Subnautica: Below Zero Image
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 118 Ratings

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  • Summary: Dive into a freezing underwater adventure on an alien planet. Set one year after the original Subnautica, Below Zero challenges you to survive a disaster at an alien research station on Planet 4546B. Craft tools, scavenge for supplies, and unravel the next chapter in the Subnautica story.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. CD-Action
    Jul 23, 2021
    90
    The world of Below Zero is much smaller than its predecessor’s, but it is still an absolutely brilliant survival game that tells an interesting story set in a fascinating environment. Additionally, it is more friendly towards less experienced players, and managed to get rid of some technical issues that affected the original Subnautica. [08/2021, p.78]
  2. May 11, 2021
    90
    Mix the feeling of weakness of the movie Open Water with a compelling story, a world to explore in metroidvania style kind of like in Don't Starve, add the maniacal detail of In Other Waters, shake and there we have Subnautica: Below Zero, an intriguing sci-fi survival with just a bit of horror. While at first it might seem a little limited in scope, with a bit of patience you will soon realize how great of a game it is.
  3. May 24, 2021
    85
    Subnautica: Below Zero cannot match the original game in terms of scale; therefore it is a standalone expansion instead of a full-fledged sequel. Despite this, it offers a more immersive and streamlined experience through a more emphatic story, great voice acting and plenty of quality of life additions. The three bucks that Below Zero costs are more than worth the at least twenty hours of exploration fun.
  4. May 21, 2021
    84
    If you liked the first one, you will love Subnautica: Below Zero. It improves everything previously played and adds necessary novelties to this sequel. Everyone who loves underwater world and survival genre will be delighted with this video game.
  5. May 11, 2021
    80
    Subnautica Below Zero does not seem to want to walk in other steps than that of its big brother. By reducing the map or vehicles, Below Zero is more to be seen as a very good expansion of the original game, more scripted version and a little more hostile than the first episode. If Below Zero undoubtedly does better than the competition when it comes to making a scripted survival game, with a universe as enchanting as it is frightening hand-crafted, it would undoubtedly have gained more from the experience of 'origin to fully conquer the veterans of the franchise, who, despite everything, will take undeniable pleasure to go diving again, just like the newcomers, who will have the chance to discover for the first time this atypical and oh so immersive way of approaching the game of survival.
  6. May 11, 2021
    75
    If you liked Subnautica, Subnautica: Below Zero still has the base of what made the original great - the charm, the wonder, the building and even some of the exploration - but this has been tempered somewhat. The story-focused approach here is interesting, even compelling at parts, but the game doesn't do enough to keep you on track or from getting lost in the many enclosed caves, caverns and tunnels running throughout. Also, like the original, this does have its fair share of bugs and issues. Still, no matter the issues, it is still a genuinely good game. While it may not be as good as the original, it's still up there as one of the better survival games around.
  7. May 12, 2021
    60
    Subnautica: Below Zero feels like more of Subnautica, and that is only a good thing to a certain extent. Where it falls short by copying its predecessor is in the story and thematic department, making it feel like an uneventful and unimportant step in the series.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 46
  2. Negative: 17 out of 46
  1. Jan 30, 2019
    10
    Subnautica: Below Zero seems like it will be just as good, or better than the original game. The quality is great. It's not quite the sameSubnautica: Below Zero seems like it will be just as good, or better than the original game. The quality is great. It's not quite the same game, but the basics are the same (which I hoped for).

    I hit the content-wall in the early access, and swam around some more after that, and the great atmosphere is just the same. I can't wait to see the story unfold.
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  2. Jun 1, 2021
    10
    I loved everything about this game. The details are amazing. They took everything that worked well from the first game and made it better. TheI loved everything about this game. The details are amazing. They took everything that worked well from the first game and made it better. The game is a bit less scary, but it's still very scary and stressful. The graphics are great. The story while it has 2 sides, and one is shallower than the other, the ending is still amazing. Highly recommend it. Expand
  3. Jun 6, 2021
    8
    Quick rundowns of my thoughts on the game. I tried not let nostalgia factor in my judgment too much and kept the perspective of a totally newQuick rundowns of my thoughts on the game. I tried not let nostalgia factor in my judgment too much and kept the perspective of a totally new player.

    I liked the biomes and flora more than the original game, I dislike most of the fauna but there are some great standout ones, and I’m neutral on the story

    I would still recommend this even with its flaws. It has better atmosphere even if the map is way smaller. The sound design and music are great and well designed. It’s more polished than the original and the terrain generation is noticeably way better.
    .
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  4. May 16, 2021
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is good. I would have given it a better note if it was the first one. However, it is the sequel, and poorer than the first one.

    On the positive side, we have to speak about what we like in subnautica: the gameplay, the exploration, fauna and flora. It's nearly the same than the previous game, but it was already very good.
    The new map is interesting, even if smaller than the first one. Biomes are better designed than Sub' but they are far simpler. We still have the same excitation when going deeper and deeper and acquiring new elements.
    The story is fun, even if it could have deserved to be longer and richer.

    On the negative side, the game is far simpler than the first one. The new vehicle, the Aquatruck, kills the game IMO. We have it from the near beginning, and we can go down to the bottom of the ocean with it. In Sub', we had to choose. Seamoth for small caves, or Cyclops for bigger explorations, but it was a journey. In BZ, the aquatruck will easily do everything you need.
    Prawn suit? Didn't even craft it as all materials can be collected without mining and close to the Aquatruck.

    The level design of biomes is also simpler. Forget about lava zone/lava castle, you will have here 1 biome for the endgame, and you will go there probably twice. that's it.

    As for the base crafting, there is not much more than we used to have. Immersion chamber is not useful.

    In the end, the game takes the best from the first one, but simplifies it.
    It stays a good game, I had fun with it, but we have to say it's just an extension to Sub'. Not a fresh new game.
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  5. Aug 27, 2021
    5
    To anyone that is saying that this game is just as good as the first one, just different, they're completely out of their mind. Below ZeroTo anyone that is saying that this game is just as good as the first one, just different, they're completely out of their mind. Below Zero fails miserably to recreate some of the key components that made the original Subnautica great, and also fails miserably to achieve the things they were supposed to innovate on to compensate this change. I will try to ilustrate why even though there are some great 1 hr. + reviews on YouTube that explain this.

    Map: The map is a lot smaller and less deep that the original, and has biomes packed together, even vertically in some cases. This doesn't seem very realistic since you have a lot of biomes a few meters appart and more importantly it makes you loose the feeling of being on "open ocean"; you can see the limits of your enviroment almost all the time, which are also clearly iluminated as opposed to the deep dark sea on the original. You never wonder if there's a scary creature ready to get you since you always have clear visibility of your surroundings.

    Terror: there is literally NO TERROR in this game. Leaviathans are a sad joke and there are only squid sharks in every single biome, which is practically the only fauna you will practically see in the game. And they don't do absolutely nothing. You will very soon find that you are invincible with the defense upgrade of the Sea Truck. Late game leviathan? No problem, it will do 10 damage and run away. The PDA even tells you of the presence of them which takes away any fear of anticipation.

    Story: You basically have two story lines: finding what happened to the main character's sister and helping an architect to rebuild his body. None of them make absolutely any sense once you pay attention to it. The developers were supposed to compensate the lack of terror and map design in BZ with a great story, which aside from being very generic, it's full of plotholes that don't make any sense at all. You also are introduced to another survivor named Margaret, which you of course expect to develop over time and form a relationship which, but it turns out you only see her again twice in the game for a grand total of 5 mins on screen. The writing seems extremely lazy I couldn't even believe it. We lost all the greatness of the original Subnautica for this "great storyline".

    Land gameplay: it was just okay. Nothing special, and very buggy. I did not get any damage from either the land creatures and land leviathans since using the snow vehicle makes their behaviour so buggy they can't even hit you once. Ridiculous.

    Overall this game feels very bland, lazy, and definetly nothing special like the first one. The most worrying part is that after playing BZ, it really makes me wonder if the developers just stumbled upon the greatness of the original Subnautica by random chance. They really screwed everything they could screw in BZ which does not deliver anything other than Sea Monkeys as a replacement for the Cuddlefish. This is not just a "different game but equally good". It's just and OK 5/10, which is trash compared to the original Subnautica.
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  6. May 22, 2021
    2
    An epic fail. Just abysmal. The original was so good, and all the base code was all ready there, so how did they screw it up so badly? Simple.An epic fail. Just abysmal. The original was so good, and all the base code was all ready there, so how did they screw it up so badly? Simple. The original talent left/went on holiday/got sacked and got replaced by the usual mediocre culprits. So all the mediocre ideas come gushing out, like "how about voicing the Emergency PDA with someone who speaks English as a second language?' and 'lets make the main protagonist say things like "this could come in handy" when picking up a rock!'. Lets replace the mystery of the original with a banal nonsensical story about shallow characters and the **** things they say about each other. Lets make the sandbox so small its not a sandbox anymore. you can't travel 10 metres without finding something significant.

    The dialog is so cheesy and moronic it will make you wince. Forget about the subtle humor of the original, think what really stupid people say to each other in real life and now you know what you're in for. As for all the other mistakes, trudging around on land (huh?) for hours in blinding snow, playing stupid mini games with a remote controlled robot penguin, spoon fed game progression, truly awful sound effects, pathetic attempts to be cute, down to to an alien that broadcasts an distress signal in Morse code (no really, they did that).

    I was so shocked by how bad it was, I thought I was looking at the original through rose-colored glasses, so I went back and replayed it. Nope, these morons took one of the best games of the last 20 years and ruined it.
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  7. Sep 16, 2021
    0
    When you make a sequel, you should not only try to make a game as good and fillied with content as the original but also perhaps even improveWhen you make a sequel, you should not only try to make a game as good and fillied with content as the original but also perhaps even improve upon and increase the amount of content and quality of it.

    Below zero does absolutely none of that, everything is either worse, at best mediocre/the same, and above all most times extremely lacking compared to the original. This game literally feels like a cash grab DLC compared to the original game and should NEVER have been marketed anywhere near as being a sequel. Even for a DLC it would have been lacking in some areas. It literally feels like this is about a THIRD of the game the original was, and that is including all the content from the first that was re-used for this game.
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See all 46 User Reviews