Announced at the Microsoft’s E3 press conference on Monday, Below is a new game from Capy Games, the creators of the award-winning Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery and the upcoming XBLA game Super TIME Force. When talking to Polygon, Capy’s Nathan Vella explains that while it may share similarities with tough-as-nails roguelike games of the past, Below is “not a roguelike… it’s a roguelike-like”.
Vella pointed out that “the game is really about exploration”. You play as a tiny warrior exploring a mysterious island filled with randomly-generated environments. Your small stature brings out the island’s grand scale, as well as your character’s fragility. Capy wanted to make a game that won’t hold your hand, designing the combat to be “brutal but fair”. Vella promises that a death will never be due to a poor game system. Death is permanent, so if you avoid being reckless and hone your sword skills you’ll live to fight another day. “If you manage to survive, that’s where the discovery component comes in… That’s when you start unlocking the potential of the game, the story, the lore and also what you can within the game itself.”
The game’s music is being composed by Jim Guthrie, who previously worked with Capy on Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery. “[W]e mostly wanted to do it because of how positive the collaboration had been previously. This was an opportunity for us to work with Jim in a different way. A lot of Sworcery was taking Jim’s core and working upon that [with the game]. And in this case, it’s our core and Jim building on it [with music].”
“This is a concept that Kris Piotrowski [of Capy Games] has been very passionate about… We started talking about this idea years ago, pre-Demon’s Souls. Games like Spelunky, Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, FTL: they’ve done a bit of legwork for us in helping to prove out the idea that people want brutal, hard games that don’t hold your hand and have something happen differently every time you play it.”