Spoilers for the original game and subzero.
I'm only part way through the game but have lost interest in completing it. I'm making this post so others can either agree with me or tell me I'm dumb and just playing the game wrong.
Pros: The sea truck. I love this thing! There's lots of stupid little attachments that are completely pointless and also completely optional. Like the aquarium attachment. Why do I need to auto collect 20 peepers? By the time you get it you should already have a spicy salad farm up and running which solves all food and heat concerns. I LOVED the seamoth. Being able to pootpoot around in my little speedy submarine gocart was great and this has similar vibes. It's speed kind of sucks but that's fine since the map is way smaller it's proportionally faster. I should also mention I absolutely hated the cyclopes. It was a giant unwieldy piece of shit with huge blind spots, no maneuverability, a paper thin hull, and for a giant floating fortress had a surprising lack of storage. The sea truck takes the best of both vehicles and crams them into one while keeping the options and customizations in the hand of the player. I hope it sticks around for the next game. I HIGHLY identify with Fred.
Bigger rooms. I love the large room and the glass dome options. Being able to partition rooms was great and it made customizing my base super fun. There were also a couple fun additions like the functioning jukebox and refrigerator. I seriously can't geek out enough about the jukebox, the sound distortion while walking around the base was amazing and immersive and having to find music disks was an awesome idea. I'm a little curious why the creators decided to add in like 10 different kinds of bed but I very much appreciate the options for choice so that's nice.
Oxygen plants. I love how they are scattered throughout the early caves and wrecks. It made early exploring both terrifying and exiting. Am I going to die down here? Yup. Goodbye silver. OH A PLANT THANK GOD SWEET AIR! The giant hole fish gave so little oxygen and were so close to the surface that they seemed pointless but it was fun swimming though them anyway so they get an honorable mention as well.
Sea monkeys: Love em. They're the best.
The hoverbike: It's a piece of shit but it's better then nothing and I appreciate the effort.
Cons: Lack of underwater biomes. I'm not going to harp on this too much. I know below zero was never meant to have as massive a world to explore as subnautica but it sucks there's only a handful of biomes listed below. The shallow lifepod area: Neat, virtually indistinguishable from regular subnautica. The twisty kelp root caves: Loved it. Super fun to explore The black vent area: Boring, contains basically nothing. Surrounds half of delta island. Delta island: Neat, lots of early base building scans, easy to explore. Purple vent area: Meh! It looks nice, has some stuff to explore, has a little bit of danger. Lillypads: Awesome, lots of deep caves, lots of cool floating stuff. Crystal caves: Miserable. Basically empty except for shadow leviathans. Snow Basin: Hate it. Miserable to explore. I liked the places that had STUFF. Like Phi robotics lab or the mining facility but I quit at this part. Between the weather and darkness and cold all trying to kill you it felt alot like being underwater except I'm stuck on the ground and I'm completely lost. In the next game please don't have such a large above ground section, Tiny islands are fine since there's only so many twisty narrow path ways you can shove into them. With snow basin it's just riddled with uncrossable terrain and looping pathways. Ice shelf: I never made it here. I assume it's fucking miserable+Ice worm
Seriously though the snow bason killed it for me. Maybe next time I'll come back with a whole inventory of light sticks and pathfinders since apparently that's what it takes to make this thing navigable. At this point I got bored and just looked up the ending to see how close I got.
The story: I already cured kharaa! Remember?! There was that whole bit where I had to collect plants and stuff! And the plants hatched a baby that secreted an enzyme to cure it! It was a whole THING! Why the FUCK is the NEW cure to this CIVILIZATION DESTROYING BACTERIA the alien equivalent of a bloody mary. There was a whole uber advanced alien race who shoved themselves into cubes because they couldn't cure it but you're telling me the protagonist's sister who specialized in robotics was able to develop her own cure no problem? I call bullshit. Also if she had the cure why didn't she cure the frozen leviathen?!? Why did she shove that fucker in a penguin hole and decide to blow everything up instead. For someone smart enough to cure a disease which killed a whole advanced species she sure is fucking stupid.
The protaganist: Giving her a voice was lazy. It's lazy storytelling and lazy writing. The first game didn't have a voice. You learn about the character though grunts and hand motions. The first character had telepathic visions and didn't go "Ahhhh, you're in my head, what are you doing there? This isn't an appropriate place for you to be! Get out of my head you wacky alien!" because he didn't NEED to. It's all unnecessary dialog that separates the player from the character. Ok, the character now has an alien in her head. I'm excited about this, I would LOVE an alien A.I. buddy to go on adventures with but ohhhh, oh ok the character i'm playing is mortified and violated so I guess I need to feel that way too huh?
Marguerite: Why is she alive? Didn't she contract Kharaa like 10 years before I cured it? Doesn't it kill you like way faster than that? Didn't she already have a badass death scene where she went out fighting like hell in the jaws of a leviathan? The only thing I can assume is she got dragged into zero zone and made herself an alien bloody mary which cured her infection on accident because again. The cure for this civilization ending bacteria is a jalapeno mixed up in a big vase. Also why is she HERE. Having someone else in the game kills that lonely desperate feeling of isolation you got from the first one. And if we're suddenly cool with other people being in the game, where is everyone else? Wasn't there like a whole big ass team of people here? Why'd they leave all their shit laying around? You'd think they'd tidy up a bit before leaving or at least leave a PDA laying around with the evacuation order open on it.
Finite supply of ion cubes: This would have been fine in regular subnautica since there was only a handful of uses for ion cubes but we were given an infinite supply there. Here where we have a pretty useful mechanic that obliterates ion cubes we are given a finite supply. It sucks. We need an ion cube generator.
The boost tank is great. They hyper tank is great. Too bad you can't make a hyper boost tank.
I'll probably come back eventually, but for now I've lost interest and am tired of wandering around in a frozen wasteland looking for a plot point to a story I couldn't care less about. I get the reason for not having a map in subnautica. We were stranded on an unexplored island. It made sense. Also it was hardly necessary since getting to things usually involved a straight shot to a beacon. Subzero has massive pieces of uncrossable terrain and artificial walls. Remember when subnautica gave us a beacon that said "Go here, there's a lifepod distress signal" well this game just says "Uh, just like, go north?" but come to find out north is a fucking nightmare and you'll need to either spend 2 hours bumbling around or look up a youtube video. For the people who are going to say "Wellllll TRADITIONAL games point you in a direction and say go here, THIS game gives you the freedom to find your OWN path" or some other nonsense justifying denying the player information. There's a REASON games do that, because bumbling around lost for hours at a time isn't fun, it's basically real life and if I wanted real life I wouldn't be playing an underwater base building and pee drinking simulator.
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More about SubnauticaPost: "I’ve completely lost interest in below zero." specifically for the game Subnautica. Other useful information about this game:
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