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Subnautica: Below Zero surfaces out of early access in May

I've been waiting to return to these alien seas

With the first signs of spring now blooming, it feels weird to be suddenly excited about the prospect of going somewhere proper cold, yet here I am. The makers of Subnautica: Below Zero just announced that their frozen follow-up to 2018's wonderful undersea survival adventure will leave early access and launch in full on the 14th of May. I'm so ready to meet more weird sealife on an alien planet, then eat some and be eaten by others.

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Below Zero is set one year after the first game and returns to the same alien planet, this time to an arctic region rather than tropical seas. We'll play a scientist sent to study its wonders when, oh no, disaster, it's time to once again explore and craft and build and survive. While Subnautica is sandboxy, it does have a story leading to a conclusion, which is nice.

New seas mean new life, new biomes, new tools, new vehicles, and... I'm not really sure beyond that. All I remember for certain is that it has cute/horrifying penguins whose giant beaks are vertical atop their heads, like a hungry hat.

While I followed the original Subnautica closely on its journey through early access, delighted by the addition of each new undersea wonder and horror, I've largely steered clear of Below Zero. Will be nice to go in fresh this time, you know. I already know the broad shape of the game from the first, but now I have no idea what's waiting in the depths. Will be nice/awful to be surprised.

Subnautica: Below Zero is due to launch May 14th for Windows and Mac via Steam, Humble and the Epic Games Store. It already dropped the early access discount and went up to its full price of £25/€30/$30, last month. The game will also be on PlayStations, Xboxes, and Switch.

Back in the real sea, ooft, it's been a harsh winter. The coldest I swam in this year was 2C (35F), when snow had settled on the beach. It's rare to see the sea below 4 or 5 and goodness me those few degrees make such a difference. Still, spring's coming and is lovely. Then by summer I'll be griping that it's too warm.

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