Snowfox is below-zero gaming experience

QuartetapeQuartetape Germany Join Date: 2020-05-02 Member: 260578Members
TL;DR: The Snowfox has destroyed hours of great gameplay and immersion for me.

I love Subnautica and I love Subnautica Below Zero. Diving on an alien planet is so new and refreshing unlike any game experience i have had before. Managing oxygen, overcoming the fear of diving deep, survival and base building and avoiding wildlife rather than killing it: Great!!! I have 25 years of gaming immersion, regularly read gaming- and story-design-articles and even designed a few small games and created maps for existing ones. My main occupation though is that of an editor. I have loved to move through the story, occasionally being very confused on what to do next, but the internet has helped me move along with a few game guides ? I love the story of subnautica, it fits so perfectly in our time right now.

The Prawn-Suit bugging out in the end of Sub 1 was a real dealbreaker for me though. For those who don’t know: The suit tends to glitch through walls, resulting in its destruction, dissappearance and often in your own death. Considering this happens at more than 1000 meters below zero. I overcame this by spawning a prawnsuit through cheating. It was the only way to finish the game smoothly. I think the Devs don‘t bother to fix it, it might be too hard to do, and it will probably stay as a major bug in the game. However, most upvoted negative reviews on Steam tackle this issue.

Now I fear another dealbraking vehicle-design is going to mess up Subnautica Below Zero. The Snowfox is a broken mess. After riding it, I stopped playing. Until that point, I enjoyed all of the early content. At one point, I explored the glacial basin by foot. It was quite enjoyable, finding a few fruits to keep me warm, i kept on pushing forward, eventually stumpling on the frozen leviathan, i loved it ? I figured, the game wants me to come back and explore with a snowfox. So I loaded a seatruck with materials, ready to build a small base to go exploring.

The whole mess started with me trying to place a snowfox-hoverpad. The biome lacks open space. Whenever i was trying to move to the other side of the hoverpad, the snowfox automatically reconnected to the pad because i lacked the space to maneuver. I was jumping on and of the thing, eventually making my peace with just going one direction. When I started moving, i got very confused. How was I steering the thing? Sometimes, the A and D keys made it strife, sometimes the A and D keys made it turn. Looking around with the mouse sometimes made it not turn, sometimes made it turn. I thought, I just had to learn to drive it properly like the other vehicles before. I had great trust in the developers and didn’t want to give up yet. But the area was so dense that I kept crashing into objects. Often speeding out of them with the Foxs boost-ability helped, but it also made me crash fast forward into the next obstacle. It only got worse when I tried exploring caves. It’s a really good feature that you can pick the vehicle up and place it again. That solves a lot of the trouble of being stuck.

The best experiences I had was driving the Fox along the frozen rivers. For one or two seconds I had a good feeling about it. But the open roads are short and I wanted to explore the area, so, whenever I tried out something else, i got stuck again. I just couldn’t wrap my head around steering this thing. At one point, I just got stuck in the ground. I jumped off the Fox only to fall out of the level, down and down. My only choice was to warp myself up again with cheats. I missed the right height and died from the fall. In the end, I quit playing the game, because I had gotten seriously motion-sick and it took me half a day to recover from this.

I’m not the only one who got motion sick.

I haven’t picked it up since then and would advise anyone who wants to explore the glacial basins to skip the snowfox alltogether and go there with the prawnsuit.

I am not the only one who thinks that.

Users also have complained about the Snowfox over one year ago on this Message-Board:
Eyes_Above wrote: »
I find the handling of the snoxfox really awkward and sluggish. I feel like having "A" and "D" rotate/turn the device rather than using the mouse would be much better. Using this, plus mouse freelook would be more intuitive.
In addition, the above ground environments intended for the snow fox are somewhat cramped. You might have this planned for future updates, but a more open environment for the snow fox would seem more suitable than slowly taking it through cramped caves/corridors. A mix between open and cramped would feel best, but right now there's too much to run into making it just plain not fun to drive.
Klinn wrote: »
Some thoughts about the recent SnowFox update:
1) Awkward SnowFox controls. Changing direction by having to turn your head far to one side or the other is awkward. As a player, you are initiating an action but the game only catches up eventually and does what you want. It's feels laggy and disorienting to me.
I assume that the intention is for you to ride the SnowFox and be able to glance left or right while still maintaining the current direction, and only an exaggerated change of view results in a change of direction. Interesting idea but it feels very awkward. I seem to recall a similar problem with the SeaMoth at one point during its early access period.

My opinion: Kill your darlings. The state of the game doesn’t need the snowfox. It’s not fun. Give players the whole Prawnsuit in the leviathan cave. The Fox is a mess, I don’t think you can salvage it. You should have stuck to water-vehicles. Has anyone of you ever driven a motorcycle?! The Fox demoralizes people playing the game. There is a huge buildup to it that doesn’t „pay out“. Almost everyone playing your game will go trough the torture of trying to make it work anyway, spend a long time not having fun, getting motion sickness and maybe even fall out of the level. Right now, you are making every player look forward to the snowfox experience and force them into a situation that will make them sick. You are forcing your loyal players to hate you for trusting your development.


  • M_QM_Q Join Date: 2020-05-02 Member: 260603Members
    Haven't built the Snowfox yet, but have explored the land on foot thoroughly and gotten the blueprints for it. There are various things I don't like and I am afraid I share a similar opinion about this land exploration part of the game.

    First of all what is the point of a Snowfox? There seems to be no gating mechanisms on the land (unlike the sea), every 5 seconds I bump into a geyser/cave/spicy fruit tree and the worm never managed to kill me. Atm I don't feel the need to build it, even if it turned out to be an amazingly responsive, fast and convenient vehicle.

    They may flesh things out, but it will still be a shame if this whole land exploration gameloop stands on its own ending up being half-baked. It can be salvaged and be made wonderful though. Imo they have to make the land and sea exploration curves be tightly interconnected, with a "hub" system in which the player will *have* to use *all* the mobile base module features of the Seatruck and from each "hub", use the Snowfox to explore that land part and "open" more Seatruck hubs.

  • korakkkorakk Join Date: 2019-11-06 Member: 255326Members
    I really hope they improve the vehicles in Below Zero. While the sea truck is an unpleasant downgrade from the seamoth, the snowfox (and really the whole glacial basin experience) is a disaster. The game needs an alternate storyline where the player can force the whole glacial basin to get flooded and avoid having to navigate any of the storyline above ground.
  • silenttri99ersilenttri99er Trinidad and Tobago Join Date: 2020-05-19 Member: 261170Members
    edited May 2020
    Ahh the VomitFox. Endless motion sickness to loyal fans who bought early access. Its the worst thing about the entire Subnautica series that the development team seems hellbent on keeping. Not sure who actually likes the SnowFox experience. Also, with a game called "subnautica" there is quite a lot of surface to traverse which would have been somewhat acceptable if I didn't cringe every time I think about having to board the VomitFox
  • FalconburgerFalconburger Australia Join Date: 2021-02-11 Member: 267634Members
    I agree - the 'rubber band' lag between your POV and the snowfox turning speed makes me motion sick in minutes. I'd like the devs to add an on off option in settings for that please! None of the other vehicles make me motion sick.
  • frankenmousefrankenmouse Join Date: 2021-06-20 Member: 271421Members
    edited June 2021
    (Accidentally necro’d.)
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