Welp, I was finally able to tear myself away from Fallout 4. Except that was because another game took its place.

 

At first glance, you might wonder why I’d be talking about a game like Subnautica on my Zombie Ranch blog. Maybe at second glance, too.

Fair question.

Best excuse I can come up with is that beneath its veneer of crystal blue waters, this is arguably not just a survival game but survival horror. Hey don’t take my word for it, at least one reviewer on Kotaku agrees. So hey, some of y’all are into survivalism, some of y’all are into horror, and I’m betting a good handful of you are into both. Thus, relevant to interests!

But yeah, I’m mostly just an exploration junkie in my gaming and Subnautica feeds that habit in three dimensions. I should mention that it’s currently still an Early Access title, which normally would be a huge red “stay away” flag for me, especially with a price tag attached, but Dawn bought it for me as an anniversary gift and I have to admit it already feels more complete and more worthy than a lot of release games I’ve played that have had a far higher buy-in. It’s not all roses, of course — there are lag and crashing issues, bugs, and the main storyline is only partway completed, with some missing textures and progression from phase to phase not necessarily being a smooth process. Updates happen every month and as part of them things may change behavior or be added or removed entirely. But honestly, compared to some of the crap I’ve seen vomited up as “early access” with expectations of payment, Subnautica is very playable, especially in early going, and already evokes several fantastic moments of both wonder and terror as you “immerse” yourself in it (har, har). If you do take the plunge (har de harrrrrr) you’ll probably end up looking up things online sooner or later as you wonder what to do next or deal with something that might not be working as intended, but take my advice and try to do that as a last resort so you don’t spoil the surprises.

At this point I believe I’m just about done with what they’ve developed so far, but for $20 I’m well satisfied, and there are more updates to look forwards to, including the actual release. Much like some of you do with Zombie Ranch, I can probably stay away for a few weeks or even months and then come back to see what’s up. It might be a whole new game by that point, although I hope they don’t stray too far from what they’ve got now, because I think the developers have a winner on their hands here. With some more content, balancing and polish before release, I would go so far as to say it may join the annals of the true classics. I’m glad Dawn enabled me to dive in.