Subnautica

[Early/Midgame] I may have made a mistake in starting this game…

Subnautica 1 - [Early/Midgame] I may have made a mistake in starting this game...
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I love survival and crafting games, but am not a fan of horror as a genre (both games and movies). This meant that when I first started seeing Subnautica show up on Twitch and Steam I skipped over it thinking it was a horror game. The game logo used in both places makes it clear that giant monsters lurk around every corner waiting to eat you.

Well, a few weeks ago I caught Day9 playing on stream by accident and was instantly onboard with the gorgeous visuals and gameplay loop. Explore, collect resources, build new items to let you explore further and build more items? That's my drug of choice and even the quick hit from watching the stream had me hooked. Sure, there might be monsters out there somewhere, but the core gameplay is about crafting, upgrading and subsistence. Perfect!. I hopped off the stream to keep the exploration fresh for myself and knew what my next game purchase would be.

I grabbed the game, booted it up and was instantly hooked on exploring the shallows, swimming through forests of kelp and skimming the red grass plains. After 5 hours I had a simple Outpost/base online and the Aurora in my sights. After 10 hours I had picked the Aurora clean, checked out over half a dozen lifepods, built up my base and visited a very special island. Now armed with a handful of new blueprints I was on the hunt for Magnetite, Diamonds and the materials for Aerogel to finish my prawn suit. My trusty seamoth was fueled up, modified for deeper depths and even had a handy storage compartment to collect the goods.

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That's where things have gone wrong. I started heading further afield only to discover that once you get out into the depths it's dark. Not the night time gloom I had gotten used to, but pitch black darkness. Now, one of the reasons I avoid horror games is that I (a grown ass man) am afraid of the dark.

I of course did the only rational thing and turned around to run away. Instead I headed into the purple cave I found earlier (having decided that a biome perfect for raising predators and full of crabsnakes was preferable for going out into the blackness).

I'm now faced with a mounting realization. This game meets 7 of 9 pre-conditions for stimulating terror in humans (thanks helpful PDA lady!) and I'm now committed to a game that has morphed from a lovely survival and crafting cycle into "holy shit what was that" exploration of the deepest blackness. Every moment of searching for my next materials is going to be a heart pounding excursion into one of my most deep seeded phobias. I may have made a mistake…

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