Subnautica: Below Zero
Top Critic Average
“Subnautica: Below Zero’s” conventional sci-fi story line, which revolves around a greedy corporation looking to get ahead in the weapons business, never raised my interest. But the painstaking effort it takes to get Robin from one minor narrative point of interest to another made me appreciate its small, very human scale of success.
Subnautica: Below Zero offers an amazing world with a mass of interesting places and elements to discover. This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting representatives of the genre, but if you have not loved the first part, then here you will find it difficult to find yourself.
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Below Zero is a mostly brilliant sequel to the best survival game of all time.
Subnautica: Below Zero is a leaner, meaner standalone expansion to Subnautica that improves on the story and mechanics, but doesn't give us as much room to explore.
A mellow paced and captivating game of underwater exploration, crafting, and discovery, that feels more like a Subnautica expansion than a discrete sequel.
It's technically a survival game, but it feels more like a grand adventure that is free of many of the genre's frustrations
Even if there are a lot of shared elements between the two games and the ground-based traversal isn't everything it's cracked up to be, Below Zero's greater focus on character-driven storytelling lands well and this standalone adventure captures the unrivaled magic of underwater exploration all over again.
Subnautica: Below Zero is a masterfully horrific experience that encourages you to push on despite your fears. It's a fine balancing act of the horrors you'll face underwater and the rewards you can get for evading them. It's really very hard, but it's also really very good.
Subnautica: Below Zero doesn't reach the same heights as the first game, but it's proof Unknown World's 2018 survival game wasn't a fluke. The act of exploring a mysterious underwater world whilst trying to survive is nearly as captivating in Below Zero as it was then. I'm still not a fan of the survival genre, yet I loved every moment I spent with Subnautica: Below Zero. I may know most of the tricks by now, but that didn't make the experience any less magical.
Technical issues and autosave woes aside, I've really enjoyed my time with Subnautica: Below Zero. While the story beats are pretty hit and miss, and there are quite a few bugs and technical issues to contend with, the core gameplay of building and exploring is addictive, and in many instances provides that child-like sense of wonder that many games aim for but struggle to achieve.