Author Topic: Subnautica - Underwater Survival  (Read 872 times)

Online TheVampire100

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Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« on: December 15, 2016, 11:38:20 PM »
Subnautica is probably one of the freshest takes on the survival genre I've ever seen. It takes the typical gameplay characteristics of 3D survival games like DayZ, No Man's Sky, Rust, Stranded Deep,  but it does something, that other survival games didn't before: there is (almost) no land int he game. All you have is water.
I talked already n another topic about this but I think the game deserves its own topic.
The story is, you are a passenger of a spaceship, the spaceship crashes and you are seemingly the only survivor on a water planet. Luckily you got out of the ship in a lifepod that acts as your base of operations. The thing is nothing more than a floating mini-dome on the water surface and it's damaged badly but you can use its gadgets to store items and craft items, it also produces in regular cycles medikits for healing purposes.

In Subnautica you dive. A lot. The whole exploration aspect is centered around diving deeper. While there are landmarks on the game, these are rare and serve special purpose. Typical for survival games nowadays, you need food, you need resources. You can pry open rocks that contain metal deposits liek titanium and copper, you can also salvage wreckage parts of the crashed ship and turn these into titanium (which is your base metal int his game, who needs iron anyway?).
To get food you can either cut kelp (which does a terrible job as food source) or you can try to catch soem fish. Small fish can be caught by hand if you are close enough and they don't swim away. Fish an be cooked at your crafting station (fabricator) or it can be cured for storage. Otherwise food will spoil over time.
Since this game plays mostly udnerwater, you need oxygen otherwise you drown. You can craft an oxygen tank to dive longer and later on you can get a seaglide that allows you to dive faster, therefor deeper.
To progress in the game you have to find destroyed fragments of the ship equipment, that is scattered in the entire world. You can scan these fragments and get new blueprints to build this stuff on your own. This allows you to craft new equipment, furniture and even vehicles. There are submarines int he game that allows you to travel through the ocean without the need of oxygen (but therefor power).

The game allows you to build underwater bases consisting of tubes and rooms that you can put together like puzzle pieces. You can outfit the interior with whatever you want, that is if you have the required blueprints and resources of course. Bases need, just like vehicles, power to run, you can craft generators and sola cells and put them on your base. Bases also recharge your vehicles.
On the world are several hidden and abandoned bases. These contain blueprints and lore elements fo the game. What happened to the people that were before you on this planet?

Because the game is still in Early Access, there is no end to the game at the moment. However, during its full release there will be a victory condition to the game, you can beat the game and unlock something new.

The game features a great ecology, the different creatures react to each other in different ways. Fish eat specific plants, these smaller fishes are then eaten by larger predators and so on.
On of the most amazign creatures int he game are the giant reefbacks. These massive creatures are so big, they feature a tiny biome on their back!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/264710/
I can strongly suggest this game to lovers of the survival genre. However, this game has some frustrating parts to it.

Since there is no hand crafting, you have to return always to your base (either lifepod or underwater base) to craft stuff you need. This backtracking gets tiring after some time. There are of course ways to make it easier, you can have a seaglide that allows you to travel faster, you can set beacons to mark importan spots to visit and so on.
The food and water needs are somewhat tiresome to fill. Especially if you lack the tools at the start. Catching fish isn't easy and your starting rations won't last long. This gets easier once you can build your own aquarium and a walter filter at your base but until then you have to do a lot of work.
Finding the fragments is probably the most annnoying aspect of the game because they are so damn hidden. It is hard to spot them on the ground below you, they don't give any visual hints (for example they could reflect light or something like that but they don't), so you have a hard time getting blue prints.
Finding specific resources needs a little luck. Metal deposists contain one of two random metals, limestone deposits consist either of copper or titantium, you need soem luck to get the right one. It's even worse with silver and gold, you need a lot of silver at the start but it's really hard to find. Liek many aspects, this gets easier once you have specfic mining tools that allows you to dig them out from ore deposits. Until then you simply need luck.
Combat is terrible until you have gun. Since you are underwater and your first weapon is a tiny knife, you have to be very close to enemies to hit them. And you ahve to stab them multiple times until they die. Since fragments are most of the time near biomes where enemies spawn, you will have  ahard time to avoid them.  Once I spot enemies I rather flee or hide instead of looking for a fight. the whiole combat thing feels to akward and most of the time I won't hit anything. You can however appease enmeies if you feed them with fish. So, that's another way.


Offline Draco18s

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Re: Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 03:33:32 PM »
I'll be honest, I've been a bit head-scratchy on this one.
Definitely does some unique things, definitely looks pretty, but I've been a bit off-put by the magic 3D printer.

Online TheVampire100

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Re: Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 04:06:14 PM »
What exactly does put you off about it?

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 05:39:34 PM »
Not sure.

Online TheVampire100

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Re: Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 07:49:15 PM »
What i can say is, that the game has terrible backtracking. That's my biggest issue so far with the game.
To be more clear, the first thing of backtracking is always returning to the surface or to an oxygen source, so you don't drown. This gets really tiring after the first 5 minutes. Once you have a submarine you don't need to do this anymore, but I just found today the mobile vehicle bay that you need to craft vehicles.

Crafting and the fabricator are the second thing. Since you have only one centralized crafting bench you have to return to it all the time. While you can make more of them, this is not as easy as in Terraria or Minecraft where all you need is  alittle bit of wood. In Subnautica you need rare microchips that are made of silver, a very rare ore in this game. Seriously, it's more rare than gold.
 Since you cannot build as many as you like, you have to think twice where to build it. Otherwise it makes backtrackign a pain because you have all the time return to a very bad spot. because you want to craft something.
Inventory is the next hing btu this is with any survival game: You ill eventually run out of space for your items. Building storages is easy but the problem is the same as the fabricator, you want a central spot that is easy to reach from any gathering spot, so you don't waste 30 minutes to return to your base.
Another thing is that you might not be able to collect everytjing you need at first visitings. There are mining spots gathered int he world that are more efficient to get ores instead of breaking limestone outcrops. However, you need a mining tool which is of course part of the submarine that you get later at the game. Finding these precious mining spots again can be hard.
Finding and remembering good resource spots is hard in this game.

Most of this will be easier int he later part of the game if you get more and more tools. Submarines for faster travels, beacons for marking important spots and so on.
One evry important thing that helps in the end game:
Spoiler for Hidden:
The cyclops. It's a giantic submarine that acts as mobile base. You can fit it out with stuff just like a normal base, including fabricators. It also can hold a seamoth,w hcih is the tiny submarine that you find first. the cyclops acts as mobile headquarter, it eases up almost any of the backtracking issues with the game since you can simply move the Cyclops to the places you want to explore.

Online TheVampire100

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Re: Subnautica - Underwater Survival
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 11:46:13 AM »
I wanted to drive my little submarine around and I was near the area where the Aurora (the space ship) crashed when suddenly something attacked me. Something large.

Here is a screenshot (in spoilers if people want to make that terrifying experience themselves):
Spoiler for Hidden:

The thing destroyed my submarine in two bites, I could eject first but then died too because the thing didn't want me too flee. Frustrated I reloaded a save game, since I didn't found anything significant. Didn't want to loose my submarine after all. What I'm currently searching now is the Moon Bay which are the docks for your vehicles. You can park, recharge and upgrade your vehicles there and only there. You can still exchange the energy source of your vehicles (however not recharge the depleted power cells) but upgrading vehicles with rmor, torpedos and other stuff requires a Moon Bay. I don't even know where to find it but that's part of the game, just explore wrecks until you find it.