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‘Subnautica: Under Zero’ and its wonderful and tiring ocean

‘Subnautica: Under Zero’ and its wonderful and tiring ocean


Compared to free-form exploration, Subnautica: below zero it is particularly systematic. I basically get shots that are “artisanal recipes,” the ingredients of which I create on the seabed. To get the battery needed to power my tools, I need two ribbon plants and a piece of copper, so I’ll head out to the ocean, back to where I am. More sophisticated objects need ingredients found in deeper, more dangerous waters, so I go there too, now in my awesome Seatruck. Slowly but surely, the excitement I get from the game environments is exchanged for transitional knowledge. The ocean, and writing it down, seems like a huge, tumultuous grocery store. To collect the set of grape seeds I need to get hydraulic fluid, I go to the kelp forest corridor.

The game occasionally prioritizes my nautical consumerism, as when I leave items on the seabed, because I need to make room for more resources. Sometimes I find my trash a few days later and feel guilty, though only being a video game. Meanwhile, at Seatruck, I am sheltered and away from the oceanic population. As I crawl through the waters of a variety of organisms, small fish splash against the glass in these blooming flowers, like insects hitting the car’s windshield – ending with my noticeable presence and large size.

What doesn’t happen is a significant barrier to the ocean as resources flow out of it. In fact, this static situation makes me wonder how a game can handle environmental degradation. In Floating point Leviathan is a first-person underwater game about harpooning a beautiful blue whale. With each hit of the giant mammal, the game’s polygonal, pastel-colored visions, brilliance, and artifact are shaken when the entire screen at its end vibrates, creating nausea. In 10 short minutes, Floating point Leviathan it makes an astonishing point about what can be a destabilizing human action.

Placing the whale on the harpoon moves the entire environment, so this single action repeats the small but interconnected fish-like world of the game. Such dependencies can be seen visually Subnautica: below zero, but they do not, as far as I know, express it in other ways. For a more symbiotic view of the ocean, players may also be looking to 2020 In other waters, A top-down sea adventure, says founder Gareth Damian Martin is inspired by his pioneering work Lynn Margulis, is a biologist who proposes that symbiosis, not competition, is a force that drives evolution and adaptation. It captures many beautiful moments to see first-hand the subtle play between marine life.

Maybe that will mean a failure of my imagination, but I can’t predict a version Subnautica: below zero which examines these symbiotic systems or takes the view of environmental degradation seriously. How would you simulate the complex and constantly changing networks between mutualism and codependence in a game of this mammoth size? What it reflects is its perfect relationship with real world resources, the natural world, and ideas of progress. Technology in Subnautica: below zero it allows me to look into the deepest virtual abyss, to feel the dreadful vertigo of incomprehensible depths. I reach out to these underwater views for the hours I spend grinding, cultivating, and consuming the ocean around me so that its gifts magically reappear a few hours later. I wish our real-world oceans were as resilient as the fantasy this game presents.


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