Below Review – Welcome to the Heart of Darkness

Originally published on DualShockers on December 28, 2018. I have republished the introduction of the review here for myself. If you would like to see the original post, check it out here.

The very beginning of Capy Games’ (Capy) Below offers a taste of what you’ll come to experience as you venture down into the depths of their rouge-lite dungeon crawler. The camera is pulled way back over a stormy sea; thunder cracking all around as the waves roll. Slowly tracking in, a small boat comes into focus as it sails forward through the storm. After five minutes, the boat makes land and a tiny character hops out. The island and its depths are now open for you to explore.

Below provides an immensely gripping atmosphere with procedurally generated dungeons that reveal just how meticulously hand-crafted it truly is after a few hours of spelunking. The island’s mystery provides little incentive to find out “what lies below” after the notion of randomness is replaced with one of memorization and preparation. What starts out as intentionally obtuse becomes a game that demands you learn, study, and master its rules if you ever hope to make it to the end.

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