Subnautica

Subnautica

Too many survival games merely drop players into cliched settings with no objective but to mess around and grind resources for hours. Subnautica rises not only above that stereotype but above all other expectations. Its sci-fi trappings are often brilliantly executed as justification for the genre’s more unusual mechanics and as relief from its more tedious ones. The hand-crafted alien ocean setting is as far removed from cliché as possible, and it’s brought to life with stunning visuals and haunting audio. That last adjective was chosen very deliberately, by the way; this is by far the most terrifying not-officially-horror game I’ve ever played. Lastly, the gameplay is threaded through an unexpectedly sophisticated and engaging plot that calmed my Metroid Prime withdrawal like not much else can do. It’s often shaky on the technical side of things, and the genre still has some inherent repetition that even an exemplary title can’t extinguish, but on the whole, this is a continuously fascinating experience.

8/10
8/10

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