Back in November 2019, Unknown Worlds revealed that after coming to a standstill on the narrative and gaining a new writer, the team was going to rework Subnautica: Below Zero and implement some changes to the story. In the Lost Ship update, it was detailed that the new story would come into play with the next update, but those playing in the experimental mode can now test out the new beginning.
I won’t spoil too much, but the changes to the introduction are significantly different to the initial release. If the PDA entries are anything to go by, the story is going to follow a completely different tangent. Most of the original story triggers are still in place, like Marguerit Maida’s appearance and building Al-an’s vessel. Whether they will remain or not is yet to be seen.
Once the new update goes live, all old saves will be unplayable. For now, Steam players can continue playing the original story with the option to switch to the experimental build. For non-Steam players, the game will play as usual until the next update when old saves will become redundant.
As well as the major changes to the story, the developers are also working on improving the overall gameplay experience. This will include fine-tuning the underwater aspects and improving the surface gameplay. Subnautica: Below Zero primarily takes place underwater, but the developers have expressed that they could do better with the out of water play, and are going to take some time to make sure it’s up to standard.
Subnautica: Below Zero is available in Early Access on PC (Steam and Epic Store). Unknown Worlds do plan to ship Subnautica: Below Zero to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.