After releasing Subnautica in January 2018 after several years in Steam Early Access, Unknown Worlds Entertainment has announced a standalone follow-up – Subnautica: Below Zero. Though the developer offered a few details before, such as heading to a brand new Arctic planet, we finally get to see some concept art (which you can see at the bottom of the post) and learn more about the story.
Over on the official site, the developer talked about how the player will head to planet 4546B. This takes place after the events of the first game. Along with the first game’s core mechanics, a few new ones will come into play. “The concept of Below Zero is still developing,” the devs said. “We are keeping the core gameplay mechanics, such as base building and open-ended exploration. We are also exploring new ones, such as thermal management, and more voiced dialogue at the core of the plot. We’re still in early stages and nothing is set in ice.”
Interestingly, there will be an orbital station which is “designed to provide a sustainable environment for research personnel stationed far from Federation space.” The reference to Alterra, which was mentioned as the protagonist’s employer in the first game, also seems to indicate more of a planned expedition.
As for how players will experience Subnautica: Below Zero, it will go into Steam Early Access later in 2018. A full launch is planned for 2019. The devs stated, “In the coming months, we will release an unfinished, early version of Below Zero in Early Access. We will then begin releasing consistent content updates, carefully crafting the game based on your feedback — just like the original Subnautica.”
Subnautica was fairly well received when it launched for PC (its aggregate user reviews on Steam are “Very Positive”). It’s also slated to release for PS4 by Holiday 2018, with the Xbox One version being handled by Panic Button (who brought DOOM and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to Nintendo Switch).