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Review: Subnautica

"STOP EXPLODING AT ME, YOU STUPID FISH!"

The last time I remeber feeling such awe at the start of a game was when I first launched Minecraft all those years ago. It all feels so vast, so broad, so full of things to see and do. And once the night falls for the first time, just like back then, I found myself huddled in my little hideout, afraid of what lurked in the darkness.

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Truth be told, though, Subnautica is small compared to Minecraft. No randomly generated world here, no endless expanses that you can spend weeks and weeks traveling through without ever seeing it repeat, but what Subnautica lacks in replayability, it fully makes up for in exemplary map design, worldbuilding and exploration -focused gameplay.

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And what a beauty this world is to explore! Vivid blue ocean and brigh sky is what greets you when the game begins, along with the massive wreck of the spaceship Aurora. But as you explore further, you begin to see the diversity this world has to offer. I dare not describe too much of it, for I feel like those new and unique sights are what this game truly is about, and to describe them here would constitute a spoiler review. Oh, and as the night falls, do peek outside, and you'll see a whole new wolrd of light and colour come to life before your eyes.

The game sports all the underwated blubs, splashes, splishes, skitters and roars of ancient sea-monsters you can hope for, and it all creates a believable fantasy in which to immerse yourself. The experience is also greatly enhanced by the top-notch music by Simon Chylinksi, with the game serviung up haunting ambience, adventurous melodies and electronic beats that get the heart pumping and adrenaline running during the more tense moments in the game.

While my scores for Subnautica represent how much I enjoyed each of its aspects, it cannot be called the perfect game. Despite an extended stay in early access, the game is host to several bugs and glitches, though none of these truly hindered my experience with the game, serving only to break immersion here and there, or to momentarily annoy. The premise of the story also felt a bit too much like it was borrowing heavily from certain other games, causing me to cringe and complain, but Subnautica does enough to distinguish itself through its run that my worries of trope-hugging and idea stealing proved unwarranted.

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I heartily recommend Subnautica for its full retail price, and hope to see the devs work on more content and new experiences in the future!

Playtime: 48+ hours (Single playthrough and additional gameplay)

Visual

10

Audio

10

Story

9

Gameplay

10

Overall

> 10 <

Normal retail price at time of writing: 22,99 €

Recommended for purchase at normal retail price: Yes, absolutely

Recommended for purchase at reduced price: Do not hesitate