A brand new title is coming from the same studio that previously made games such as Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery and Super Time Force and – at least from initial gameplay videos – it appears to be different, yet powerful. The game is called Below and departs from the common pixel art style that gained popularity in the previous titles.
In comparison to its older brothers, Below employs a slightly different type of graphics. Everything is surely a lot more polished and takes some more hardware to render. While graphically, the game doesn’t appear so complex as one may expect, relying on a field-of-view-limited but bird’s eye perspective, it doesn’t make the game any less beautiful. By making use of tilt-shift photography effects, your vision is limited to the path ahead of you, sinking the mysterious surroundings in complete darkness.
As a matter of fact, watching just 2 minutes of Below gameplay as the tiny character travels through an area called Death’s Door sent me through a long series of feelings; reminiscent of so many other iconic video games of the past decades. Legends of Zelda come to mind first – but combined with the haunting soundtrack and awe-inspiring audio effects of last year’s Ori and the Blind Forest.
The mystery and difficulty weighing down on you, seeing that if you die you lose your progress couldn’t help but remind me of my first hours of experience with the original Dark Souls. The lonely, dark and gloomy atmosphere inspired by the remnants of a once great kingdom that relied on abstract architecture and unexplainable mechanisms actually reminded me of the PS3 exclusive Journey; though the calming warmth and golden tones of a never-ending and soothing desert area are nowhere to be found.
The game Below was originally announced at the E3 event back in 2013 and not that often mentioned of given progress reports on since. However, with this last trailer that was released right after the IGF Awards, we now know the wait is nearly over. Without an exact launch date provided, we still know that the game will be making it on the shelves – digital most likely and no news regarding a retail version at this point – sometime this summer.
This comes after a couple of delays in releasing the title. Originally, 2014 was the year it was supposed to come out in. But the repeated delays actually come as a blessing, as the game looks a lot more polished and special now.
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