Even the original game Subnautica picked up and won over many players. In the deep waters of the alien planet 4546B you had to find your way as a nameless shipwrecked man, explore the surroundings and above all survive. The history of the planet and the aliens living on it was told very subtly through log entries and the environment. You can read more about this in our detailed test!

That changes with Subnautica: Below Zero, the standalone add-on that has been available in Early Access for two years. You are back on planet 4546B, about a year after the events of the main game. But this time you are in a new, arctic area that shines with huge ice masses and dangerous blizzards.

According to the developers, you should be able to play Below Zero even if you don't know the main game, but Unknown Worlds is expanding the subtly told story of its predecessor. The main thing that has changed is that your character is a woman named Robin Goodall and she has a voice. She comments on her finds, the environment and makes one or two sarcastic comments. In Early Access, the developers noticed that the story was a bit too linear for them. First of all, Robin's sister Sam was in the floating station Vester and gave her instructions from there. In the final version, Sam stood up against the Alterra company and made no friends with it. So you're coming to planet 4546B by yourself to find out what happened to Sam.






Again, the precursor aliens play a big role in the story of Below Zero!



Again, the precursor aliens play a big role in the story of Below Zero!

Source: Unknown Worlds Entertainment




However, the basic principle of the main game is retained. You are in a dangerous, unfamiliar environment and your primary goal is to survive and explore everything around you. The developers emphasize that they absolutely wanted to make a non-violent game. So you have a knife, but you only use it to collect materials. These are the nuts and bolts of Subnautica: Below Zero. If you don't collect anything, you won't be able to manufacture anything and your chances of survival will decrease dramatically. Once again, the practical factory is at your side, through which you can create drinking water and food as well as new gadgets for the procurement of resources. A new tool is the Mineral Detector, with which you can now – finally – keep an eye out for certain materials such as salt, lithium or even gold without having to search the entire ocean floor.

But you should always keep an eye on your stats. Oxygen, hunger, thirst, health, and cold are the five things that you must always take care of. In the course of the game, which takes about 25 hours to play through the story, you can make better oxygen tanks and even a so-called cold suit that protects you from the icy temperatures on land.






This time you can also explore on land, but be warned, icy temperatures have been reported!



This time you can also explore on land, but be warned, icy temperatures have been reported!

Source: Unknown Worlds Entertainment




Because in Below Zero you will not only explore the huge and densely filled ocean this time, but also the snow-laden ice masses above the water surface. There you can expect abandoned bases with a lot of environmental storytelling, huge ice monsters like the ice worm, icy cold that you can only fight with the mentioned suit or with heater-like plants and most importantly: Penglings! The little alien penguins are cute and even have babies with them. You can also make a remote-controlled pengling to explore caves you don't fit into yourself, or just take nice selfies with the cuddly aliens. Your decision!

There are plenty of innovations in Subnautica: Below Zero. Even with the main game, the developers value the opinion of the






Strange creatures wait in the depths of the ocean.



Strange creatures wait in the depths of the ocean.

Source: Unknown Worlds Entertainment




Community and built in a lot at their request. For example, accessibility has been increased: objects can be highlighted, the text size can be adjusted, and opening the tablet pauses the game. New tools have also found their way in Below Zero. The aforementioned Mineral Detector is just one of them. So you can now make the so-called Sea Truck and expand it with storage, sleeping or teleportation modules. The latter is also new, because now you can teleport directly to your Sea Truck in precarious situations with a tool that you carry with you and no longer have to worry about being eaten for breakfast by some extraterrestrial creature. You can also upgrade the Sea Truck – for depth pressure, speed and more – and personalize it.

Incidentally, it is the same with your base, which you can now let shine in the most dazzling colors in order to find it again on the dark sea floor. In addition, Unknown Worlds has now made it possible to finally build a larger main room that you can divide into different areas with retractable walls. The complete glass roof is also a nice extra that lets you see the underwater world from your safe home. There are also items that make your base and your experience even more unique. The selection of furniture has grown significantly, you can hang up posters and even install a jukebox, for which you can find various CDs in the game world. The music on it comes directly from the community! But the basis is not just decoration. So there is the new control room, with which you can monitor the stats of your dwelling. Here you can see the structural integrity, the energy status, the time and a minimap of the base.

Subnautica: Below Zero still offers you an incredible amount: Not only the exploration of the big world and the countless different biomes such as the Twisty Bridges or the Deep Lillies, but also an interesting story, which now also has a speaking protagonist who is in the Even laughs at an alien friend. But we don't want to reveal too much at this point.

Suffice it to say that Unknown Worlds will continue to inspire Subnautica: Below Zero with regular updates and new ideas. In their world you can expect not only deep, frightening oceans full of critters like the Squid Shark (why?) And tentacle-proven plants, but also happy rides on the hover bike over ice landscapes and the fascinating story of the precursor aliens who once made the planet 4546B theirs Called home.

Subnautica: Below Zero is slated for release in spring 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox X and Xbox One. There is also a Combo Pack of Subnautica and Subnautica: Below Zero for the Nintendo Switch.

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