Jump to content

    Subnautica: Below Zero Review – Thrilling New Depths

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    sub3.jpg

    Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
    Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
    Release: May 14, 2021
    Rating: Everyone 10+
    Reviewed on: Xbox Series X/S
    Also on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

    The depths are treacherous. You don’t know what monster is hidden in the blackened waters, but you can hear its terrifying roar grow louder as you dive deeper. You know you are approaching your objective, but feel the monster is even closer. Subnautica: Below Zero delivers a continual sense of wonder and terror in its beautifully designed underwater exploration. Each dive is an empowering experience of discovery and self-preservation. When you come back up for air, you feel like you’ve accomplished something, unearthed a new mystery, and perhaps found what you needed to make your next dive even more rewarding.    

    Below Zero is what every sequel should be, building upon the established core formula in clever ways to make the new content feel just as exciting and unpredictable. Holding true to the first game, the main attraction is once again a sprawling alien sea that dazzles with its unusual aquatic life, but the survival gameplay impresses far more now that its been streamlined to the point that it’s rarely stressful or a bother. Even though I would periodically have to fry up a fish to sate my hunger and/or thirst, the majority of my time was spent doing what I wanted at my own comfortable pace and in the order that made the most sense to me.

    Click image thumbnails to view larger version

    https/sites/default/files/styles/entity_browser_thumbnail/public/2021/05/10/65db3546/sub1.jpg%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20/sites/default/files/styles/entity_browser_thumbnail/public/2021/05/10/a4ded85e/sub2.jpg%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20/sites/default/files/styles/entity_browser_thumbnail/public/2021/05/10/6f14f1a2/sub4.jpg%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20/sites/default/files/styles/entity_browser_thumbnail/public/2021/05/10/c8e71d9e/sub6.jpg

     

                                                                                                                

    A nicely penned science-fiction story is in lockstep with the discovery element, often overlapping in ways that impact your stance in the world and what you are capable of. Unknown Worlds does a fantastic job of leading the player along to points of interest without clearly labeling them. Audio and visual cues are effectively used, often making you question what something is or where it could go.

    I don’t want to spoil what the discoveries are, but many are grand in design, stretching both the narrative and gameplay in directions that make the experience even more enthralling. While I was always on the hunt for the next big thing, the moment-to-moment collection of crafting materials is immensely satisfying and better balanced than that of the original game. Some discoveries have many layers to them. Take the comically named Sea Monkey for example. You learn early on that this curious beast likes your gadgets and will steal them away if you get too close. Later in the game (and after developing more a meaningful connection with the world through a big narrative plot twist), the Sea Monkey becomes your friend and will fetch supplies for you. The gameplay sometimes evolves with the story, and is yet another way Below Zero really impresses with its unexpected depth.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    I also appreciated just how stress-free most of the crafting is. In the first game, you were immediately tasked to repair a bunch of broken systems in your vessel. In Below Zero, everything is working as it should from the outset. The focus is instead applied to letting you explore on your own and build exactly what you want. That kind of freeing approach is applied to most of the game, even in reducing frustration in exploration. Yes, it’s a sprawling sea, but each area is subtly different in design, making it easy to know exactly where you are and what materials can be found there (especially when you can scan for them). Another nice touch is if you die with a beacon on you, you can find your way back. The air bladder is also much more effective this time around.

    Not all discoveries occur underwater. After crash landing on Planet 4546B, xenologist (and protagonist) Robin Ayou gives us an immediate look at one of the sequel’s most effective surprises: true on-foot exploration. From time to time, you’ll step onto land and see what surprises await you, and they can be every bit as meaningful and unexpected as anything you find in the sea. The on-foot gameplay is as basic as it comes (walk and interact), but these sequences give a more complete snapshot of this wild alien world and help change up the gameplay flow.

    sub2.jpg

    As more of this planet is explored, you’ll develop the ability to build your own habitats, personalize them how you want (complete with posters and items you find), and eventually become a master of the sea capable of staring down a beast that would make Jaws turn tail and swim away in fright. Just know, these creatures almost always attack when you least expect them to, giving Below Zero some of the best jump scares out there and they aren't even scripted.

    Some of these screech-worthy encounters don't exactly go as Unknown Worlds intended and can turn unexpectedly comedic when a beast clearly forgets how to accurately navigate a space, banging into walls and flopping around chaotically. Some escapes also are upended by graphical pop in that makes a giant iceberg materialize out of thin air right in front of you.  Below Zero is a little rough around the edges, but most of my playthrough was nice and smooth.

    I can’t stress just how much fun each dive can be, and how fulfilling the discoveries are. Below Zero is one of the best survival games I’ve ever played, showing just how impactful player freedom can be within a world that you’ll want to explore every inch of.

    subnauticabelowzero.jpg

    Score: 9

    Summary: This second dive into an alien sea delivers a continual sense of wonder with huge discoveries backed by a strong story.

    Concept: A sequel that places more focus on story, reduces survival frustrations, and is all about that next great discovery

    Graphics: The alien aquatic life is always fun to study and see if you can get close to. The more dangerous biomes and depths are also beautifully brought to life. However, some items pop into existence, and you’ll periodically see odd animations

    Sound: A rightfully minimal soundtrack allows the little unknown sounds from the sea pop and potentially fill you with dread. The new voice acting is excellently implemented

    Playability: Below Zero is all about figuring out your own path and moving at your own pace. The discoveries are always rewarding, and the nicely designed biomes makes harvesting much easier than before

    Entertainment: It’s technically a survival game, but it feels more like a grand adventure that is free of many of the genre’s frustrations

    Replay: High

    Click to Purchase

    View the full article


    New World Highlights Dungeon Crawling In New Trailer

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    new-world.jpg

    Today, Amazon Games showcased the upcoming PC MMORPG New World with a new trailer that highlights the expedition experience. Expeditions are similar to what players may be familiar with from other MMORPGs in terms of dungeon crawls, group-play endeavors with some puzzling, monster-slaying, and big rewards.. Today’s focus is on the Amrine Excavation, a 5-player delve into the unknown to unearth ancient treasures. Of course, we all know what happens when you head into a long-lost excavation in search of riches, you can be sure to find some other nasties down there as you try to get out with the goods. Check out the trailer below for a look at Amrine, as well as a broader overview of what’s coming with New World this August when it’s scheduled to release.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Amrine Excavation is meant to be an introductory dungeon experience, so players can sort of cut their teeth on teaming up with other players and making their way through a traditional 5-player excursion here. Intro dungeons may not be the most important in terms of player progression, but they are an amazing tool to get players into the MMORPG experience and can be the most memorable. If you look at something like World of Warcraft, most old timers can tell you detailed stories about their first treks through Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, or Shadowfang Keep. Hopefully, New World’s dungeon experiences will prove to be compelling, repeatable content that gets players engaging with each other alongside the encounters.

    New World has had its release date pushed back, so hopefully this summer release sticks. While COVID has had massive industry repercussions across the board for the gaming industry over the past year, New World has continually revamped, replaced, and altered systems and mechanics as they tinker with things leading up to release. We’ll see what New World can bring to the MMORPG table on August 31.

    View the full article


    Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion – New Gameplay Today

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    turnip-boy-new-gameplay-today.jpg

    Click to watch embedded media

    Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is a 2D action-adventure game about a troublesome root vegetable that has a penchant for ripping up legal documents and generally causing mischief around town. This recently released pixel art game, independently developed by Snoozy Kazoo and published by Graffiti Games, tasks you with solving “plantastic” puzzles, collecting new weapons and equipment, running errands for townsfolk, and eliminating massive beasts - all in the name of paying off Turnip Boy’s taxes to a corrupt vegetable government.

    On this episode of New Gameplay Today, join Alex Van Aken, Marcus Stewart, and Ben Reeves as they complete the first major quest from Mayor Onion, who Turnip Boy is indebted to, which culminates in an epic boss fight against the mighty Pig King! Like many of the boss fights in the game, the crew has to utilize a number of mechanics to effectively take down the gargantuan hog.

    Interested in checking out Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion after watching this video? We recommend it if you’re a fan of 2D games like Moonlighter, The Binding of Isaac, or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. And if you’re a fan of irreverent humor from games like Borderlands or Undertale, then you’ll be right at home with this cute little gem. If you enjoyed this episode, then be sure to watch previous episodes of New Gameplay Today and leave a comment down below about which upcoming video game you'd like us to cover next.

    View the full article


    Weirdest Resident Evil Village Mods | From Baby Chris Redfield To Duke As Pudge

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    28-1620503835-995140089.jpeg

    We've covered a few "weird" Resident Evil Village mods in the past, including turning Lady Dimitrescu into Thomas the Tank Engine and fighting off a horde of the world's friendliest purple dinosaur with Barney, but there is still so much oddness out there. Resident Evil Village is already pretty weird, especially when looking at how much Capcom apparently hates Ethan Winters' hands, but trust me when I say that it can get a lot weirder. So ... without further ado ... let's talk some of the weirdest Resident Evil Village mods that you need to try.

    Before diving in, some of these are made just for the demo (not all though). If you like them, however, keep tabs because full versions are on the way. 

    28-1620503835-995140089.jpeg

    Baby Chris Redfield
    Think beefy Chris Redfield, but as Rose instead. Because why not?

    Think beefy Chris Redfield, but as Rose instead. Because why not? In the realm of strange, nothing is off limits. And as mentioned in our spoilercast, Rose already has a frightfully large noggin as it is, so Chris' head replacing the baby's isn't as weird as it should be. Seriously though, how did Mia birth that thing?! Respect...

    All this mod does is literally puts Chris' head onto Rose's infant form at the beginning of the game. It's not a lifechanger, but it is still too hilarious for you to pass up. 

    You can download this mod right here

    14-1620155036-406221390.jpeg

    Pudge as the Duke
    Pudge is from Dota 2 and I don't know why anyone in their right minds would want this, but here we are.

    Pudge is from Dota 2 and I don't know why anyone in their right minds would want this, but here we are. I don't have any words for this one. Just take your download link and go, please. 

    You can download this mod here

    26-1620500576-794866740.jpeg

    Lady X Mod
    Lady X gonna give it to ya.

    You know how the world was obsessed with Mr. X once more and there were all of those glorious memes replacing the song with him: "Mr. X gonna give it to ya"? Well, good news! We can do it again, except with Lady X. That's right, some mad soul out there replaced Lady Dimitrescu's supple vampy skin with that of Mr. X and it's terrifying and I still kind of want her to step on me. Not sure what that says about me, but sounds like a problem for future me. 

    You can download this mod right here

    500-1620410890-1554698703.jpg

    Bonus Mod: Play As Lady Dimitrescu (For Resident Evil 3 Remake)
    Why lust after her when you can just play as her instead?

    Going a little off-topic with this one, but you can bring the lusty vampire we all know and love into other Resident Evil adventures as well! Why beg Lady D to notice you when you can become her instead? OK, admittedly that sounded a lot creepier than it did in my head, but you get the picture. With this mod, it retexturizes Jill Valentine to look like Lady D herself. Slog your way through water, death, and destruction in an elegant white dress while demanding murder. 

    You can download this mod right here

    41-1620732616-1899632159.jpeg

    Creepy Baby Chris Redfield Swap, But Reverse It
    It's Rose's time to shine.

    Remember that creepy Chris Redfield mod that puts his grown head onto infant Baby Rose's body? Time to harness your inner Missy Elliot and flip it and reverse it because now Rose's big dome piece is on a grown Chris' body.

    You're welcome. 

    You can download this mod here

    11-1620146142-68072896.jpeg

    Banana Gun And Spoon Knife
    Didn't anyone ever tell you not to bring a banana to a gunfight?

    Didn't anyone ever tell you not to bring a banana to a gunfight? Obviously not if you're looking at this mod. This is goofy, nonsensical, and I'm 100% here for it. Gone are the days a normal handgun, fight bloodthirsty fiends with potassium instead! 

    All this mod does is it replaces the models for the handguns and melee weapons with bananas and spoons instead. Is it important? Nah, but it sure is funny. 

    You can download this mod here

    Want more mod goodness in your life? Of course, you do! Check out some of our other Mod Corner contenders below: 



    Thoughts on the various weird Resident Evil Village mods out there? What other mods are you hoping this community brings for the latest horror title from Capcom? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

    View the full article


    PlayStation's Days Of Play Event Returns With Rewards, Challenges, Free Multiplayer, And More

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    maxresdefault.jpg

    PlayStation's Days of Play event returns and promises a ton of goodies for all gamers on Team Blue. From free multiplayer to nifty new challenges, there is a lot to look forward to with the event's return, so let's dive in and see what's ahead. 

    First and foremost, we have the return of PlayStation Player Celebration. This particular celebration offers a special event that allows the community to come together to achieve a shared set of challenges in the hopes of earning some sweet, sweet, freebies such as PSN avatars and PS4 themes. Registration for this event is live and will remain so until May 31. The main event kicks off on May 18, here's how to register and what to do: 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    1. Register with your PSN Sign-in ID here
    2. Log on May 18 with the first stage of community goals: Games Goal
    3. Play PS4 and PS5 games to hit the targeted number of games for each weekly goal

    The event features a few games goal, which means total number of titles played, a Trophies goal for earned Trophies, and a bonus goal. Once the first two achievements are won, then the bonus goal will unlock. 

    Stage One on May 18 kicks off at 12:00 a.m. Pacific through May 24 at 11:59: p.m. Pacific. Stage Two is poised to kick off on May 25 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific to May 31 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Stage Three concludes the whole event, starting on June 1 at the same time as the previous two stages, with an end date of June 7. 

    • Stage One: 2.4 million games played for the community goal, 7.2 million Trophies earned
      • Bonus goal: 3 million games played, 8.8 million Trophies earned
    • Stage Two: 2.9 million games played, 8.5 million Trophies earned
      • Bonus goal: 3.6 million games played, 10.4 million Trophies earned
    • Stage Three: 3 million games played, 9 million Trophies earned
      • Bonus goal: 3.7 million games played, 11 million Trophies earned

    If all of the goals are reached, then there is a cumulative prize for all with an additional PSN avatar and PS4 dynamic theme. Also included during this time are special sales on games and free online multiplayer weekends for those to get online and play with friends across PS4 and PS5 ecosystems without PlayStation Plus, according to the PlayStation Blog


    So get gaming gamers, and come up with your plan of attack in the comment section below! 

    View the full article


    Beta Invite Wave and Burning Crusade Classic Launch Test - May 12

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Beta Invite Wave and Burning Crusade Classic Launch Test - May 12
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    On Wednesday, May 12, at 11:00 a.m. PDT (2:00 p.m. EDT), we’ll open the Dark Portal on a new Beta realm to test the Burning Crusade Classic launch.

    We’ll open the new realm “Launch Test” on Tuesday for character copy, and to make sure we test thoroughly, we’ve just sent out one last big wave of Beta invites.

    Please join us on your copied character on the Launch Test beta realm on May 12, and head to Outland at 11:00 a.m. PDT. We plan to keep that realm open for several hours, with all zones and instances available.

    Thank you very much!

    View the full article


  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      64,641
    • Total Posts
      68,035
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      9,318
    • Most Online
      1,132

    Newest Member
    Hrushi
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...