Barotrauma – Preview
Follow Genre: Horor, Survival
Developer: FakeFish, Undertow Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Barotrauma – Preview

Good: The dark atmosphere, Unique setting, Fun
Bad: Not easy to manage
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Environmentalists say, “there is no planet B”, but what if there was? In Barotrauma, humanity has found an inhabitable place somewhere in our galaxy. On Jupiter’s moon Europa, colonists started building a civilization in the hostile sub-aquatic fauna. With the surface being so irradiated, there was only the option to build in the icy waters that are home to local wildlife. To keep the outposts from falling apart, you will have to lead a bunch of marines on an adventure between the bases, trying to survive and make a life for yourselves in what seems to be the most dangerous place in the galaxy.

It all begins when humanity plans its first manned flights in 2022 to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. At first, the colonists established a handful of habitable outposts where a new way of life developed over many decades. Europa was given a new system of governance and different industries made their mark in the new world, including mining, manufacturing, and chemical laboratories. Slowly but surely Europan society became more dissociated from Earth and finally loses connection with it. This event immediately stops the supply ships from arriving at the distant moon, and Europa was left to its own devices. Our story takes place now in the late 21st century, and much time has passed since the connection was lost. Now you must keep the waters safe and your outposts supplied in this rather extremely hostile and dark territory.

As the intro gives you a lot of information, it gets disconnected soon in favor of the gameplay. You start with the creation of a crew and selecting your submarine, of which there are two at your disposal and each has its good and bad points. The game is all about managing your crew and vessel, and this can be a bit much at first. It is advised that you play all the tutorials before setting foot into the campaign, as the game is very complicated. Each crew member has their own class and certain interactions are only available to those with the right education. A captain might not be able to fix broken stuff, while an engineer might not be that handy when having to steer a submarine.

Diving deep into the untamed icy waters of Europa is dark and scary. There is not a single moment you’ll feel safe, as you’ll need to navigate with sonar and keep on the lookout for incoming attacks. The surrounding monsters want a fresh meal, and they won’t stop until their bellies are full. In the cold dark hallways of your submarine, it is best to bring a flashlight and a gun, especially when the power goes out. Barotrauma is a real horror game in the sense of making you feel cautious during your whole playthrough. Let your guard down only once for a slight moment, and it is game over. Even though there isn’t any spoken dialogue in the game, hearing your crewmates scream over the radio will create the correct atmosphere. You just get so immersed into this title that it brings restless nights and a phobia for deep waters with it.

Barotrauma has this special ability to perfectly combine its graphics and sound to create this very unsettling atmosphere. Starting with the random sounds in your submarine, you’re left wondering if you’re dealing with a monster, failing parts of your submarine, or just simply your imagination. The eerie music makes the experience even better, ensuring a sense of dread that only goes away temporarily when you have safely docked at an outpost.

Getting around the deep caves from outpost to outpost is your main mission. It all begins from your starting location where you pick up a few missions, but then it is all up to you. You are free to explore the waters at your own peril, but it is advised that you travel between points. As your supplies will run out, you’ll have to earn money to keep your sub floating and in good shape. Some missions are easy, and just require you to take some cargo from point A to point B and get paid. Other missions will have you repair beacons or kill certain enemies, which are more dangerous objectives but they pay handsomely. When you have some cash to spare, you could always upgrade your submarine or buy a new one. Feeling a bit shorthanded, then hiring some new crewmates will do the trick. You have full control over others, but they tend to automatically continue doing their task, which can lead to some rather frustrating moments. Ordering crewmates to do certain jobs feels a bit complicated and looks like a Sims dialogue box at first, but in real emergencies, there is always a quick response button that adjusts to the current situation (for example when it comes to repairing a breach or refilling the generator).

Keeping your submarine in good shape is essential if you want to keep the monsters out. Having your crewmen man the guns while you repair the hull might be a good option, but sometimes a sudden breach might throw everyone off their posts. Water is violent and with the ragdoll physics, your characters will fly around the submarine and hurt themselves in all sorts of ways. Most wounds can be treated with a basic array of meds, but some injuries will require rather advanced treatments. A medic is really handy to have nearby, but your starting crew never comes with one.

Conclusion

Barotrauma is a game that looks wonderful and sets an amazingly dark atmosphere. You will never feel safe deep underwater and you’ll need to take some time to get acquainted with your crewmates. Fight together against the never-ending wave of monsters and keep your submarine dry on the inside and healthy on the outside. Start small and work your way up to bigger subs and more employees, or die all alone in a cold, dying beacon station. This one is already great to play, even in its Early Access state.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Barotrauma – Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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