Subnautica was a survival game for people who thought they were sick of survival games.
Not only did it stand out in the genre with its one-of-a-kind alien water world, it also nailed a sense of genuine chart-your-own-course exploration. I felt like I had to work for every discovery, whether it was some bizarre biome or a new tool that would help me dive deeper, but it never felt like work. The game even had a pretty compelling sci-fi mystery to unravel, complete with an actual ending to reach.
In my 2018 review of the original Subnautica, I suggested that it might be the “best underwater game ever made.” I stand by that today. Free-diving, recklessly piloting a submarine, stomping around the seafloor in a Prawn Suit — it felt fantastic to get to know Planet 4546B back then, and it still does now.
Three years later, after another Steam Early Access push, Unknown Worlds has put the finishing touches on Subnautica: Below Zero. Version 1.0 is done, and I’m glad I had enough restraint to hold off.
Source: Destructoid Review: Subnautica: Below Zero