Thursday 17 October 2019

Below review: No mercy in hell

Below (XO/PC) ★★★ Age: 7+

Below for Xbox and PC
Below for Xbox and PC
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

A game less in need of an age rating than a patience rating, Below emerges from five-year development hell with a warning. Don't buy this unless you've a deep well of bloody-mindedness.

Landing as a lone traveller on a storm-swept shore, you seek refuge in a randomly generated cave system filled with traps and hostile enemies. You will die frequently, forced to start afresh in a rearranged cave layout.

It seems easy at first to reach your sacrificed equipment on the next run, but the deeper you reach underground, the more ruthless and challenging it becomes on subsequent attempts.

That's hardly surprising but the sheer mercilessness shown to the player will deter all but the most pig-headed.

Such an unforgiving attitude didn't harm the bestselling Dark Souls series, of course. But Below skates perilously close to treating its players with contempt.

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