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Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critic Reviews What's this?

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5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 63 Ratings

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  • Summary: BELOW is a solitary journey through the haunted depths of a forbidden isle. Test your mettle in a large, interconnected underworld crawling with cunning wildlife, deadly traps, while stalked by a shadowy presence. Survive the perils of The Depths, and unearth what lies below...

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Jan 6, 2019
    85
    Nobody had expected Below in 2018 anymoe - and even more unexpectedly the low-poly Roguelike is one of the hits of the year.
  2. Dec 20, 2018
    80
    Below is a game that will keep calling you back. With its challenging gameplay loop, beautiful design and polished mechanics, it's a game that could easily become a classic of the genre over time.
  3. Dec 20, 2018
    75
    Below is an experience where survival and exploration are the keys to success in a narrative and well-polished environment. Unfortunately, the roguelike aspect is sometimes too repetitive, and the lack of visibility messes with the pleasure that we take.
  4. Dec 18, 2018
    70
    Below is a good game, but it could have been something great with some more attention to things that were bound to frustrate gamers from the get-go. It's a solid adventure, and a wonderfully interesting mystery. But it's not always fun to play.
  5. Jan 17, 2019
    67
    The art style is so beautiful to enjoy, but the gameplay is too repetitive to bear.
  6. 60
    For a majority of what BELOW sets out to accomplish, it does well. However, there are aspects which might deter: the potential monotony and a lack of a clear incentive to proceed further and see this story through.
  7. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 4, 2019
    20
    Deep under the ground an atmospheric game was born, which was ruined by incomprehensible mistakes. The game frustrates with malicious difficulty, poor controls and during the bird-view you can´t distinguish good from evil. [Issue#293]

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Dec 15, 2018
    10
    Beautiful, haunting, deep, atmospheric, intelligent are just some of the ways I can describe my first 30 minutes with this gem. I never playedBeautiful, haunting, deep, atmospheric, intelligent are just some of the ways I can describe my first 30 minutes with this gem. I never played anything quite like this before and I look forward to many more sessions with this mysterious game.

    Thank you Capy for making something this great! You guys are an inspiration!
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  2. Jan 16, 2019
    10
    Esse é um ótimo jogo tecnicamente, que tem todo um design de Titan Souls e tem gráficos magníficos ao meu ver, e quanto mais você joga, maisEsse é um ótimo jogo tecnicamente, que tem todo um design de Titan Souls e tem gráficos magníficos ao meu ver, e quanto mais você joga, mais viciante fica, mostrando ser superior a muitos jogos que vi em 2018. Expand
  3. Oct 3, 2020
    10
    I got the game after the explore mode was available, and I feel like my review would have been very different if I had to go trough theI got the game after the explore mode was available, and I feel like my review would have been very different if I had to go trough the original difficulty. This game is an absolute gem. It has a sound design on the level of hyper light drifter(!), with an ambiance so thick it seeps out of the screen and into your room. You can smell the humid air of the cave, the smoke of the campfire. I am very glad the devs allowed us less hardcore gamer to enjoy this piece of art with an explore mode. The difficulty is still there, at least for me, and dying is still devastating, but i joyfully jump back into the darkness every time. Expand
  4. Dec 29, 2021
    7
    7/10
    An atmospheric roguelike, with an isometric view, real-time melee combat, some crafting and a semi-permadeath mechanic.
    Good: -
    7/10
    An atmospheric roguelike, with an isometric view, real-time melee combat, some crafting and a semi-permadeath mechanic.

    Good:
    - excellent audio which gives at all a great, atmospheric "experience" feel
    - excellent graphics - though they are mostly just low-poly models, without even any textures. Still, the game has great looks due to real-time shadows, lighting, fog and the haunting darkness
    - it's kinda permadeath but not really permadeath. There are no saves, but as you reach a cooking fire somewhere, you can make it a checkpoint by spending 25 gems (which you loot from killed mobs), and then, after you die, you can teleport to that cooking fire instantly. Then you need to reach your dead body and loot your stuff from it

    So-so:
    - inventory is small, but you don't know any recipes in advance, meaning that you generally have to hoard items and find out on your way what 3 items can be crafted into what. Quite early in the game you will find yourself dropping items to free up space, only to later return to the rooms you've been to already and loot the dropped items again etc. Although limited inventory could have been thought of as a mechanic to make the game harder, I think it just introduces hassle and isn't fun. Instead, they should have allowed all items to stack to any amount (also arrows! Currently fire arrows stack 8 max, and bomb arrows 4 max which is way too low) and make inventory scrollable, with no limit on space.
    - on a related note, most stuff you craft is useless. E.g. boiled soup, stew and broth aren't that much more efficient than raw food. And arrows are downright useless, especially those hardest to craft. A fire arrow flies in an arc and will land either too far or too close, miss the enemy you clicked and just burn out after a while. Caltrops will catch 1 enemy - that's not worth crating it from 4 shards and a few more items.
    - I kinda expected a tutorial but instead the game chooses to just let you find out its rules through exploration or randomly. For example, I wouldn't have learnt about the whole crating mechanic or the existence of the inventory, had I not checked "Controls" page in the game's Settings screen. But well, I'm a super-hardcore gamer so I always check game settings before I even start playing the game for the first time. It's probably not what most players would do. Some instructions at start would definitely make this game friendlier to starters
    - fog looks nice but gets dissolved too slowly, and you kinda have to stop at times to just let it dissolve - it annoys a bit

    Bad:
    - WASD movement feels clunky at times, especially with the winding paths and corridors the rooms typically are. Often the character will just get stuck if the direction in which you want it to move doesn't fully correspond to the wall's or edge's rotation. E.g. if there is an edge that's going from SE to NW and you hold the A key to move left, the character will be stuck in place. I'd expect it to just slide NW.
    - due to clumsy movement, most of my deaths were in spear traps - although I saw these traps! I'm not sure but maybe just the good old Diablo 1's control system with "click-to-move" and "click to attack" would be friendlier, and click-to-move means walking around traps(?)

    As with most art-centric games, Below excels in its aesthetics but isn't great in its mechanics. Also, there is zero narrative: you don't know why you're venturing into these depths, the game kinda sets up the "story" with a long atmospheric cutscene at start and that's it. I'd still recommend this game just for its sheer aesthetics, especially if you get it at a discount. Just don't expect it to hold your attention for too long after you've understood its mechanics and found out that there isn't actually much meat in it. The semi-permadeath thing will pad your playtime maybe 2x or 3x but there is a limit to how many similar winding rooms you'll be willing to clear.
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  5. Dec 15, 2018
    7
    Beautiful, boring, mysterious.

    There's a sense of wonder and exploration in Below you don't get anywhere else. It's mysterious, foreboding,
    Beautiful, boring, mysterious.

    There's a sense of wonder and exploration in Below you don't get anywhere else. It's mysterious, foreboding, and it really is a world of its own. It's beautiful, the music is gorgeous and it creates a real atmosphere, especially when you're out in the rain, exploring the island for the first time. This atmosphere extends into the depths as you go down, and then fills you with wonder when you find a short-cut connecting you to a previously visited area, or a secret-passage that opens to a beach, where tens of ship-wrecks lie still in the water. You will feel clever when you catch a fish with your spear, feel conflicted when you kill a harmless fox for your own survival. You will, however, feel an unrelenting and unavoidable sense of boredom dawn upon you as you pick up every stick, rock and piece of string, make your sixty-eighth band-aid, your fiftieth torch, find your coveted lantern, only to step on a trap immediately after, teleport backwards and forwards and up-and-down between each campfire, walk down the same set of steps for the sixteenth time, swing your sword, or fire your unwieldy bow at the same enemy, in the same room over and over, picking up the remains of every single one, as you descend again and again. You will be compelled however to continue, for your curiosity cannot be quenched, and the allure of revelation - the telling of just another secret is too rich a prize, and however hard the slog, however seemingly distant and intangible the reward; however down-right tedious the trek, you will be drawn back down Below.
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  6. Dec 30, 2018
    6
    Below is a fine game. From Canadian indie studio Capybara, Below is a game that’s been long in development. Announced in 2013 and intended forBelow is a fine game. From Canadian indie studio Capybara, Below is a game that’s been long in development. Announced in 2013 and intended for release in 2016, the game was infinitely delayed so that Capybara could take the time to polish the game. The completed product was released on December 14th, 2018 and, believe me when I say, it is well-polished.
    Below does not hold your hand when it comes to explaining things, nor does it give you a ‘tutorial section’ to figure things out. That is something that I both enjoyed and didn’t—I enjoyed seeing what items I could put together in my inventory to craft something entirely new, and then watch that new item in action, but, at the same time, I did not enjoy the fact that it explains nothing—it took me two hours into the game to realise that I could switch my weapon by pressing X.
    Designed to be ‘difficult, but fair’, is only one of those two things. The combat is engaging, with the levels slowly introducing newer and more difficult monsters, but the random presence of spike traps and death pits that kill you—out of nowhere—and force you to start over from scratch will grate on your nerves as you wonder why you picked up the game to begin with. Furthermore, the fast-travel system in the game is obtuse: You need to collect 25 bits to be able to turn a fireplace blue, which allows you to travel from that point to the previous fireplace… for 25 bits. If you die, you are permitted to use the fireplace once, probably, for 25 bits, that will then allow you to pick up where you left off. Die again, and you’re forced to start from scratch.
    Too much focus is placed on the survival and rougelike elements, creating a game that is frantic and fast-paced; yet, going too fast punishes the player. The game is imbalanced and difficult in ways that seem needless. Some people will enjoy this game; the sense of achievement that you get from clearing an area, or finding a way deeper down is a feeling quite like any other, but the pace of Below is contradicted by its desire to have you explore—a quick pace and exploration do not go hand-in-hand.
    All in all, I would recommend this game for people who like a challenge like no other, because Below is a game quite unlike any other. That’s not a commendation, but it is by no means an insult.
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  7. Dec 23, 2018
    0
    This game is **** I had to drop it down to 720p just to be able to read the font. The game inflates the difficulty by locking you into aThis game is **** I had to drop it down to 720p just to be able to read the font. The game inflates the difficulty by locking you into a view that makes it hard to pick out details. A zoom feature would be **** nice so I don't have to sit 3 feet from my TV. The death mechanic is basically "let's make a dark souls game without being sued or mocked for making a dark souls game." Garbage. On my xbox I realized I could restart the game offline to start over rather than having to go through the frustration of having to retrieve corpses. That's how invested the developer is to their hardcore mechanic, you can't delete your profile from the Xbox cloud! And the game is so hard without the lantern it's easier to start over than to attempt to retrieve your body without a dependable light source. The limited use campfire transportation system also adds to the frustration. The music and soundtrack is great but that's the only compliment I can pay this game.
    If you play games to relax then get Dark Souls or even give The Surge a try. If your only sense of achievement in life is completing hard games then this is your game.
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See all 14 User Reviews