Fans of portable video game machines and terrifying descents into fathomless oceanic depths rejoice! Developer Unknown Worlds has announced that its superb underwater survival horror Subnautica – and its still-in-Early-Access sequel, Below Zero – is heading to Switch next year.
Subnautica – if you’ve not yet had the, uh, pleasure – begins as players crash-land on an aquatic alien planet, with nothing but a hunting knife and basic escape pod to their name. What follows is a game of survival, and your first point of order is to ensure you’ve a sufficient supply of food, drinkable water, and – given Subnautica’s diving focus – oxygen to stay alive.
As the game progresses, your scavenging trips open up new avenues of adventure, with new materials enabling the construction of bases, as well as handy vehicles, to facilitate your exploration and, eventually perhaps, your escape.
Mechanically, it’s certainly familiar, but Subnautica comes into its own through its wonderfully paced plot – present enough to keep things moving, but loose enough to keep the experience open – and its gorgeously realised ocean world. From the stunning blue waters of its opening coral area to its inky black depths, it’s a constant delight of discovery. It is also, thanks to its murky visibility, phenomenal sound design, and menagerie of toothy marine horrors – one of the most oppressively terrifying games I have ever played. So, you know, you’ve been warned.
Its sequel, Subnautica: Below Zero, expands on that superb – and Eurogamer Recommended – core, only this time shifting the post-first-game action to a considerably frostier portion of the same ocean planet as the original. Here, there’s slightly more emphasis on land traversal, cute penguins and, inevitably, ample more intimidating ocean fauna to keep you on your toes.
Unknown Worlds hasn’t shared release dates for Subnautica or Below Zero on Switch just yet, but both are scheduled to arrive some time next year.