Below (video game)
|Release||December 14, 2018|
Below is an action-adventure roguelike video game developed by Capybara Games. It was initially to be published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One but later was published by the developer Capybara Games. The game was announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press event, and was indefinitely delayed in mid-2016 when Capybara pivoted to polish the game instead of rushing it out. It was released on December 14, 2018.
Below is an action-adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective. The player-character is a "tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island". The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character's survival. Microsoft's Phil Spencer described the game at E3 2013 as a "creative take on roguelike gameplay" in a "mysterious world". The environments are randomly generated.
Below was announced at Microsoft's E3 2013 event. The project had been in development for years. The company had discussed ideas for the game, particularly the difficulty element with Capybara's Kris Piotrowski.
Capybara compared the game to "roguelikes of yore", as a "roguelike-like" with design choices like permanent death and high difficulty. The game punishes recklessness and is designed for fair, but rigorous combat. Capybara president and co-founder Nathan Vella called the game the company's largest by number of features, artwork, and development time and difficulty. He described the game as a "super video game-y video game" for its aesthetics, soundtrack, and game mechanics. While the game is mostly single-player, the multiplayer aspects are important in some of the world's areas. In March 2014, Vella said that the game's development progress was hard to gauge, but its foundation was laid. Its first playable demo was scheduled for the April PAX East 2014.
Below is expected to release simultaneously on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One, but would only be exclusive to the console for a limited time. The project was indefinitely delayed in mid-2016 when Capybara turned to finish its OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes for Cartoon Network Capybara Games confirmed that the Windows and Xbox One release for the game is December 14, 2018.
Singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie composed the score. His compositional work on a previous Capybara's release, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, led to their Below collaboration. Capybara has described Sword & Sworcery as a game built upon Guthrie's music, and Below as Guthrie's music built upon Capybara's game.
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- Campbell, Colin (December 18, 2018). "Below is beautiful, subversive and frequently maddening". Polygon. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Webster, Andrew (December 19, 2018). "Why the dark, foreboding adventure Below took six years to make". The Verge. Retrieved December 19, 2018.