S_BZ: From (horror) survival open world to action adventure?

S3ZB0NS3ZB0N Members Join Date: 2020-10-15 Member: 264719Posts: 6 Fully active user
Well, title says it all. I played the latest early access version of SBZ. I didn't play any previous versions, I believe it's been overhauled a few times. So I only speak as I experienced this latest version.


My biggest problem is with the story. And the biggest biggest issue is that when you go down, you already have a goal: finding out what happened to your sister. This really defines the whole games content for me. It feels more like an action adventure game and less as a open world survival game. One should go there totally neutral. Or, one should just end up down there, not on purpose.

If that's not enough, real close to the beginning there's Alan, it's the first thing I came across in the first 10 minutes or so. (I was quite excited so I might be mistaken about the times). But also, Maida happened real real soon too. And suddenly there wasn't one storyline but 3 forced upon me. Yes, I know, it's up to me to go to Alan or go to the signal on the island where I meet Maida, still, it's just not like original S.

In the original one could or could not repair the radio, one could or could not go click on the radio to recieve the next message or one could or could not go to the rendesvous point. Also, if one went to the rendesvous point, things happened and one was left even more derelict. There was this island with a giant gun, and one could get a bit of info out of it, but still, it was more questions than answers. And after that, one had to go back to ones base and continue surviving.

This is for me the biggest difference, in the original game, at the beginning, it's all about survival. And it's only about survival. Yes, there are some clues, but one isn't pushed into a certain direction. At least that's how I felt it back then.

Now with SBZ things are different though: one gets a distress call. It's very unecthical to ignore those, so I had to go check up on it and met Maida. Also, one does not just once interact with Alan, he just comes into your head, giving you constant directions towards hidden locations. It wasn't as if I discovered those locations by myself, it was af if somebody just gave them to me.

When I visited the last location of my sister, that was when it felt most like an action adventure game to me. You know, a clone of Tomb Raider (2016) or something like that. Which is perhaps not a bad thing, but I did not want it in SBZ.

In general, compared to the original S, SBZ felt like a very simplified version, something like Hello Kitteh Underwater Adventures for 7-8 years old. "Look mummy look, I found a new scuba gear, and it's all PINK"

Also, I could easily find everything I needed/wanted, I built a base with everything in it in a very short time. It didn't feel like there was a challenge surviging, there was a bigger challenge doing the action adventure stuff though, like with those ice worms and ice bears or something.


Ok, so, devs, pay attention: it's time for a new overhaul if you ask me and here's is the story you guys should implement this time (you guys can have my story as a gift, I have no copyrights on it or anything :grin: ):

After the events of S, Alterra invades our little planet and strips it completely clean of all natural resources, from material to living fauna and flora. The planet we know is gone. About 10-15 years after first contact, Alterra decides to ditch the planet. They have found a few more "hot-spots" like our original crater and stripped everything clean. Also they killed half the emperor dragons, the others just flew into the void. This is the only place Alterra can't overcome. But also the pole. Alterra tries a couple times to build a base on the pole, but after a few times, they just give up. People die and there seems nothing to be had there anyway. It just looks all barren on the surface.

So, after another 5-8 years we see a small non-Alterra rogue crew working in orbit. They scan the planet and all they get is bleeeeep, there's just nothing on the planet. But all the debris around the planet is very very promising and salvagable.

This is when SBZ starts: one of the crew gets hit by a big chunk of debris and falls down to the planet. It's ok, nothing to worry, happens all the time, but then they find out the crewmember fell down into the pole. Aw, gosh darnit, probably she never made it. Also scanners still show zero life on the planet. Afraid that some big shots will find out their buisness, the rest of the rogue crew decides to leave.

But then the one crew member who fell down into the pole (that's us, the player) recovers and finds out that she survived. On the pole, in the water. Blammo, open world, nothing to make it feel like an action adventure, no preset storyline or anything. Just survive!!!

From here on a few new game elements can be introduced. For example, in the original one had to build reinforcements to make a base stronger. Now one needs to build isolations, to make the base not get to cold. Of course one needs new materials for this. And this is when we discover there's actually a whole world under the water on the pole, which never showed up on the scans. There needs to be a reason for this. But first, one needs to survive and build a base with enough isolation against the cold.

Only further deeper into the core of the pole, one discoers another big base of the architects. It's been shielding this location for ages, so no scans could penetrate it. When one interacts with it, finally, one finds out that one could get in touch with the Architect Race, but communications will only be possible after the planet is healthy, otherwise the message will not go through. So, the later part of the game is restoring the health of the planet up to a certain percentage (anyone who played the very first Dune game will have done something like this already: one needed to keeo planting trees to geoengineer Dune into a green planet. Sadly, it's not something one sees very often in games, which is all about fighting and killing etc.)

Also, one needs to find resources to make sure the shield covers the whole planet, so visitors will "see" from a distance that this is still a dead planet for ages to come!!!! :smiley: One finds out that this base on the pole was actually not so much related to the karaa research, as all the other bases in the crater, but that it was initially set up as a base related to keeping the planet in balance, so the researches would not be disturbed by, like, earth quakes and that kind of stuff. When the alien base in the first S, the one that was collapsed, in the Lost River, collapsed anyway, this base was decommissioned as not up to its task. But now one can reactivate parts of it on different locations, for example to give it more power, to make fish come back to the surface out of the void and also to distribute lifeforms from the pole to the other hot-spots, like the first crater.

While doing all this, one can of course discoer many other stuff, like the Mercury II, which I really liked. But also the few failed bases Alterra tried to build.

Anyway, after making the planet healthy and getting the shield up to cover the whole planet, one is able to activate communications to the Architects main planet. From here on, I leave it to you guys. :wink:


  • HerobrinesbestminionHerobrinesbestminion Members Join Date: 2019-12-07 Member: 256209Posts: 48 Advanced user
    BZ is made to be more storybased, and you still have the freedom to chose your path since you can just do the stuff in your order (did you never pick up any PDA's? or listened to the radio? the first one tells you not directly where you need to go but....) also I don't think the devs will go through the hell of remaking it again..... but the base temp is a good idea :smiley: and the story sounds intersting so maybe you can use it for parrlel universe fanfic or something B)
  • EyeseeyouEyeseeyou Members Join Date: 2020-10-21 Member: 264872Posts: 2 Fully active user
    It's not like they were being secretive about this game having more story. And since it's still mostly an open world game, depending on your ability to reach and survive in different parts of the world, it's also still your choice to follow up on (story) leads or not.
  • GerardlinGerardlin United StatesMembers Join Date: 2020-10-21 Member: 264876Posts: 1 Fully active user
    edited October 2020
  • S3ZB0NS3ZB0N Members Join Date: 2020-10-15 Member: 264719Posts: 6 Fully active user
    You guys/gals keep repeating that the new game will have more story in it or will be more story driven. As this is also claimed by the devs.

    But is this really a good description of what is happening to the game?

    Did the first game have no story in it?

    I believe Subnautica had a LOT of story in it. It was just told in a different way. Or the story was woven into the world/into your interactions with the world in a different way. In the first game story HAPPENED to you while surviving. In the second game the world happens to be there for you to unfold the story.

    I don't mind a story being told, actually, I was a very big fan of the story and the way it was told of the original Subnautica, because it stimulated my imagination, it was part of undergoing what the world did to me.

    In S_BZ I don't feel like I'm undergoing a new world, a new, mystery world with it's own logic and everything. Even if it is a new, unknown part of the same planet. It felt to me like going through a familiar world in a familiar way I have done a gazillion times before. It could be different, if only the devs would have more daring, like they did with the original.

    But, oh well, I will wait thill the complete game is out. Who knows, it might be a totally different experience. :)

  • S3ZB0NS3ZB0N Members Join Date: 2020-10-15 Member: 264719Posts: 6 Fully active user
    Perhaps I should put this differently:

    In original Subnautica I enjoyed replaying the game just for the world itself. The story, once I played it to the end 2 or 3 times, was known, but the world offered so many ways of experimenting, that I kept coming back and restarting the game.

    With S_BZ I would perhaps once try a base above water level, perhaps once in the biome where the very big lily plants are and perhaps one more time all the way in deep, close to the endgame parts, which is actually quite close to the huge lily plant things. I don't know thogh if I would keep coming back to the game even that often. It just is less pleasant, it seems to me now, to experiment in this world, as some parts are just not very exciting and some other parts are not friendly at all. And most parts you go once and are happy not to have to return there.

    But, again, I will wait till the final game is out. Perhaps it will be a very different experience. :)
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