Subnautica

I absolutely hate the PS4 version [Spoilers]

Subnautica 1 - I absolutely hate the PS4 version [Spoilers]

This is a long story about the issues I've faced with the game and how I've reacted to it.

I bought Subnautica on Steam back in the early access days. I mean waaaaaay back in the early access days, like 3 weeks in. Yes the game has always been a bit rough, but hey, it's early access! And when I say rough, please bear in mind I was playing on a not particularly powerful MacBook. I could count the FPS on one hand half the time and I must have destroyed about 20 seamoths from things popping in one metre away and me ploughing into them.

But hey, I love the game, it's out of early access and I'm a console gamer at heart. I haven't played it on the MacBook for many months, but I'd love to play on PS4, so I buy it again. £25 is good for a full release game. But the thing is this doesn't feel like a full release game. This is giving me flashbacks to those early access 5 FPS days.

Now the frame rate isn't as bad as back then, but I frequently find in alien structures I'm just turning slightly and because the frame rate juddered for a second, suddenly I am literally walking back the way I came. I find missing land textures constantly (perhaps once every 20-30 seconds) where I can then go through the ground. Very annoying when this happened and my prawn fell through the world.

One issue that nearly led me to throw my controller – I had an issue where when I went back to the Aurora for the Neptune plans, I couldn't repair the prawn bay door. I thought I couldn't progress and got so angry I came here to post essentially this rant, then remembered the other entrance to the Aurora that goes around the other way, so I guess it got solved.

I left my cyclops outside the disease research facility with the engine off, the lights off, nothing that could be powered (e.g. a fabricator) on board, and when I left I was on 96% energy. I came back 5 minutes later and it was completely drained. I'd left my seamoth up top for some reason, so I just sat there thinking of solutions until I drowned.

Three other minor things that happened – Some half-built structures disappear when I reload my save. When my controller died, the game just kept playing and my seamoth just barrelled straight into the mouth of a leviathan. And there was an interesting incident where I was near the original Lifepod and the water was on fire. Just, a fire. Right there. On the water.

And I also hate the control scheme on PS4. Not being able to unmap a button is insanity to me. I always have to have a screenshot button? Really? I could assign something useful to that without also taking screenshots all the time, seeing as you've shoehorned us into having to hold a button for sprint with no toggle option (not a big deal on PC but it's awkward holding in the joystick you're using to move), and putting the use button on the same side as the aim analog stick was a pretty stupid move as I can't aim at something and pick up at the same time. If you use the secondary button to pick up, it's a trigger so it doesn't register very quickly. Well you can always change it to L1 right! Wrong. Because then you literally cannot navigate the menus.

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Now for the main event: I love this game so I persevered. Until I come riiiiiight to the end of the game. I saved just before making the enzymes, ready to pick up again the next day after a long day at work. Made the enzymes, went through the archway into the aquarium, and cured myself. Now I remember I need kyanite for the rocket, so I head up out of the aquarium and into the facility as my cyclops is parked outside. As I get to the forcefield that leads into the aquarium moonpool I notice it's on… But as I get closer it deactivates as if I put a key in… Okay, weird, but fine. I walk through, head down the ramp aaaaaand the other forcefield is up. I literally cannot access my cyclops as the control panel is outside. Okay, back in and I'll see what I can do. Oh wait, the other forcefield is back up? Greatttttt. Okay I'lll build a blue key… Shit I can't build one here. Okay, I'll have to take one of the other portals out and be done with it. Screw it, I'm leaving the planet anyway, my prawn and cyclops can remain down there for the next person to crash here to find.

Heading back to my base I start building the rocket (yes, I haven't switched off the gun yet as I came out of the wrong damn archway but I can do that a little later), getting to the last stage I realise; I need a goddamn cyclops shield generator. My cyclops is back down there… I am definitely not going to go get it. Sooooo… I guess I'll build another one, I can still actually finish the game, but the decline from when I first started playing of 'Is my oxygen okay? I can't believe I'm stranded here, I hope there's nothing huge lurking down there… Oh wait, this is a game. And I've finished it before. I literally know everything about it. Well done devs, well done…' to 'I am painfully aware that this is a video game.' was demoralising. I get really into games, and if I'm thinking about the fact that I'm playing a game, I'm not really playing it or it isn't doing it's job properly.

Read: 

I know the devs are trying to fix issues (https://unknownworlds.com/subnautica/subnautica-ps4-update-1-05-released/), one of the issues apparently being simply 'incorrectly' (clearly just a run-on from the previous bullet but I'm in an irritable mood now). But come on, why do we keep getting full release games that don't seem to have gone through any quality control, or if they have, the rating it received was 'Meh, good enough, fix it in post.' I LOVE Subnautica, it's the only game I can play that really creeps me out. But this release did not do the game justice. Poor show from the porting team or QA team.

Shit that was long. Guess I have some pent up feeling about something that Subnautica has brought out. But still, more bugs than I've seen in any released game in quite a while. And without console commands, it can literally stop your game dead in its tracks. So I'm going away for Christmas and leaving this as it is now; I'm right at the end and just don't have the enthusiasm to finish it. Maybe in 2019.

TLDR; There are so many bugs it has stripped the enjoyment out of the game completely for me. Playing on a PS4 Pro, and with a VR headset on for some added immersion, I just can't play this any more. I hope many, many more patches are coming soon.

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