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Video GameSubnautica Below Zero (Series) Review
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Posted: 20 months ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light horror adventure where you must explore and survive the environments while completing objectives to advance the story.

Like the first game, you play mainly underwater. Here though, there are more land-based areas to explore. You find large structures to investigate both above ground and underwater which reveal the story and characters. The day-night cycle affects visibility and dynamic weather such as wind, snow, fog, and hail also hinder progress. You have a range of tools like the first game, with the addition of a Flashlight Helmet, Mineral Detector and Booster Tank.

You can play in different modes:
  • Survival: Dealing with depleting health, hunger, thirst and oxygen. You can respawn if you die but lose items.
  • Freedom: Hunger and thirst disabled but otherwise like Survival.
  • Hardcore: If you die you have to restart from the beginning.
  • Creative: Health and thirst are disabled. You also have access to all crafting without the need for resources.
  • VR: The game can be played in VR mode with headsets such as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, with the additional input of a keyboard and mouse or game controller.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Strategy (Action, Open World, Simulation and Traversal)

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Unknown Worlds (@UnknownWorlds)

 

ListsLists

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 17 hours and 20 hours to complete. You can spend many more hours exploring every area and discovering the full story of what went on on the alien planet.
 

Play StylePlay Style

This is a single-player game.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for Violence and Horror because it features moderate violence to fantasy characters and disturbing scenes. The player's character has to hunt alien life forms, sometimes using blades or a drill arm to attack them. Although wounds are not shown, blood is depicted and alien bodies are left behind to be harvested. The aliens may grunt and squeal as they struggle to escape. Larger alien creatures also hunt and consume smaller lifeforms, shaking them in their jaws before swallowing them whole. The creatures are also able to hunt and attack the player's character. When caught, the player's character screams and struggles in the creature's mouth before being swallowed. These scenes can be intense and add to the sense of dread created as you explore the planet alone.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, and Mild Language. Players defend themselves against predatory alien creatures. Small creatures may attack players if provoked; larger creatures can strike or bite players, causing Robin to cry out in pain. A mechanical suit with tools allows players to grab enemies and incapacitate them; aliens sometimes emit splatters of yellow liquid when hit. The words “damn” and “hell” appear in the dialogue.

Skill Rating

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content.

CostsCosts

Subnautica Below Zero usually costs £24.99 to £29.99.
 

Subnautica Below Zero

PlayStation Store PS5 £29.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £29.99
Steam Store PC £24.99
Switch Store Switch £24.99
Steam Store Mac £24.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Our Subnautica Below Zero Accessibility Report documents 29 accessibility features:
You can scale the user interface in the game from 0.7 to 1.4. There's an option to automatically pause the game when you open your PDA to assess the situation, plan moves and navigate.

The subtitles are large and clear, as is the pop-up information, but other text in crafting menus and trees is a lot smaller.

There are options to turn off flashes as well as highlight interactive elements of the game for greater visibility.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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