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16-player space submarine simulator Barotrauma plunges into early access next month

Glug glug glug

They say that before you agree to marry someone, you should go on a long trip with them. Perhaps all the way into space, in an airtight submarine plagued by maintenance issues and alien attacks. What I’m saying here is that if you and 15 friends can get together and survive the chaos of Barotrauma intact, it’s only logical that your next move is to all get hitched.

I saw this game at a Daedalic Entertainment event a couple of months ago and mostly what stuck with me is the way the models move, like unhinged posing dolls, limbs each beholden to their own physics. Depending on where such things fall for you it could definitely push the game much closer to either the horror or hilarity axes that it’s trying to balance between. See for yourself in the trailer below.

Our lovely space voiceover has really hit the main points for me here. Pack all your friends into a submarine diving the oceans of Europa (Jupiter’s moon, not the stylish Italian name for the continent). Work together to explore and survive, and/or sabotage one another and let the ship go down in fire and flood.

Players can use any of the different systems to keep things going, from the sonar to the big anti-alien guns welded to the hull. But it'll help to take different specialities, including medic, engineer, and traitor. Okay, that’s not really one of them, but that makes it worse because it might mean that your doctor or the guy fiddling with the nuclear reactor powering the sub has their own agenda. You’d think being trapped in a metal cylinder under an icy sea so far from home would engender cooperation, but apparently not. Maybe don’t marry that person.

You’ll need to craft things like weapons and oxygen tanks to keep your adventures going, but you can also craft new subs, weird squids and the like to mix things up and share among the modding community. You will also be able to play alone if that's what floats your - er, sinks your sub, with AI helpers to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Which probably isn't that smooth.

Barotrauma will emerge into the unrelenting seas of Steam in early access on June 5th.

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Jay Castello avatar

Jay Castello


Jay writes about video games, falls down endless internet rabbit holes, and takes a lot of pictures of flowers.