I was wondering which games might make the "Things To Play Over The Christmas Break" list this year when the Subnautica [official site] Precursor update got released. I went through a really big Subnautica love affair earlier in the year, but decided to step away for a few patches as the game is still in early access and I didn't want to lose the magic by mining out each update in turn. Then Precursor arrived and is tempting me back not only with alien tech and more in the way of narrative but NEW CAVES!
Gosh, it looks so different since I last played. I really like the geometric styling of the alien base, but more than that it seems to be more... gamey? Certainly there's something to it over and above the survival and crafting elements now that these narrative beats have begun to creep in properly.
The thing I'm most excited about is the new cave exploration stuff, though. I've never met a cave in Subnautica that I didn't want to root around in so the fact that the update minisite is saying "The island behind the Precursor Array is just as unusual. Be sure to spend some time exploring as much of this unique area as possible - You never know what you will stumble across." Is basically like waving a fistful of catnip at your beloved kitty. Caves are Pipnip. LOOK:
What else? The world now has fall damage, which I'm assuming that I will forget and then remember the hard way. You can also use the PDA thingummy while using a vehicle. There's also been some loot balancing with player progression in mind. Looking through the Unknown Worlds public Trello board it seems like in my absence the game got a bit awkward in terms of its core loops and how you unlock buildable items and so on so the team have been looking to address that.
Frustratingly, I was about to boot up the game this morning and then I managed to burn the tip of my right index finger which is proving massively uncomfortable for gaming :(
Anyway, Subnautica is in Early Access so all the usual caveats etc etc. A PLAGUE ON THIS STUPID FINGER BURN.