Subnautica is an almost perfect game. I’m on my 4th play through right now and I still love the game. However, there are a few problems I think really hold the game back. One of those being the Prawn suit.
I honestly feel that the problems with the Prawn suit hold the game back a lot. I’m going to break down my issues into five parts.
I. The Only Vehicle You Need
The Prawn suit will most likely be the second vehicle you find. It’s also by far the best. The Prawn makes the Seamoth and Cyclops almost obsolete. The Prawn can go deeper and just as fast, or faster once you know how to use the Grappling Arm well, as the Seamoth. The Cyclops is straight up just Prawn storage for most of the game. Yeah, you can make it into a mobile base, but you really don’t need too.
The only negative that the Prawn has in comparison to the other vehicles is it’s low battery life, but that’s an easy problem to fix, either with an upgrade of by just carrying around two extra power cells.
II. The Arms
There are four Prawn arms in the game. But there are only two you’ll ever actually use, the Grappling Arm and the Mining Arm. It’s not that the other two are bad, per se. The issue is that the arms you do use are so much better.
The Mining Arm is used to mine things, but it’s also your most effective form of defense. The Grappling Arm is just too useful. Yeah, it’s REALLY fun to use it to slingshot yourself around super fast, but that power makes it a necessity to have equipped at all times.
III. Too Strong
When you get the Prawn suit, your PDA tells you that you’ll feel basically unlimited power and that you’ll have to use self control to combat that feeling. It’s telling you that, although you may feel like it, the Prawn suit doesn’t make you invincible, don’t get co*ky.
However, once you get the Prawn, you ARE practically invincible. There is no creature or hazard to fear once you get your suit. Obviously small to medium predators wouldn’t even scratch you, but not even leviathans will be able to cause any real damage.
You can literally walk THROUGH any leviathan’s territory and let it wail on you and be fine. The Reaper and Sea Dragon, when crushing you, don’t even do much damage due to the ludicrous hull strength.
In fact, it has so much health that you can jump into the Void and reach the bottom without it breaking (and down there for a good amount of time to be honest, given that you have the third depth upgrade).
Once you get the Prawn and realize how strong it actually is, there is almost no tension left in the game.
IV. The Ultimate Weapon
My first time seeing a Sea Dragon went something like this:
“Oh, that’s spooky” “Ok, it shoots fire. I don’t like that very much.” “This thing is huge and probably can’t turn around as easily as the Ghost and Reaper leviathans.” “I can probably just jump on it’s back!” “Hmmmm, I wonder if my Mining Arm can kill this thing.” proceeds to kill every Sea Dragon
Now, maybe that was just my reaction and no one else thought of that. However, I doubt that I’m that clever.
If you can kill all the dangerous predators (extremely easily mind you), and they stay dead, where’s the tension after you kill them? You just removed the danger from an area for the rest of the game, and it only took about five minutes.
V. Quality of Life
There are a few quality of life issues with the Prawn that just make the game seem almost rushed in a way. They’re all relatively minor annoyances but the add up to being a real issue. For example:
You can’t access the Prawn upgrades or inventory from the Moonpool. There’s no reason for this as you can access these things on the Seamoth.
If you save the game when you’re about to land a jump, you fall through the ground (another reason that the Grappling Arm is necessary, if you ever want to save yourself from this situation).
Only the default arm can pick up items.
It’s way too easy to get the Prawn stuck somewhere that it can’t get out of.
The be honest, these problems (except maybe quality of life) are not going to bother most players on their first play through. However, there’s a really good chance that the Prawn is going to make a reappearance in Below Zero and it would be cool if Unknown could nerf it, just a little, and fix a few issues with it so that we, being the players who are familiar with its strength, still feel the tension of the game once the initial terror or certain monsters and areas wears off.
TL;DR The Prawn is absurdly strong, and this strength should be addressed in Below Zero.
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