If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Have you played… Subnautica?

Subsurface tension

The first time I came across a Reaper Leviathan in Subnautica is a moment in my gaming life that I'll hold onto forever. One moment I was alone amidst endless ocean, a trespassing sack of meat and flippers wondering where the hell I was. Then, a deep, forbidding thrum. I whirl about, checking my surroundings for predators. Nothing in sight. Eventually my gaze settles on a calm patch of dark blue sea - and from the centre of my screen, out of the blackness, a gigantic and horrifyingly silent monstrosity hurtles towards me.

After that encounter I had to get up and walk away from my desk. I laughed to myself, because I couldn't quite believe the visceral reaction my body had to that emerging cluster of pixels on my screen. I felt like I'd been hit in the stomach. It was possibly the most intense jump-scare I'd ever experienced in a game. Later, I watched a YouTuber playing Subnautica. When they came across the Reaper Leviathan for the first time, their reaction was almost exactly the same as mine. The schadenfreude was real, friends. And it was delicious.

I came to Subnautica pretty late, long after everyone had started to tell me it was one of the very best survival games out there. I'd owned it for ages, and even played it once or twice, but it didn't stick for whatever reason. A few weeks ago, I started it up again, and I've no idea what was different this time, but everything just instantly fell into place. I busied myself discovering one of the most fascinating spaces I'd encountered in video games. Within half an hour I was already lamenting that I'd never be able to experience Subnautica for the first time again.

I'll leave it up to Brendy's review to give you a fuller idea of what awaits you in this exquisitely crafted, masterfully paced tale of survival in a dark and dangerous world. I just wanted my voice to join the eternal nagging choir that once compelled me to finally give Subnautica a proper go. It's the finest survival game I've ever played, and whether you're a thalassophile or a thalassophobe (or, like me, somewhere in between), there's a decent chance you'll be utterly entranced.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be quite good at Rocket League. His favourite pastime is burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Features

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch