Thanks to press access provided on my Epic Games account, I had the opportunity to test the new game from Unknown Worlds Entertainment, known in particular for Subnautica, the first of the name, released at the beginning of last year. This opportunity fell perfectly well, because I wanted to make my own impression since the mixed preview of Stephan published following the test of the Xbox One version in December, and the comment shared in reaction by Pilou.
At the start of a game, the choice is given between four difficulty levels:
- Survival : the default mode with a narrative frame, in which it is necessary to pay attention to his thirst and hunger, as well as to his life and oxygen.
- Freedom : simplified survival mode without the management of basic needs (hunger and thirst).
- Hardcore : for true survivalists, with all the indicators to monitor and only one life.
- Creative : the simplest mode in which all constructions are accessible, watered down from the survival aspect and history.
Having chosen to launch myself in complete "Freedom", my game begins when I wake up in my bed. I turn off the alarm clock and walk around my room, the decor is minimalist, resembling a space station. In an aquarium, colorful fish are having fun, a taste of what to expect as soon as I find out how to dive into the water!
I leave my room and go into the common rooms which are all empty. The impression of being in a space station returns, the walls are white and sanitized, the floors metallic and the doors closed with airlock. Luckily, the set is decorated with a few fun posters and green plants, proving that humans do live well here, but where are they? Although I try to click everywhere nothing fires, I hope it will be possible to interact with some elements in the final version.
I can't help but look out the window and get out as soon as possible, the advantage of being on dry land.
This planet is truly beautiful and I make the most of it with the options taken to the extreme. The light effects are very well rendered, as well as the shadows, with my character standing out against the immaculate snow.
Night falls, and a message draws me from my contemplation. One of my companions no longer responds and I have to leave to see what is happening to him. I wander for a moment, I try to jump into the water, but the ice is too thick, then I notice a lighted passage that disappears between the rocks.
I go up this small path and I arrive in front of extraterrestrial ruins. A code locks the entry protected by a force field, I try a few random numbers to enter without anything happening. Unfortunately, I don't have time to dwell on the problem for long because things are escalating outside after a panicked call from one of my colleagues. I come out, forced to make a detour because the rocks have collapsed and there, patatrac, a gigantic avalanche destroys everything, taking away the complex where I woke up.
While I am trying to find what to do, the ice of a small lake breaks under my feet and I fall into the water, my real adventure begins!
The magic of underwater exploration
The underwater landscapes are beautiful, as magnificent as on dry land, maybe even more so. I swim along a long gallery, going up to look for oxygen thanks to a special aquatic plant. The water effects are perfect, with droplets, transparency, and even current that tosses me up to the surface. The sound is in agreement: complete silence while diving, then the sound of the waves which gradually increases, until you are present once your head is out of the water.
I finally arrive at a small survival module placed on the seabed which gives me access to a storage space and a 3D printer.
Then the hard return to work
My diver has the diagrams of ten objects to eat and survive more effectively in the water. Very quickly, I set myself the goal of increasing my oxygen resource with an additional tank, to equip myself with a survival knife, then to get myself a flashlight and a scanner to learn more about them. places I visit.
It all starts with collecting the raw resources provided by the ocean. By getting close enough, a left click and it's good. The survival knife is also very useful for cutting algae and recovering fibers.
Once back at the base, the creation process starts from the 3D printer (impossible to create anything outside). Most of the time, it is necessary to first create basic elements (like lubricant, fibers or glass) and electronic components (like a battery, a computer chip or copper wire), then to combine them.
The inventory is very limited, both in terms of storage in the base, and what my character is carrying. It forces me to go back and forth a lot. To overcome this problem, I add to the list of my requirements the creation of small complementary floating storage that I put just outside my base.
Without forgetting a touch of science
Thanks to my creations, the oceans are discovered in a new light. The flashlight is essential for exploring dark corners.
The jet ski opens up new horizons for me with a much higher speed.
And a surface buoy complete with pipes brings oxygen to me ever deeper. Finally, for the moment, I use it mainly so that the oxygen arrives next to my chests and prevents me from dying stupidly when I use it (not that it has happened to me before ...).
As I mentioned above, the survival knife is essential to recover ever more resources, but the most useful is without hesitation the scanner for the study of the flora and fauna of the oceans. By approaching and staying focused long enough on an object, the device collects useful resources and / or information. Objects have been destroyed at the bottom of the oceans and this then unlocks a new pattern.
There are also some strange alien ruins there, an additional objective if one was needed to crisscross the seabed to find them all.
All of this information is stored in a very detailed and useful codex.
Magnificent. This is the word that would best describe my experience after more than four hours in the deep sea. The graphics are of an impressive quality, and everything is done so that boredom does not set in, with a great diversity of fauna and flora in surprising colors that evolve in enchanting environments.
So yeah, the story is pretty limited at the moment and there isn't always as much interaction as I hoped. But for early access which describes itself on the store page as "full of bugs", I was very pleasantly surprised. The explorers will undoubtedly like to lose themselves in this new universe as much as I do and I intend to continue my exploration during the coming months, until the launch which, I hope, will bring more and more mystery to this strange planet.
Epic Games Store - 16,79€