Is Subnautica A Whole New Genre of Gaming?

It's rare that we come across a game that's truly innovative in the way it mixes previous conventions and spits out a legitimately new experience. That's why I've been writing about the Oculus Rift so much lately - it's changed the way I see gaming.

Now though SubNautica has come along to challenge conventions once again, with a mixture of RPG, sandbox exploration and interactive storytelling, to the point where the developer, Unknown Worlds, believes it may have made a brand new genre.

It'll be a while before we can tell too, as we're way, way off an alpha at the moment, with only concept art, some pretty music and the base work for the core gameplay having been started on. That's alright though, as UW wants to share the development with you and other fans, listening to feedback throughout.

Subnautica will see you designing and building your own underground base and submarines in order to explore the murky depths. In a similar fashion to FTL or Unknown Sea, the developers want to create a real sense of lonelyness and exploration as you pilot your hand crafted ship through the deepest parts of this ocean.

Judging from some of the concept art, combat will come into play too though, as you'll find sea creatures and other submariners to battle.

All of this is provisional at the moment, but it sounds intriguing, even if it is a long way off.
What do you guys think though? Is this something that sounds like a new genre of game to you? Or just a variation on a theme?

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