even make a decision, the Reaper is right behind you and grabs your Seamoth with its face-tentacles and screams in your face, just to make sure that you understand who you're dealing with. It then lets you go and you spend the rest of the night regretting ever leaving your Lifepod.

If you've played the game, this must sound familiar. If you haven't yet, oh boy, you're in for a treat.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Levelskip

It might look small in the picture above, but trust me, it's not. In fact, it's as large as the largest submarine you can build in the game, which means you're never safe from its hunger.

The Reaper Leviathan, the best 'friend' you never asked for!

— Clive Hicks

What Makes Subnautica So Fascinating?

Okay, enough about the Reapers and the million other things that can kill you or in any way scar you for life. Why is Subnautica such a fascinating and beautiful game while being terrifying?

To be honest, some of the reasons why it's super scary is also the reason why it's beautiful. The underwater environment, the colors, the fish, it's all just gorgeous. Of course, I wouldn't know how beautiful it really is, since I have the worst setup ever, but even on my graphics level, it's absolutely wonderful.

Experiencing the sunlight (technically it's not sunlight but you get the idea) directly below the surface is simply the best. Even exploring the caves deep, deep below the surface is beautiful and fascinating in its own way.

If you're one of those people with only the best equipment for gaming, you're gonna have a wonderful time experiencing Subnautica's beauty (Unlike the rest of us).

The view is simply breathtaking

The view is simply breathtaking

The Reason It's So Amazing

Subnautica combines the terror and the beauty perfectly. One moment you're swimming away from the monsters of the deep and the next you're staring at the horizon, unable to focus on anything but the amazing graphics.

On top of this perfect combination, it's simply just a fun game to play. You get to build your very own home, explore wrecks, "battle" the sea-creatures (by battle, I mean flee in absolute terror as they try to eat you), and much, much more.

Subnautica always offers something new and exciting to do, even when you think you're pretty much done with it. There's always more blueprints to find and your seabase could always use an upgrade, same with your Seamoth and Cyclops. Personally, Subnautica is one of my favorite games because it's just so well crafted. Everything fits together if you know what I mean, it's just great.

The small adrenaline rush you get when being chased is good for the bloodstream as well, so the game even keeps you healthy (as healthy as a game would ever be able to keep anyone).

Spooky vs Beautiful


A supposed underwater 'adventure'

The same underwater adventure

The atmosphere

The fish and plantlife

It's an alien environment

The colors

The soundtrack

That same soundtrack

Reapers! Reapers everywhere

The view (when the 'sun' is setting)

Should I Get Subnautica?

If you're into survival games with a tiny bit of horror, you should definitely get it. If you enjoy creating your own home and exploring alien locations, you should get it. Even if you have an irrational fear of the ocean (like myself) and don't like this genre of game at all, you should get it. I'm almost certain that no matter what you're usually into, you would enjoy this game!

Alright, maybe not if you just want to shoot stuff, since there'll be minimum killing and no shooting at all.

But seriously, Subnautica is an amazing game and is definitely worth checking out. It's not that expensive, so even if you don't enjoy it, it wouldn't hurt your wallet that much and at least you would have supported some very talented developers. You don't have to take my word for it, of course, go research some more! Read other people's reviews and such, check out the store page on Steam or ask a friend who owns the game to let you try it.

Last Words

I didn't want to say this, but I feel like it would be mean not to prepare you for this... There are numerous creatures even larger than the Reaper and they're just as hungry. Good luck, my friend!

Anyway, Subnautica is a beautiful yet terrifying game that I, personally, would recommend to almost anyone who enjoys playing games. It is without a doubt one of my favorite games of all times and has brought me numerous hours of entertainment (currently 80 hours).

Thank you for reading my over-the-top review to the end and I hope that you'll stick around for more content.

My rating of Subnautica

© 2018 Beatrice Sloan

Related Articles