Subnautica: Below Zero is the spin-off game from the original Subnautica with a twist on a lot of things. Yes, the mechanics are generally the same as the building and swimming, but the world is entirely different. There is a whole new story and a lot of people who have and those who have not played the original, wonder if the game is even worth getting.
I am just going to say right now that it is definitely worth playing. If you want to know why, then here are all the reasons that the game is definitely worth checking out.
This article has been updated for Subnautica: Below Zero’s 1.0 release. Check out this post to learn more about Below Zero
Its similarity to the first game
Subnautica was one of those games that took my breath away the first time I played it. I also played it very early on when there was not that much content in it. I probably beat it around 8 or 9 times before the game officially came out of early access. I just love how Below Zero captures the same aesthetic that the first game has. Yes, the game is in early access right now, but that is what makes a game so good.
You can see the progress as the game was developed and you can feel like you are a part of it, especially if you send in reports for bugs. The game is officially out and the price has been increased to $30 USD. If you are going to play it, make sure you don’t look at any spoilers so you can explore the game with a clean slate.
All the new biomes
There are a ton of new biomes to discover and explore and with that comes new creatures and collectibles. If you are interested in reading about all the different biomes in the game, go check out our other article here. When you get into the game, it can seem a little overwhelming at times with the number of places you can go. Even just using the Seaglide can be hard because the world is so massive. You can even get vehicles to easily make your way through the treacherous deep areas.
If you want to play Below Zero before playing the original, I would highly recommend you play the first game before just because you will not regret it. They are about the same price and it is recommended that you play the first game first even though they technically have entirely different stories from one another.
The above water areas
A new addition that Below Zero added to the world of Subnautica is a lot of above water areas to explore. Not only can you just walk on the ice and islands, but you can also use a hoverbike to explore it. There are new creatures you have to watch out for and a new story to uncover. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to anything underwater and free roam, Subnautica is the game to go for because it immerses you as no other game does.
These above water areas feature a whole new line of creatures, plant life, and areas with a ton of things to explore and find. If you play the game and find that it is hard to survive in this area, make sure you get the hoverbike because it makes getting around so much easier.
New creatures to discover
There are some returning creatures, but most of the creatures in the game are new and very different from each other. From Noot Fish to new Leviathans, there is so many creatures to scan and find. The game if full of so many secrets and caves that it might be hard to know everything at first, but you will learn to know what fish you need to take or eliminate. Some of the creatures can be alarming to you the first time you see them so take that into account.
A whole new story
Two years after Ryley escapes 4546B, Vesper Station is installed in orbit for research. Robin Goodall and Serik Jevov are stationed at a Research Base in Sector Zero researching the local environment and the nearby Alien Facility. Robin’s sister, Sam Goodall, is her primary liaison at Vesper Station. Sam wakes Robin to report that the research base needs to be evacuated as a meteor shower is only ten minutes away. She is sent to retrieve Jeff, who was at the Alien Research Site.
Robin searches for Jeff at the alien facility, but only finds his GPS. She then encounters the voice of one of The Architects, which states that they were awakened by Jeff. It explains that Jeff is gone. The alien facility is locked off with a force-field, which requires a White Tablet to deactivate. Meteors strike the alien facility and the voice reports that the facility was damaged and that it is re-routing its data to ‘sanctuary.’
It also states that the sanctuary’s power is low. Robin reports what happened to Sam, who tells her to get to the escape ship stationed at the research base. The escape ship launches without Robin inside. Robin heads for Research Base Zero in order to take shelter. The Meteor Shower triggers an Avalanche, covering Research Base Zero. When trying to get back to it the ice below Robin’s feet breaks and she is forced to swim out through a tunnel.
More content that is coming in the future
I had to rewrite this section because we had made this article way before the release of this game. It is true that more content is coming, but it will be mostly patched for glitches and exploits and we shouldn’t have an issue with that. It took them like 3-4 years to fully do this game so we think that it is perfect the way it is. At least they gave us an ending to the story and didn’t wait like 8 years to give us the full release.
It still has that eerie atmosphere
Even though it is a totally different game from the original, a lot of people think of it as a DLC for the first Subnautica. What it has in common with the first one is its atmosphere and the way it portrays a new area for you to explore. When you are swimming, you have that unsettling feeling that something might happen and you might also be stalked by some creature. Also, when it is night time, everything is pitch-black and that is terrifying if you are not in any base.
The developers did a good job with the way they are making the game because it just feels like Subnautica, it is just on another part of the same planet. The game is a lot of fun and can be challenging at times, but I assure you, that is what makes it so memorable.
Is it worth it for Nintendo Switch?
I would say it is definitely worth getting on Switch. A ton of people say that it runs great, the gameplay is smooth, and you can tell that Unknown Worlds put a lot of time into optimizing it for the Switch system. If you are hesitant to buy it on Switch, and you don’t have a PC, then I would say get it because it is totally worth the money if you play it for a long while.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend anyone to play this game, but play the first one before playing Below Zero because you will be disappointed with the amount of content in the game currently. Both games have been fully developed and we would highly recommend that you play both because they are worth all your time and money. Have fun and don’t drown.