Between games like No Man's Sky and Rodina, there's certainly no shortage of open-world exploration indie games set in space, but what we haven't necessarily seen as much interest in is exploring the depths of an ocean. With their newly announced Subnautica, Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds looks to be filling that void.
Subnautica is an underwater open-world title which combines elements of "role playing, sandbox, exploration and cinematic games" to create a game "the genre of which [they] do not believe has yet been invented." Right now, the team at Unknown Worlds is still in the early prototyping stages, so there's not a ton of concrete details like screenshots or gameplay footage just yet, but there is some pretty sweet concept art and some samples from the Subnautica soundtrack.
Here's a sort of general statement taken from Subnautica's website on what the game actually is:
"Subnautica aims to elicit a feeling of experiencing the unknown: A sense that you are exploring an untouched world, not knowing how far, or how deep you can go. The underwater environment will invite you to construct submarines and develop your equipment in order to reach its far flung and diverse corners. Decisions you make about vessel layout, capabilities and structure will affect your ability to navigate hazards and enter the domains of creatures; the likes of which your imagination has never conceived of."
A few pieces of concept art were released alongside the announcement, and the meanings behind each were detailed.
The first, "Close Encounter," expresses how core discovering underwater life is to Subnautica. The team says you'll find "impossibly diverse and fascinating creatures" throughout your adventure, but the real question lies in whether they're a threat or a simple passerby.
The second piece, "Control Room," teases your ability to "design, construct and crew submarine vessels" in Subnautica, and the team promises they've taken the time to make sure the in-game submarines will have that "shiny, high tech look" evidenced in "Control Room."
Finally, the last piece, "Lava Zone," emphasizes another key part of Subnautica's design, "diversity of underwater environments." The landscape showcased in this particular image shows off a locale which will "not necessarily be entirely friendly towards a player’s submarine," and the submarine shown is apparently at least somewhat similar to the general style Subnautica is going for with its underwater crafts.
The post I'm getting all this art from also showcases a couple of tracks from Subnautica's soundtrack, all of which give off an eerie, ominous vibe that I suspect will make for a fantastic underwater atmosphere. Three tracks were revealed, and you can hear them all on the game's official blog.
Unknown Worlds promises that every week they will be revealing new "concept art, screenshots, design proposals, technical details, plans and progress," and they urge you to follow Subnautica on Twitter and Facebook if you want to see those updates as they're released.
Subnautica has certainly piqued my interest. How about yours?