PABULUM: Subnautica – come find me.

Speeding recklessly through an alien aquatic landscape is a lot of fun. Being chased by an irritated leviathan class beast at the same time, not so much. The depth alone was warning enough but curiosity got the better of me. I should leave this body of water immediately. I do not belong here.

When I first eyed the media back in January, I really liked the premise. Traveling through a well crafted biome is always appealing and this game delivers on that. Public relations showered us with more than enough text and eye candy to piqué interests. Sadly at that time support for Linux had not yet materialized so the game got pushed to the side. I now find myself running a mid range Windows notebook so with fingers crossed I dove in. Can honestly say that this game is terrifying. I was not expecting that, not after all the spoilers consumed.

I know very little about the ocean, I understand it is dying and I am partly to blame. Have done a little snorkeling in the past, learned a bit during the school years and watched a number of films. My knowledge right there. In this new world you spend a lot of time swimming around in a pixar-esque looking environment that invites you to go out and explore. The controls are nice and the in-game avatar responds well. Non invasive visual cues help navigate the environments possibilities while your personal device catalogs activities. This sandbox is best approached with as little knowledge as possible. Best experienced than explained. Headphones are not necessary, but highly recommended as listening to the surroundings could save your life.

Alone again with no idea what to do. Apparently I’ve landed unceremoniously on an alien planet. I have a wet suit, a mobile device and a few useful packages liberated from the onboard storage. There is an emergency radio, a health kit dispenser and this weird fabricator thing that transforms basic materials into useful components.

“Lovely,” I chuckled. “We have crafting. And three-dimensional printing is a thing.”

Need to familiarize myself and learn the skills necessary to survive. I don’t think I can stay in this cramped pod forever, though the thought is tempting. There are two hatches available. One on the floor. The other above. Instinctively I climbed up revealing a vast endless body of water. My new playground.

Out in the distance. A massive wreckage looms large. Hard to tell the size also hard to tell the distance. I can see that it is still ablaze but somewhat intact, there could still be survivors. Looks like I can swim to it or at least I think I can. The digital assistant tied to my personal device is rambling on about things I should be paying attention to. My focus is everywhere though, causing a bit of information overload. Right now I am very enthusiastic and looking forward to whatever comes next. The sea is calm and the pod somehow managed to land in the shallows. I can barely make out what lies below. But, with few options left, I summoned up some courage took the plunge and entered the crystal clear world below. A massive fish tank teeming with life.

Navigating the sandbox feels natural. The developers did a wonderful job simulating that awkward feeling you get swimming underwater. That polite reminder to get air is a very nice touch and much appreciated. That said, I have decided to ignore that emergency radio. For now at least. Obviously touching that thing will propel me straight down the path of some bothersome story. I have lots to do and at this very moment I am enjoying the solitude. There are no cellphones, no deadlines or immediate superiors to placate. An accidental vacation for sure. I’ve since built a nice little habitat and you know what? I can do this for a while. Should there be any survivors out there, I suggest you come find me. I have plenty of food, water and cured Reginald’s are quite tasty.