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Science-Fiction Weekly – Subnautica, InnerSpace, Robocop

by Andrew Reiner on Jan 23, 2018 at 03:18 PM

If you are fan of relaxing, combat-free experiences like Journey, Abzu, and Flower, give PolyKnight Games' InnerSpace a look. In this colorful and peaceful exploration game, you take control of a vehicle that can transform from a plane to a submarine, capable of exploring the collapsing skies and oceans of inside-out planets contained in the Inverse. You are tasked to find out what happened to these worlds, and what significance their gods held. This is an intriguing proposition for a game, but most of my time in the Inverse was spent in a state of confusion over what I had to do next and where I should go. The spherical inside-out planets, which can sometimes have oceans surrounding you, are confusing designs, forcing you to find small doorways and collectibles within a huge space in order to proceed.

As frustrating as this may sound, I still enjoyed flying through the pastel-colored caverns, and diving from great heights into an ocean to unearth a mystery or two. InnerSpace isn't as relaxing as it intends to be, but there's some fun that can come from it. You can download it now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. Check out the trailer below to get an idea of just how odd it can be:

After five years of development, Unknown Worlds' Subnautica has released on Steam. In this survival game, players are invited to explore a vast underwater world filled with alien life. Your journey begins in space, witnessing the final moments of a starship's life. You see it explode through the tiny window on your escape pod. As you race toward an alien world, you are knocked unconscious by loose debris in the pod. When you come to, you inhale smoke, and realize the pod is on fire. Your first action is to figure out how to put it out. This is where the survival gameplay begins. There isn't much of a narrative to follow in this opening sequence, but a clear path of progress is present: Put out the fire, gather supplies, escape the pod. When you emerge onto the alien world, you see your starcraft burning a good mile away. Spinning around reveals nothing else, just an endless ocean.

To survive you need to mine the ocean for items that can be used in a fabricator to fashion gadgets, equipment, and supplies. The first thing I make is an O2 tank out of titanium found on the ocean floor. As I gathered the titanium, I had to surface numerous times for air. The O2 tank would allow me to stay down longer, but not during nightfall. I have a few flares to illuminate my surroundings, but I don't trust the sea life. I bumped into an alien sea lion with a glowing tail and ended up getting poisoned. It drained three-quarters of my health. I was forced to waste some resources fashioning a medkit to heal up. My next goal, which I plotted for myself, is making a battery out of acid mushrooms and copper ore. The battery is one of two components needed to create a spectroscope scanner used to acquire technology blueprints and data on living organisms. After this item is created, I gather supplies for a flashlight, repair tool, and more.

Subnautica does a nice job of empowering the player with goods that are incredibly useful. Charting the unknown waters is also an entertaining venture, as none of the life is something you can expect. It also dangles the carrot of the crashed ship in front of you. My attempts to reach it have been blocked by radiation that is spilling out from it. I know I'll be able to craft something to protect me. What mysteries will the ship hold? I can't wait to find out.

Game Informer's Ben Hanson says Subnautica is his favorite game since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That's big praise, but even after just spending a few hours with it, I didn't want to put it down. The hooks sink in deep, including the arrival of a story that is delivered in satisfying chunks. The PC version is good finally out of early access, and as of 6:30 PM PST tonight, the Xbox One version will be updated. The Xbox One version won't be the full release yet, but Unknown Worlds says it brings it "very, very close to the launch version on Steam."

Yes, it mostly takes place underwater, but this science-fiction release hammers home the feeling of not being anywhere near earth. It's well worth your team. It's survival done right – pushing exploration to the forefront.

Rumors of a new Robocop film have been swirling through Hollywood since the remake was released in 2014. The latest gossip suggests we will see a sequel in the coming years, but it won't necessarily be a continuation of Joel Kinnaman's take on Alex Murphy. It could be a direct sequel or a spiritual successor to the original Robocop that released in 1987. Roughly 30 years later, the film's co-writer, Edward Neumeier, told Zeitgeist he's working on a new Robocop. "There’s been a bunch of other ‘Robocop’ movies and there was recently a remake, and I would say this would be kind of going back to the old ‘Robocop’ we all love and starting there and going forward," he said. "So it’s a continuation of the first movie. In my mind. So it’s a little bit more of the old school thing.”

Meumeier's words can be spun many ways. Perhaps he's saying Murphy's story will continue, and the film will be a period piece. He could also be saying the new film will carry the same tone from the original, but will be set 30 years later, showing us what happened to the world following after Murphy made his imprint on it. Rather than outright undoing what happened in the sequels, I would love to see this story jump forward in time to show us just how far the Robocop program has come.