Developer Unknown Worlds has announced that its superb underwater survival adventure Subnautica is coming to PlayStation 4 “by the end of the year”.
Subnautica launched on PC and Xbox One in January – following three year of Steam early access development – and was incredibly well-received. Eurogamer even awarded it a Recommended badge, calling it an “oppressively beautiful portrayal of an undersea environment, and a well-wrought survival game”.
Subnautica, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game, begins as players crash-land on a almost entirely aquatic alien planet, with nothing but a hunting knife and basic escape pod to their name. In typical survival style, the immediate concern is to secure a sufficient supply of food and drinkable water – and oxygen – to stay alive.
As the game unfolds, however, and players pluck up the courage to explore further away from the beautiful, relatively tranquil reef that marks the starting area, they’ll start to find blueprints tossed from their ship as it made its final, unscheduled descent (as well as huge, explorable chunks of wreckage) that dramatically expand tactical options available for survival.
Soon, it’s possible to build an increasingly-lavish base of operations, a nippy underwater vessel to reach more exotic climes, a massive submarine to delve ever-deeper, and more. And as the map expands, Subnautica rapidly goes from spooky, to stressful, to all-out terrifying.
Subnautica’s underwater world might be beautiful, but its increasingly claustrophobic locales are also home to some truly intimidating creatures – which you’ll inevitably have to face as you venture deeper to uncover the planet’s secrets and, hopefully, find a way to escape.
Yet, as wonderfully, horrifyingly atmospheric as its exploratory action may be, Subnautica’s biggest strength is perhaps its ability to spin a genuinely engaging yarn around its familiar survival core. It’s an expertly paced tale too, full of surprises and wonderful moments of discovery – even if you do end up playing it with increasing trepidation and sweaty palms. All of which is to say that PS4 owners are in for a treat when Subnautica arrives this winter.
Unknown Worlds has previously also talked of plans to release a paid expansion for Subnautica at some point in the future, likely involving a frozen, Artic-style theme. However, little has been heard on that front since the game’s launch.