After a protracted absence, highly-anticipated RPG Beneath from Toronto-based developer Capybara Video games is lastly coming to the floor. First introduced in 2013, the Xbox One unique has undergone some critical nips and tucks over time, re-emerging at E3 2018 as a colourful, assured, and difficult journey by way of a mysterious community of caverns.
We skilled this lovely, enigmatic journey firsthand at a current hands-on demo. Performed from a top-down, isometric perspective, Beneath begins by dropping gamers off on the shores of a darkish, shadowy island. A close-by campfire beckons, introducing us to the sport’s crafting mechanics. Gamers should scavenge for objects to create life-granting stews and soups. Grabbing a number of close by fish and a bottle of water, we concocted a hearty (if unseasoned) stew and had been on our means.
We would have liked each sip of that fishy mess, as a result of Beneath is a tricky sport. With little formal route, the participant should uncover the principles of Beneath’s alluring world by way of exploration and repetition.
After climbing a sheer cliff face, we roamed by way of the tall grass of a surprising area, discovering a trusty lantern as a lightning storm flashed round us. Working in lovely 4K on Xbox One X, Beneath’s haunting, understated visuals set a somber temper. After testing out our sword by slicing by way of blades of grass, we gathered our wits, entered an ominous cave, and made our means down into the bowels of the island.
Briefly order we ran right into a room stuffed with hostile, pink globs. We dispatched a number of utilizing easy sword and defend assaults, however had been shortly overwhelmed. After respawning on the seaside, we made our means again solely to seek out that the extent structure had modified.
That’s as a result of Beneath is, at its coronary heart, a roguelike expertise. Most areas in Beneath are procedurally generated, resulting in a brand new expertise every time you play. Not all the things on this planet adjustments, nonetheless; progressing would require studying to decode the sport’s distinctive visible vocabulary. Discover a secret entrance to a brand new portion of the island? Whereas the structure of the combat-driven areas surrounding it would change, you’ll ultimately be taught the place this entrance typically resides every time you play. Over time, you’ll slowly piece collectively the construction and circulate of Beneath’s unusual world.
One factor we realized? Crystals left by downed enemies can be utilized to remodel campfires into fast-travel factors. The following time we died, we had been in a position to warp from the seaside hearth on to a useful cavern checkpoint.
Beneath’s world is affected by extra unexplained curiosities: rune-covered obelisks, hidden traps, wearable masks granting unknown skills. Beneath purposefully obfuscates the connection between the participant and these objects. There’s no hand-holding right here. If you wish to uncover Beneath’s sport’s secrets and techniques, you’ll have to do it the arduous means.
And having solely reached the second flooring of the caverns in our 30-minute playthrough, we’re dying (no pun meant) to strive once more. Boasting a secretive world and distinctive, foreboding artwork fashion, this roguelike sport of survival and discovery has all the trimmings of one other must-play indie. We’re excited to be taught extra as soon as the sport lastly comes up for air on Xbox One later this yr.