As revealed in a news post on Steam, Unknown Worlds will be overhauling the story for Subnautica: Below Zero with the help of their new writer, Jill Murray. The post covers three topics: an update on the forthcoming seventh Early Access update; to elaborate on reasons behind the changes coming to the story and to introduce Jill Murray. Major story changes won't come until next year, after the next update launches, but rest assured, they will come. The next update, titled "Deep Dive," will make the entirety of Below Zero playable outside of the endgame. Still, Unknown Worlds cautions that just because a game may be feature complete does not mean it is ready to be shipped. This, they say, is especially apparent with the story.
Where the first Subnautica set you in the role of a nameless, silent protagonist stranded on the waves following a ship crash, Below Zero aimed to portray a different story. Specifically, the player character was a voice-acted scientist who meets other characters and sentient creatures. Despite original writer Tom Jubert and Unknown Worlds' best efforts, the team was unhappy with the result, marked by "trouble defining our characters' motivations early and building key relationships." Jubert himself left Unknown Worlds nearly a month and a half ago, in order to work on smaller, more indie projects. Enter Jill Murray.
A writer who got her start working on young adult novels in the late 2000s, Murray later went on to assume the role of Lead Writer for Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and found her own narrative design studio, Discoglobe Interactive. Unknown Worlds hasn't said how specifically Murray is going to lend her talents to the world of Subnautica: Below Zero, only that they plan on exploring the current biomes further, as well as keeping the central characters the same in the hopes of developing them further. Again, all of the story changes will come sometime next year, after the Deep Dive update launches relatively soon. We'll see just how well the shift in narrative focus works for Subnautica: Below Zero before long.
Do you agree with Unknown Worlds assessment of the story in Subnautica: Below Zero? What do you expect out of a story in a survival game? Let us know in the comments below!