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Last year, I spent a couple weeks playing Subnautica very obsessively. I played it and played it, and not only completed the game but got the platinum trophy. Despite the fact that it was one of the most broken, unpolished games I’ve ever played, I had such a good time with it that I included it on my Top 10 Video Games of 2021 list.

And yet, even after all that, I could not shake Subnautica from my mind. I don’t want to say that I’ve thought about it every day since then, but at least every week. And I’m not even exaggerating. But I refrained from starting a new game, because I felt that Subnautica’s greatest asset was the sense of discovery that it constantly fed to me throughout the, I don’t know, let’s say 50-ish hours that I spent with it. There’s no way I’d be able to recapture that same feeling again, now that I was exceptionally familiar with the game.

But here we are, and here I am, writing about Subnautica again because I’ve started playing it again. I honestly thought I’d boot it up for about an hour or so, get my fill, and then move on with my life. Alas! I spent roughly half the day playing it, filled with just as much glee as I was on my first playthrough. I’m baffled, but I’m having a great time so I don’t even care.

You know what helps? I’m playing the PS5 version this time around. Last year I played it on my PS5, but I guess I had installed the PS4 version of the game, which is… significantly less stable. This time, the game doesn’t lock up every time I enter a habitat. Pop-in is still rampant, but draw distance is significantly better. I think the framerate has been generally solid the whole time so far. I wonder if it’s still going to start crashing with increased frequency as I get closer and closer to the ending? Probably not, but we’ll have to wait and see.

I also noticed that there was a patch released in October of 2021 that fixed a whole mess of issues. I didn’t read all of the patch notes, but it’s nice that Unknown Worlds has made the time to go back and fix it. It honestly feels like a whole new game now. It’s a game that I would actually recommend to anyone now, instead of just people who are really into scuba-diving.

Another fun note: apparently you can earn trophies twice if you play both the PS4 and PS5 version of a game? Neat! That’s another easy platinum for me, then. Hooray!

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