Capy, the game developer behind beloved indie gems Super Time Force and Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP, is finally ready to release its next big title. Called Below, the moody roguelike survival game has been in the works for five long years, and now it’s coming out next week on December 14th. The title remains an Xbox console exclusive, but you can also play it on PC. There’s no word yet on pricing.
Back in March of 2016, Capy said the game would be coming out in the summer, but it ultimately ended up pausing development to finish the game OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes, based on the Cartoon Network show of the same name. Capy said at the time that it wanted to take its time to ensure Below got the treatment it deserved, and the title has been slowly making the rounds of indie game showcases since. The developer has been relatively quiet about when exactly it would come out, saying only that it would likely be by the end of the year. It looks like Capy is holding to that pledge, with the game seeing a surprise launch for the holiday season.
I have in fact played bits and pieces of the game over the last three years or so, and every time it’s become more refined and enigmatic. The game appears to be a roguelike with a bit of Metroidvania thrown in, with its most prominent influences being Hyper Light Drifter, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Dark Souls.
Combat is punishing, and death will send you back to the beginning of the game in some cases. Advancing forward involves mastering the game’s survival system, which incorporates elements like temperature and hunger, as well as solving puzzles and finding shortcuts that will let you advance farther each time. Here’s how Capy describes it:
Test your adventurer mettle against The Isle’s procedural subterranean labyrinths. Explore a large, interconnected underworld crawling with cunning creatures, deadly traps, and a mysterious shadowy presence. Survive the perils of The Depths and unearth what lies below... or die trying. Below embraces exploration and discovery — illuminate the path ahead, find hidden passages and unravel the deepest mysteries hidden in the darkness your own way.
Frankly, I can’t wait to play it. I’ve been waiting years.