Sword & Sworcery is one of my favourite games ever, and Super Time Force was great fun, so I’m terribly excited for Capy’s next project, the dark and mysterious explore-em-up Below. [official site] Jim Guthrie (Sword & Sworcery, Indie game: The Movie) providing the soundtrack is really just the icing on this delicious cake.
And a new trailer reveals we’re going to be able to taste it this summer. I can already smell its procedural generation and the rotten corpses of Dark-souls-like permadeath. Everyone beat me to all the bad jokes already, so please just follow me below for some more details and a few minutes of gameplay.
Below oozes atmosphere. You’re a teeny-tiny explorer lost in an unknown and dangerous place: the camera is zoomed-out, everywhere is dark and, even with all the reservations I usually have about ProcGen and permadeath, I just can’t wait to be there and find out what those weird structures are. Sword & Sworcery managed to be exactly the right degree of weird and mysterious in its plot and imagery, while still feeling very meaningful and even intimate at points: it wasn’t strange for strange’s sake, it made wise use of archetypes and resonated strongly with me even when I couldn’t quite explain why. I hope they can hit the same balance here.
As for how it’ll play, Below embraces some of the current trends, like the aforementioned permadeath. If you manage to get far enough, though, you should be able to find the corpse of your predecessor and get at least some items back. Crafting and some survival elements – hunger, thirst, even correctly taking care of your wounds – will also play a big part in the success of your exploration, but, much like the rest of the game, they won’t be explained in depth, and will instead rely on players using logic and creativity to find out the recipes.
Capybara explained how they have been planning Below with PC in mind from the start, and especially how they want to open it up to modding, if not on release then in a future patch. Below will be released this summer, and if the trailer above wasn’t enough, you can find the opening of the game in this video by IGN.