Each week Marsh Davies dips a toe into the unknown waters of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or decompression sickness. This week he slaps on a snorkel and dives into alien aquatic survival game Subnautica. Snorkel is a great word. Snork snork!
2014 was the year of the indie survival game. 2015 looks very much like it might be the year of the indie survival game as well. 2016 is the year that the secret cabal of indie survival game developers finally steps from the shadows to unleash its terrible global coup. Within minutes of the first shot, indie game genres fall, devoured by the unstoppable tide of survival mechanics. Early Access devs planning coherent end-games are forced to fight each other to the death in a bleak, under-resourced wilderness with guns improvised from baked-bean tins. In sick mimicry of the cabal’s evil creed, games can now only conclude with the player’s own expiration from starvation or hypothermia. “To play is to die! To play is to die!” the regime’s fanatical adherents shriek from loudhailers as the speedrunners, twin-stick shootists and visual-novelists are forced into the re-education pens. No one misses the Dota players. It’s only the devastating invasion of the Sokobeasts, a hyperintelligent alien race fixated on abstruse block-pushing puzzles, that forces the regime to see its terrible error. Only then does it regret marooning Jon Blow and Stephen Lavelle on a spit of sand in the Pacific with only a snooker cue and a single sausage-roll between them. How the regime had laughed at that. Well, they’re not laughing now. Because they’re dead.