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Subnautica – Pushing Boundaries and Facing Fears

Content of the article: "Subnautica – Pushing Boundaries and Facing Fears"

Let's talk about fear. Minor mechanics-based Subnautica spoilers follow.

What Had Happened

Last night, Subnautica evoked the single most intense emotional response I've had to a game. Let me set the scene.

Twilight was falling, and the water was beginning to get dark. Visibility was already poor in the red water, but I felt relatively safe. After all, I had my one-man submersible, with its bright headlights and zippy movement.

I felt safe.

Beneath me, I saw a piece of debris with shiny new technology. So, of course, I hopped out of my submarine and pulled out my trusty scanner, pointing my submersible's lights towards the technology. First mistake.

Swimming down, I was about 20 meters from my sub, ready to scan whatever the new technology would have been. 20 meters. Second mistake.

Right before I reach the technology, an unearthly ROAR comes out of my speakers alongside the "you are so fucking dead music", and I turn, just as a Reaper Leviathan about 30x my size snaps my sub in its jaws, throw my light source and my heart into disarray. I scream FUCK before beginning to mutter the same thing over and over again as I leave my sub for lost, pulling out my handheld Diver's Propulsion Vehicle and praying praying praying that it chooses the sub over me.


For the next 15 or so minutes, I sat in my base. And then went out into the shallows. but never so far that I couldn't see my base. Thinking back, I can feel my mind recreating last night's feeling and my adrenaline still spikes recounting this.

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The Aftermath

Now, I think it's probably clear from that story that I'm not a horror guy. I don't watch horror movies, I avoid games like Soma and RE7 like the plague. Subautica, though…the bright colors and beautiful atmosphere made it feel approachable, and safe. How wrong I was. And I'm so thankful I was wrong.

If I'd never tried Subnautica, I never would have felt this emotion so viscerally. I never would have been willing to explore it – I would have remained afraid of fear itself continually. And, honestly, I never would have experienced the thrill of seeing a Reaper up close – and surviving.

So, to all you patient gamers out there like me, I have a recommendation: give Subnautica a try. The experience is something incredible, and you might end up learning something about yourself in the process.

(That having been said, I think once I finish Subnautica, I may need a while before I hit up Below Zero…)


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