Get ready to dive back into adventure and unknown depths! Unknown Worlds Entertainment – the studio that brought us the deep-sea exploration/survival game, Subnautica – has announced a new expansion that will act as a stand-alone game, separate from the original title.
The new expansion is called Subnautica: Below Zero and will take place on an entirely different region of Planet 4546B; most of which is (you guessed it) frozen and covered in ice. The region is tentatively planned to be half the size of the original game, with a playtime of anywhere between 10-20 hours.
Subnautica: Below Zero will take place after the events of the original game, offering up an entirely new world to explore in its second chapter. Many of the core gameplay elements from the beloved original will stay in place, but the team at Unknown Worlds will be experimenting with new mechanics to be added to the game as it is developed. While the game spends time in Steam Early Access, the developers will craft the game using the same approach used in the original game. Unknown Worlds will readily welcome player feedback, adjusting the game and releasing updates based on the responses they receive.
From the Subnautica: Below Zero website:
“The concept of Below Zero is still developing. We are keeping the core gameplay mechanics, such as base building and open-ended exploration. We are also exploring new ones, such as thermal management, and more voiced dialogue at the core of the plot. We're still in early stages and nothing is set in ice. These features may change prior to, and during, Early Access.”
The original Subnautica has been held in high regard within the gaming community, maintaining a “Very Positive” rating based on all-time reviews on Steam, while holding an impressive Metacritic score of 87. This is no doubt due to the fact that the Unknown Worlds team builds the game through the use of player feedback from the get-go. The original game spent over three years in development on Early Access, but based on the final release’s reception, it is clear that the time was well worth it.
No details have been released as to when Subnautica: Below Zero will be added to Early access, but the plan is to make it available within the coming months. In the meantime, players can gain additional insights into the developmental process by viewing the Subnautica: Below Zero Trello board.