No one said survival would be easy, but since it's still a game, it should ultimately be more fun than it is.
A top-down survival horror that feels as fresh as it does familiar. Every failure is lined with a lesson made of silver, and the sense of impending doom is kept tantalisingly close to hand at all times. Subterrain is a fine example of using tired genre tropes effectively.
Subterrain deserves praise for the intricacy of its various systems but they could have been implemented in a much more user-friendly way.
Subterrain offers players an overall intense and challenging experience that's open-ended enough to allow players plenty of varying playthroughs. Although the overly simplistic combat and clunky U.I can hamper some enjoyment, the game's in-depth crafting and loot system, greatly effective atmosphere, and its plentiful amount of weapons helps make Subterrain a worthy visit to any player who wishes to get a top-down view of what other sci-fi protagonists like Isaac Clarke and Doom Guy see up close and personal.
The immersion in, and attachment to, Subterrain comes from the fear it causes – not so much from the threat of what’s coming but what’s not. I wasn’t half as worried about mutant attacks as I was about not finding oxygen, heat, food or water. And I think that’s where a lot of Subterrain’s charm comes from. It really takes survival horror back to its roots. Under all the monsters, jump scares and violence, these games are about people. With all its bad graphics and scarce monsters, this indie gem makes a good point: it’s not so much about killing, just surviving.
Subterrain is an ambitious title that just missed the mark for me, but missed it in a big way.