During came today on Xbox One and PC, after five years of development. I have spent about five hours with the game. Despite entering very few expectations, it still managed to fight the game.
First revealed on E3 2013, Capybara Games' minimalist RPG dungeon crawler has been in development for over five years, demoed at several fairs, and delayed time and again. Every time I saw new recordings, a woven picture of what the moody Zelda -inspired indie game slowly took shape in my mind.
Yesterday I finally started playing the finished game. After spending much of that time fumbling through his mysterious world, with almost no idea what to do, a new picture has appeared. It is one of a game that sometimes impervious mysteries and atmospheric but feared worlds do not seem to suffer from time gone by since they were first bothered or the other seemingly similar games that were released in the meanwhile.
You came alone on a dark beach, climbed on a rock cliff and picked up a lantern, which allowed me to unlock the entrance of a cave by shining some light on it. From there I came deeper and deeper, killing rodents when I could find them to be fed and drinking water from my growing bottle of bottles. I explored every room I could, including one that led me to the back of the island, where a cemetery was broken in a small bay.
Throughout this I learned slowly things slowly. You can make items in your inventory, such as fashion reinforcements, sticks, and string in torches. Pieces of food can be combined in bottles and cooked in potions on campfires. Most importantly, glowing red monsters fall glowing bits when they die that you can collect and use to fuel your lantern. The lantern itself helps to light the game's otherwise dark room and also emphasizes when a trap is nearby. It is also the key to unlock hidden passages that let you come deeper into the game's maze. I know this because I've done this, but even now I could not explain how or why.
I've probably spent about half of my time with the game so far and reel my step and shine my lantern on everything I can find. I once even starve myself to death and hoped that it could free up a little new thread for me to take on. Dying resets the map and lets you start exploring the island again as a new traveler. Some important rooms remain the same while others, and the patterns that link them change. It's one of the ways the game does repeatedly stumbling around in the dark, without knowing what to look for, feel tolerable.
During everything is kept back: explanations, clues, goals. When you hit a dead end, it's always clear that you must have missed something along the way and your limited actions combined with the importance of the light help keep the number of possible things you should try to do differently than to feel overwhelming or useless . During the world's world is far from inviting, despite all its intimately rendered beauty, and its hard esoteric presentation can beat some players. Like Limbo or Fez Under you will not tell anything and instead try to use the rules of their world to guide the players' attempt to flaunt. I already feel like I've been running a marathon just trying to unlock the third level of the game.
Here are some other thoughts:
- The game is as beautiful as it seemed as it would be. Each aesthetic piece, from the blades blowing in the wind to the composer Jim Guthry's exquisite, smoldering synth soundtrack, fits perfectly.
- Although the use of shapes and colors is sparse, under uses a subtle interaction between light and shadow, soft focus and hard focus, and a thick film grain after effect to add an amazing number of visual depths to each room.
- The game finds a delicate balance between a non-intrusive HUD that only shows equipment, health and fittings when you pick it up and still use the smallest sparks and symbols to indicate things that can interact with. The effect is one that keeps you aware of the game elements at work without ever screaming that you play a game.
- You can never have enough food or torches.
- Controls Under it feels good. Swinging a sword, taking up a shield, or dashing back from incoming danger is all responsive and fluid. But these actions are still slow enough to battle in Feeling more as a means of survival than what is progressing in its progress.
- Nothing That Occurs in During it feels like it was by chance, even if any of it was. I've been combining every detail in a room and looking for some clues about how to unlock a hidden passage and the game rewards this behavior often enough to cause me to play the game with more consistent attention and alertness than anything Other I have touched this year.
- It's dangerous to walk alone, but in Under you have no choice.