After being announced almost two months ago, Below has a released date. The PlayStation Blog revealed players will be able to take on the challenges of the survival roguelike on April 7th. The game starts with the main character, a Wanderer, landing on a mysterious island. The Wanderer’s goal is to explore the dangerous Depths under the island. There are no hints or clues, and it’s designed to be exceedingly difficult. The game’s Creative Director, Kris Piotrowski, proudly describes it as a “brutal” and “an unforgiving killing machine, with a challenge that appeals to the kind of player who relishes extreme video game punishment”.
If that sounds like your perfect game, it’s coming soon. If it sounds like torture, I have good news. You can still play the game in the new Explore Mode. It flattens some of the learning curve in three ways. First, it removes the Survive Mode’s hunger and thirst mechanics, so I guess somebody packed a lunch. It also removes instant kills in traps. Now, you’ll bleed out damage slowly with a chance to fix it. Finally, every campfire is a checkpoint, so you can keep working on the part that killed you to move forward instead of backwards after death. This doesn’t make it baby’s first roguelike, but it does offer you a chance to see the game and listen to the soundtrack.
From the trailer, the game’s visuals and sound are really impressive. You’ll want to view it in motion, but I’ll post some screenshots too. I can see why people would ask the developer, Capybara Games, for a chance to explore that world. The soundtrack by Jim Guthrie sounds awesome too. The article on the PlayStation Blog has some sound bites from Bandcamp that you really should listen to if you like what you heard in the trailer.
For roguelike lovers or just lovers of intriguing worlds, Below may be a strong contender for your wallet. You can see for yourself when it releases April 7th.