Only one more week before there's real book news, so definitely don't look for any book news in this post. Just my impressions about a new video game.
Yesterday, the standalone sequel to Subnautica, entitled Subnautica: Below Zero, entered Early Access on PC.
Subnautica is a survival game about crash-landing on an ocean planet and surviving in an alien ocean while unraveling the mystery of what caused your ship to crash and figuring out how to get off the planet. It's one of my favorite games of all time because of how immersive it is; the environment design is insane, and it really conveys the feeling of being alone in an alien ocean.
It's scared me more than any horror game ever has, and it's not technically horror. You just don't know what could be beneath you in the ocean as you're swimming along. Hearing strange noises.
I initially found Subnautica shortly after it was released in Early Access, and I fell in love with it when it was unbelievably buggy and had no content. Every patch, I played through it again, because I was hunting for those little moments when I was lost in a dark ocean shivering because I was sure there was something behind me and I didn't want to turn around to see what it was.
Below Zero is already far more complete than the original game was in its first release, which is to be expected for a sequel made using the original engine and assets. The first game is a survival game with a story, while this strikes me more as a story game with survival.
You play as a researcher in the arctic of the same ocean planet, and this time you're exploring the depths of a freezing ocean while investigating the history of some alien artifacts. Your character actually has lines and personality this time, and she interacts with her sister, who monitors her progress from an orbital station.
There are only about three hours of story content in the game so far, but I've already played it for about five, just building and seeing what new arctic creatures I can find.
If underwater alien survival sounds appealing to you, I highly recommend giving Subnautica a try if you haven't already. And if you have, Below Zero is shaping up to be a worthy sequel.
Screenshot below, just to prove that I'm telling the truth. Nothing to see there except a really cool video game.
(2nd in length)
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