It's a grim, dangerous, and terrifying life aboard a submarine exploring the pitch-black seas of Jupiter's moon Europa. That's what you're doing in Barotrauma (opens in new tab), the Early Access multiplayer side-scrolling survival game: steering a sub through the vast ocean beneath the ice and trying to complete missions while fighting off alien creatures and sometimes your own crew. A lot can go wrong: accidents, attacks, sabotage... and sometimes you open the door to your reactor room and discover it's simply exploded.
Barotrauma is incredibly moody and completely terrifying, but it's also an amazing comedy. Characters move around as if they got their training in QWOP, so even when horrible things are happening it's hard not to laugh.
And in Barotrauma, horrible things are always happening, and since you're often playing with complete strangers, every voyage is unpredictable. Here's every horrible death I've experienced (so far). Note: some of the action can be hard to see so you might want to click on the gif and then enlarge it to watch in full-screen.
I mistook welding fuel for oxygen
It's hard to think of a worse death than asphyxiating at the bottom of a freezing-cold ocean on another planet. But I managed to discover one! After putting on a diving suit and investigating some underwater ruins, I realized the oxygen tank was nearly empty. Always check your tanks before you go for a swim on Europa, is the lesson. The other lesson? Not all tanks are the same. In a panic I tried replacing my oxygen tank with an identical tank I had in my inventory, but it wasn't an oxygen tank, it was a fuel tank for my welding torch.
Imagine trying to gulp in oxygen and instead getting a lungful of welding fuel. It's an unpleasant thought and a terrible way to die. RIP me.
I was dumped out the airlock while wearing a clown mask after attempting to poison my crewmate
Yes, I attempted to inject a crewmate with poison and kill him, but I'm not a griefer! I swear. Barotrauma has a multiplayer option called Traitor, which when activated will give certain crewmembers a secret task to murder another player during the voyage.
It was only me and one other player on this particular voyage, and I'd signed on as a medic. I searched lockers and compartments looking for any weapons I could use, but couldn't find anything (except a clown mask, which I naturally put on). I decided to just take a bunch of medical injections from the sickbay and stick as much medicine into my target as I could, hoping he'd have an adverse reaction, or maybe just pass out until I could figure out a better way to murder him.
This was not his first rodeo, though (it was only my second rodeo). After quickly realizing I was injecting meds into him—my first injection only took away a sliver of his health and my second immediately healed it back up—he immediately battered me with his stun stick and wordlessly dragged me away, clubbing me as we went. He dumped me into the airlock and locked the inner door. With nothing else to do, I eventually just opened the outer door and drowned, embarrassed both for trying to kill him and doing such a terrible job at it.
I was eaten by an enormous sea monster
After encountering and being chased and eaten by an enormous sea monster, I was dismayed to discover that GeForce Experience hadn't been running and I didn't get the footage captured. So I was thrilled to witness it happen to someone else while I was spectating a match. Maybe it's poor form to be overjoyed at the death of someone else, but hey, it's a cold world.
Interestingly, the monster actually bit his head off, and even more interestingly the enormous beast itself died a few minutes later. Whatever this crewmember had in his inventory managed to poison the monster. Be careful what you eat, stupid giant monster!
I mistook a plasma cutter for a welding torch
A common theme of my deaths, as we can see, is me thinking I'm doing one thing (like breathing oxygen) but doing something else (like inhaling welding fuel). After monsters chewed their way through the hull on one voyage, the crew quarters flooded so I grabbed a welding torch, opened the door, and swam in to patch the holes. Unfortunately I'd actually picked up a plasma cutter instead, so I was just making the holes bigger—though I barely had the dexterity to even do the wrong thing the right way.
Anyway, the ocean rushed in and the sudden increase in water pressure simply and instantly crushed me to death. Ouch.
I was trapped in a room with a sea monster
There are big, terrifying sea monsters that can eat you and smash your hull full of holes, but there are also smaller ones that can chew their way right onto your ship. It's horrifying. Above you can see one of them making its way into the cabin as I ineffectively try to burn it with a welder. As it slithers around and pounces on me, I keep trying to close the door between compartments with it on one side and me on the other.
I did not manage to accomplish this.
I was beaten to death by an alien hermit crab
While investigating a distress beacon, I took another swim to what I think was a small sunken vessel. It's hard to tell what happened, but it looks to me like some sea creature had taken up residence inside it, hermit-crab style, because when I swam close the little sub began twitching. Then what I assume was an alien hermit crab proceeded to beat me to death with its improvised shell. Welcome to the neighborhood.
I was scissored to death by a malfunctioning door
There was so much going wrong I'm not entirely sure what actually killed me, but as the sub was filled with water and creatures were burrowing their way inside, I tried to swim to safety by opening a door. The door immediately slammed shut on my head. I mean, that's what it looks like. It could have been the water pressure that crushed me, too, but I'm pretty sure it was the damn door.
I wasn't crushed between the submarine and a rock (but someone else was)
This isn't one my my deaths but happened to a crewmate while I was spectating and it was too gruesome not to include. The sub had crashed and settled partially on an undersea ledge and a crew member swimming outside was trying to re-enter the sub via a hatch below. Only the hatch was pressed up tightly against the rock.
As the crew member swam under the sub he realized he wouldn't be able to get back in. And then the sub shifted, just a tiny fraction, and instantly squished him. Brutal. I mean, yes, you can hear me laugh if you turn on the sound, but still. Brutal.