NEW YORK (CNS) — A survival game with little violence is a rare gem and "Subnautica" (Unknown Worlds Entertainment) is one such treasure.

After crash-landing on an exclusively oceanic planet, the player must explore the depths of this watery world while also researching the history of its previous inhabitants. Additionally, gamers investigate the strange energy beam that caused the calamitous hull failure of the vessel in which they were traveling.

The lifepod of the spaceship, the Aurora, serves as the main base where players store things while waiting for rescue. They must gather various items, such as plants and minerals, as well as salvage metal in order to repair the pod and keep life support systems operational. It’s also necessary to catch fish and purify water to maintain adequate nutrition.

Once players are able to craft a diving suit to ward off the radiation from the crash, they can explore the wreckage of the Aurora, seeking out additional resources. As they do, the background slowly unfolds. Alien structures are discovered both above and below water, including the building that fired the energy beam at the Aurora. Players must unlock these secrets to escape the planet alive.

Eventually, gamers can collect enough materials and blueprints to build a base, called a habitat. These are absolutely stunning when underwater. They feature additional storage, workbenches, desks — even vending machines, all depending on what plans players uncover. (Simply because someone is stranded on an alien planet doesn’t mean they have to give up coffee.)

The ocean can be explored through four different game modes: Hardcore, Survival, Freedom and Creative. During Hardcore and Survival, players need to keep an eye on their thirst, hunger, health and oxygen. If these levels drop to zero, the player will die temporarily and lose equipment.

In Hardcore, death is permanent, meaning the player starts from the very beginning of the game. Freedom mode only requires players to observe health and oxygen levels. The last mode, Creative, drops all survival elements and allows gamers to explore and build to their heart’s content.

The fictional world of "Subnautica" is brought vividly to life through the game's extraordinary artwork and soundscape.

As players swim through kelp forests and cross beautiful coral reefs, the distant singing of whalelike creatures can be heard echoing through the depths. There are underwater volcanoes, mushroom forests, caves filled with bioluminescent plants and much more. The sea life is as bright and as varied as real-life aquatic ecosystems.

Crossing over deep trenches at night, with the rumblings of creatures higher up on the food chain, provides jump-scares that could rival some of the best horror games on the market. The day-night cycle on the planet affects the local fauna, plunging divers into darkness and making them feel especially vulnerable in the unfathomable depths of the sea.

"Subnautica" proves to be an incredibly fun and immersive experience for players of almost all ages. Parents should use their discretion, however, where the youngest gamers are concerned due to the potentially frightening aspects of the underwater environments.

Playable on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The game contains mild hunting violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rating is E10+ — Everyone 10+.