Original Subnautica feedback + thoughs on S:BZ

permeakrapermeakra Moscow/RussiaMembers Join Date: 2020-08-18 Member: 263386Posts: 13 Fully active user
General notes on the Original.

I liked visual, story and most of gameplay.
I disliked visual glitches, things appearing where they don't belong, stuck creatures and occasional need to consult the wiki.
I loved ambience, piloting seamoth, fauna and creature visual design.
I hated piloting cyclops, collecting large amounts of titanium, quartz and copper for building bases and navigating through ILZ, especially the lava corridor from the Tree Cove to the ILZ central chamber.

On multiple occasions I was stuck and even though I could probably wonder around until I found a solution, I preferred to consult the wiki on the subject how to deal with immediate problem.

More details.

The early start of the game felt very good: it explains in details what tools are in my disposal and how to get more and gives several very obvious goals. The starting location was brilliant in that, giving all I needed to start playing the game. What made me worried was that I had no way to recharge batteries. Initially I assumed I have to use them conservatively. Once I hit battery charger, I was quite annoyed: it comes somewhere in 2nd fifth of the game and collecting copper for batteries grew old fast.

However, once I ventured towards Aurora for the first time, I had to consult the wiki for better point of entry and got eaten by Reaper rather unexpectedly. The game, regrettably, didn't give me a chance to see Reaper in its full glory before our first meeting face-to-face, hiding it in murky water. On subsequent attempts it looked as an amateurish mistake, but for a player unaccustomed with survival games the dangers were not obvious and the lack of obvious point of entry was frustrating at best.

Radio messages guided my early exploration and let me see a lot of wrecks early on, so I collected blueprints for most parts I needed and few I didn't need. However, here I got the first problem: I got a few blueprints with components I had no idea where to get. Most annoyingly, I needed magnetite in rather large quantities and had no idea where to find it. At the time I was collecting materials for my second base and I needed a lot of them. Except, I had not magnetite to make HUD chips and scanner room range upgrades, so collecting the materials (especially lead) was quite frustrating. I'm no good in point-and-click and searching for harvesting nodes was quite hard and not in a fun way.

Once I visited Quarantine Enforcement Platform, I learned that I had to goo deep. At time I saw that I need kyanite and nickel ore for depth modules and was quite concerned since I never saw them. Naturally, I checked the wiki for where advanced resources are located.

From here it was relatively smooth until I decided to venture into ILZ. My cyclops run out of power and I had no base to fall back. So, I had to start over.

My second run was a lot smoother and I had time to investigate biomes in details. In this run I found leviathans quite underwhelming even if annoying.... until a ghost leviathan ventured into safe shallows. Wut? It didn't fit there and clipped through terrains, but dealing with it was very, very annoying, but eventually I dealt with it. Than I had to collect resources for a hop base in Tree Cove (spend two RL days to fill cyclops to the brim with titanium, copper and quartz with some others) It was time-consuming, but neither very annoying, nor hard. Just long.

Finally, I accumulated a large amount of power cells and quickly run through the rest of the game on a cyclops with a force shield. It was fast straighforward and uneventful.

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So, to sum it. I was damn OK with early and mid-game, but late game, especially the campaign to run through ILZ, was a chore. I found leviathans quite underwhelming, they are too predictable and contained except when they are not and are annoying instead. I hate that many things clip, like kelp clipping though cyclops. Various glitches were common, but the game was good enough in other aspect for me to ignore the glitches.

However, even in original I had troubles with finding an obvious short-term goal and had to consult wiki for location of useful materials.

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On Below Zero.

S:BZ greatly improves visuals (though there is too much light in some biomes) and keeps the core of the gameplay unchanged. However, so far it utterly lack early directions. The map lacks obvious landmarks to correlate with initial photo entry, so there is no obvious things to do early on. Once I started accumulating blueprints, I got stuck with same old problem: there is no info in-game on where I can find specific resource, however vague. Like "this can be found in areas of volcanic activity", "this can be found in deep biomes" and so on. These are my main problems with BZ so far. I didn't go too far to keep story for release version, but the problem is very obvious. Similarly, there is a big problem that means to recharge power cells might come a lot later than obvious consumers of power cells.

I'm also concerned with amount of bioluminiscence, especially in deeper biomes, and (judging by wiki) absence of sonar. I'd prefer deeper biomes to have less light (but still have clear water) and designed for navigation with sonar.

Comments

  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; GermanyMembers Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Posts: 91 Advanced user
    On Below zero:
    I agree that the in-game infos about resources should give you more details where to find them, especially since the mineral detector isn't such a great tool either.
  • CochonouCochonou FranceMembers Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Posts: 81 Advanced user
    Interesting. I liked a lot the endgame, especially the fact that I had to collect a lot of supplies and batteries for the Cyclops, knowing it would be likely a difficult exploration in the lava zone. In that respect, those energy leeches are especially annoying but they do present a real challenge, which is what should be expected in endgame.

    I also liked the fact that the game no longer railroads you with radio messages after a point. The Degasi plot progression is much more open, and allows for a slower progress. Maybe the entries to the lost river can be a bit difficult to find depending on your luck. I found an entry early in the bulb zone that I did not explore because I did not had the sufficient diving depth, and afterwards the entry in the grand reef near the second Degasi base (I guess it's the one you are supposed to find the most easily, since it is so close to that base). I found the level design quite well done in that regard: the entrances are really distinctive with a sharp change in the flora, so that you are quickly drawn towards them as soon as you first spot them.
  • RudLacovaraRudLacovara U.S.Members Join Date: 2020-10-11 Member: 264612Posts: 3 Fully active user
    I know it's probably very much too late to post ideas on here, but I'd like to see some old reefback shells in the dunes and mountains. You don't need to be a genius to figure out what happened to the reefbacks.
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