Subnautica: Below Zero Reviews
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.
Subnautica: Below Zero is a solid addition to the survival game genre, delivering a standalone experience that manages to be both cozy and challenging.
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.
In developing Subnautica: Below Zero, Unknown Worlds heeded the lessons learned from Subnautica and the feedback received from players about both games over the years. Below Zero has taken no steps backward and instead offers an even more polished experience than its predecessor. As for gameplay and story, it’s not necessarily a better game, but it is certainly just as good.
Survive under the waves on a frozen planet in this freeform adventure where following the instinct to explore is the real goal
Subnautica: Below Zero is a great follow-up to one of the best in the genre. It dishes out the survival aspects in more digestible chunks than some of the more extreme cases. This makes it much more approachable for players like me who are intimidated by the restrictions of the genre. Do not let the nature of the game scare you away. This is a beautiful experience that I recommend if for nothing else, but to experience the ridiculously beautiful world Unknown Worlds has created.
The various gameplay loops have been tweaked, modified, and expanded from the original, but fans of the first game will find a lot of this very familiar. On the other hand, if you’ve been starving for more Subnautica, Below Zero is an absolute feast. You’re constantly scanning, salvaging, crafting, cooking, and expanding your little empire. Depending on your tolerance for stress, this can either be a serene little salt-crusted sandbox, or a nail-biting marathon. Either way, Subnautica: Below Zero is one ocean expedition you won’t want to miss.
Mix the feeling of weakness of the movie Open Water with a compelling story, a world to explore in metroidvania style kind of like in Don't Starve, add the maniacal detail of In Other Waters, shake and there we have Subnautica: Below Zero, an intriguing sci-fi survival with just a bit of horror. While at first it might seem a little limited in scope, with a bit of patience you will soon realize how great of a game it is.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Subnautica: Below Zero presents an exciting adventure as you explore the unknown. Whether you're trekking through the snow or diving down unfathomable depths, there's a feeling of dread as you try to survive, and a sense of wonderment as you discover something new.
If you liked Subnautica, Subnautica: Below Zero still has the base of what made the original great - the charm, the wonder, the building and even some of the exploration - but this has been tempered somewhat. The story-focused approach here is interesting, even compelling at parts, but the game doesn't do enough to keep you on track or from getting lost in the many enclosed caves, caverns and tunnels running throughout. Also, like the original, this does have its fair share of bugs and issues. Still, no matter the issues, it is still a genuinely good game. While it may not be as good as the original, it's still up there as one of the better survival games around.
Not everyone will warm up to Subnautica: Below Zero, but it's an unquestionably rewarding release once you begin to get a foothold into the frigid foray. The game's constantly tantalising you with new, exciting equipment, and its otherworldly ocean is an immersive environment in which to spend your time. A lack of landmarks mean that it can be a little too easy to get lost, and the story is light and largely uninteresting – but if the act of building an underwater base appeals to you, then this PS5 sequel unquestionably has strong foundations.
Subnautica: Below Zero further refines the survival sim, setting a new highpoint for the genre with sky-high production values and amazing world building. Every excursion is risky and rewarding, as the game continues to tease, push, and pull the player ever deeper into its labyrinth. An extraordinary visual delight, Below Zero has the chops to match its graphics with superb gameplay. Subnautica: Below Zero is a masterclass in game design.
Subnautica: Below Zero is a sublimely addictive timesink and an exemplary survival adventure game that transcends the genre. The improvements to the formula of the original game are minimal but impactful. Fans of the franchise will certainly have plenty to get into, and the appeal is broad enough to welcome many more newcomers to the experience. Whilst there is little ground broken in terms of visuals, Subnautica: Below Zero more than compensates with an all-round stellar experience that rivals that of bigger budget productions.
“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.