Developer: Capybara Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Genre: Rouge-like, Adventure, Survival, RPG
Sometimes games are announced so early on, that the hype for them can either die off before it releases or it just won’t live up to the expectations. Below was announced back in 2013 at E3 and then it mostly remained silent apart from a few appearances at conferences up until its release late last year. At times the silence dragged on for so long that some people thought it was cancelled. Thankfully it wasn’t and for me it didn’t fall in to any of the aforementioned categories of being over hyped etc…. It was everything I wanted it to be, dark, moody, enticing, challenging, engaging and adventurous.
The funny thing is, is I haven’t actually completed it, but that doesn’t bother me because I’ve loved every second I’ve played Below. The style, the scale, the soundtrack are all incredible and help to create a wonderfully immersive adventure.
Below is a game where you play as an adventurer washed up on a mysterious island, on this island is a system of caves that drive you ever deeper in hopes of discovering it’s secrets. Should you die on your journey, everything you’ve gather up to this point will be lost in the depths. You will then start again as a new character and have to venture down, retrace your steps and find what you lost previously, then try to make it a little further.
The idea isn’t that you will make it in one life, the idea is that over time you will learn, you will unlock new areas, new shortcuts and find new weapons and armour that will help you combat the layers of the cave that have previously claimed your life.
The island is full of mystery, full of traps and dangers in the form of a wide range of enemy types. Learning all of this and adapting quickly to situations will be key to your survival. You will probably get lost at times, but that’s part of the adventure of it all and when you do finally find your bearings, unlock that new place or reach the safety of a camp fire it feels just that little bit more rewarding.
What I like the most about Below is probably the island itself and the mystery of it all. It feels alien and exploring it really feels like an adventure now knowing what is through the next room or down in the next level of the caves. The deeper you go the more dangerous it gets but the more rewarding it all feels.
Below is a wonderful game that feels like a true adventure, not something that I’ve experience in many other games before. It’s unique in a lot of ways and for me, was well worth the wait.