Top Critic Average
A welcome revival for a much missed genre, Sublevel Zero's roguelike design can't quite sustain it in the long term.
So there Sublevel Zero lies, this peculiar mix of instantly entertaining and disappointingly hollow. Tidying up the crafting, and making it meaningful, would add a lot. And gosh, it desperately needs a rethink about those unexplained, unpredictable dead-ends. But heck, I want to keep on playing anyway. I feel like so much more could be added to it, and I rather hope to see that happen. As it is, I'm suspicious it won't hold people's attention long enough for the £11 entry fee.
I want to be able to recommend Sublevel Zero to everyone out of principle, but I can't do that in good conscience. It's a game with a striking presentation, but suffers from problems that no amount of sheen can cover up. Float past this one, sadly waving at what could have been.
This isn't just any roguelike game, it's a calculated equation of how to pull off the technique with success.
Taking inspiration from a number of genres and combining them to make a fresh and challenging experience, Sublevel Zero is a great experience and is definitely worth your time!
Sublevel Zero's novelty is how faithfully it resurrects concepts of a fallen genre. It's cool that Sigtrap Games made a game like Descent, but pressing those ideas inside the mold of a roguelike leaves a significant amount of empty space.
For people that once loved Descent, and in their heart of hearts still do, Sublevel Zerois a compelling answer for those that want a modern day take on the genre. It is not without issues though. It is an expertly crafted 6DOF game with tight controls, but the rogue parts of its cross genre appeal are rough enough around the edges to be problematic.
Inching closer to demise in Sublevel is a tightening vice that'll persist past every destroyed core and through every wormhole.