Subnautica

Thoughts and concerns

Subnautica 6 - Thoughts and concerns
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Obligatory "I played/loved the first game"

So far I'm enjoying my experience in BZ, and I have some concerns and praises to express:

Concerns

TREADING SIMILAR WATER – I have this nagging thought that I've done all this before. I start out having to create all the same gear I had in the first game, without much innovation to any of it. I make the knife, the rebreather etc using the the exact same recipes as before from what I recall. Most of the base pieces are exactly the same with some minor variation. Granted, I'm only about 20 hours in so far so I have yet to discover everything but the feeling of retracing my steps from the last game isn't a good one.

SEA TRUCK – This is my biggest concern, because the Sea Truck is supposed to be the star of the show. This is a difficult one because I understand some of the problems they were trying to solve from the first game, mainly the problem the cyclops created. It was an awesome ship, the love of my life at the time. Oh how I loved customizing it and squeezing as much shit as I could into it. That was a high point in gaming for me. The problem came when I realized that I couldn't care less about my base, which I spent dozens of hours getting stable and to a point that I was happy with, because the cyclops gave me almost everything I needed. I could take the seamoth or prawn suit with me wherever I wanted, mining every single piece of material available. No need for a base anymore. So I can see why the devs wanted to solve this problem, so they gave us a combination of the Cyclops and Seamoth, a modular design of both.

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The biggest problem with this is that in the process of trying to solve the problems that the cyclops created in the first game, the Seatruck has become a jack of all trades master of none situation. They've taken away the ability to customize it to your liking in favor of doing the annoying dance of trying to balance speed with convenience. It's cool that I can unhitch the front and leave my "mobile base" behind while I explore, but I could do that already with the seamoth/cyclops. Some of the modules, especially the Aquarium module, is better utilized at the base. I have no need to carry fish with me when they are almost everywhere. IMO this option is inferior to the original idea. I can no longer hang a cat poster inside my submarine, and that is a tragedy. Unfortunately the Seatruck is a slog to pilot, and that idea is used to punish me for the progress I've made by upgrading it. The more I upgrade and add to it, the more I'm punished. Also the experience maintaining and fixing the Cyclops, with fires to put out and holes to patch was such a great experience. Unfortunately there's nothing like that to be found with the Sea Truck as far as I can tell.

A STORY WORTH TELLING? I'm not only having a hard time getting into the story, but I'm just straight up not understanding what's happening. The VO work is, unfortunately, very sub par with the exception of a few characters. I'm not of the opinion that any VO work was necessary, even though I can kinda see what they were going for. I can understand the idea of making it more cinematic, but unfortunately by voicing the main protagonist I am no longer the main character. I'm also very tired of the quippy braniac type characters, it's just not very original or interesting. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot of big risks taken with the setting, story, and characters aside from voice all of them.

Praises

The world is great and different, fun to explore, and beautiful of course. Gameplay loops are as tight as ever, and I'm just glad to be playing a new Subnautica again. I commend the devs for fixing a lot of the technical issues the first game had, I have not noticed any pop ins whatsoever. Game runs smooth for the most part. The music is an excellent extension of the sonic language established in the first game, beautiful and haunting.

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