Developer Unknown Worlds has announced that its superb underwater survival adventure Subnautica is coming to PlayStation 4 "by the end of the year".

Subnautica launched on PC and Xbox One in January - following three year of Steam early access development - and was incredibly well-received. Eurogamer even awarded it a Recommended badge, calling it an "oppressively beautiful portrayal of an undersea environment, and a well-wrought survival game".

Subnautica, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game, begins as players crash-land on an almost entirely aquatic alien planet, with nothing but a hunting knife and basic escape pod to their name. In typical survival style, the immediate concern is to secure a sufficient supply of food, drinkable water, and - given Subnautica's diving focus - oxygen to stay alive.

As things progress, however, and players pluck up the courage to explore further away from the beautiful, comparatively tranquil reef that marks the starting area, they'll begin to find blueprints (and huge, explorable chunks of wreckage) that were jettisoned from their ship as it made its final descent - dramatically expanding the tactical options available for survival.

Soon, it's possible to build an increasingly-lavish base of operations, a nippy underwater vessel to reach more exotic climes, a massive submarine to delve ever-deeper, and more. And as the map expands, Subnautica rapidly goes from spooky, to stressful, to all-out terrifying.

Subnautica's underwater world might be beautiful, but its increasingly claustrophobic locales are also home to some truly intimidating creatures - which you'll inevitably have to face as you venture deeper to uncover the planet's secrets and, hopefully, find a way to escape.

Yet, as wonderfully, horrifyingly atmospheric as its exploratory action may be, Subnautica's biggest strength is perhaps its ability to spin a genuinely engaging yarn around its familiar survival core. It's an expertly paced tale too, full of surprises and wonderful moments of discovery - even if you do end up playing it with increasing trepidation and sweaty palms. All of which is to say that PS4 owners are in for a treat when Subnautica arrives this winter.

Unknown Worlds has previously also talked of plans to release a paid expansion for Subnautica at some point in the future, likely involving a frozen, Artic-style theme. However, little has been heard on that front since the game's launch.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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