First Subnautica Screenshots Surface

Where I'd like to be

I’ll tell you what’s in space: a big load of nothing. Oh I’m sure it’s very pretty and makes you think and all that, but I’ll find my abyssal mirror in the ocean thank you very much. You know what’s down there? Iron snails, radiant deathworms, giant woodlice, immortal jellyfish, and colossal creatures we discover by finding bits of them in other monsters’ stomachs. So naturally I’m pretty jazzed for Unknown Worlds to plumb watery depths in Subnautica.

The Natural Selection 2 devs over the weekend pulled a virtual gold tasselled rope to open digital red velvet curtains and reveal the open-world oceanic build-o-explorer, and it looks quite pleasant.

Subnautica will offer alien seas with different environments and ecosystems as you explore around and into the deep, full of life to observe, follow, catch, and flee from. Oceans being terrifying places that can crush you with water pressure, you’ll need to build seabases and submarines and whatnot to probe truly alien areas. I often struggle to find purpose in open worlds, but moving down, down, deeper and down is an implicit goal that sandboxes often lack.

These shallows are safe, UW insists

The first four pre-alpha screenshots come from a public show build, revealing the game in its early and incomplete but playable state. “These are early days: Only a tiny fraction of environments, creatures, game mechanics, equipment, graphical features and technical systems are implemented,” UW says.

Check Unknown Worlds’ pair of revealing blog posts for the fourth screenshot and details on what exactly they’re all showing.

Koosh Bushes, they call 'em


  1. rei says:

    Well that’s a surprising departure from alien murdering. Sounds nice. I hope it’s not all bright coastal waters like in these shots though.

  2. bosseye says:

    Looks good to me. I’ve always loved water in games, even more so when you can dive and be under it. The first tomb raider blew my tiny, simple mind. Bung in some shipwrecks, sharks, maybe some treasure and the like and I’m happy.

  3. CookPassBabtridge says:

    His hands are sooooo smoooooth

  4. lumpeh says:

    This game demands some prehistoric earth dlc. We could have one for each epoch!

  5. Shazbut says:

    Oh my God, bobbit worms are the stuff of nightmares.

  6. OpT1mUs says:

    Anxiety: The Game

  7. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    This is exactly the sort of game I want to see more of. I keep hoping for an HD entry in the Endless Ocean series, but this is good, too.

    • Wedge says:

      That just gave me the excellent idea to see how that game looks all scaled up on emulation on PC.

  8. XhomeB says:

    Boy, can someone remake SubCulture already? Awesome game which none seems to remember anymore, I bought a 3Dfx card for it.
    A GOG version would be nice, too.

  9. CandyMan says:

    Looks very colorful I like it!

  10. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    Looking forward to this, it makes me sad that there aren’t more underwater set games.

  11. Tams80 says:

    Why would I want to be a human?!

    Wake me up when I can play as a fish.

  12. Stardreamer says:

    Sounds amazing. WANT.

  13. Iskariot says:

    I love this. I f this is single player I am in.

  14. The Random One says:

    Iron Snails would be a great name for a heavy metal band. So would Radiant Deathworm, come to think of it. Giant Woodlice… that’s more prog rock I think.