Top Critic Average
Below is very self-aware of the pace and tone it’s going for. This is a confident game that has clear nods and winks to titles that have inspired it but also brings them together in a way that feels fresh and unique. 2018 has already had some incredible gaming experiences and with the quality of a game like Below, it’s clearly not over yet.
Tough games generally reward me by offering up small lessons, each time I die. In most games, I'll notice that the big Dark Souls-y boss I'm trying to kill has a particular movement or flaw, and I test that weak spot until I discover the answer.
When you reach a milestone you get a moment of pure, unadulterated glory, but it’s fleeting, like craving a cigarette and quickly realising that nicotine is a chemical lie and cigarettes are shit. Progress feels so gradual as to be nonexistent, and can be instantly wiped out — but not in a calculated way like the difficulty of Dark Souls. In a sort of hopeless way. Each warrior is a tiny Sisyphus.
Below is a punishing dungeon crawler, mixing elements from roguelikes, Dark Souls and survival games to create an often painful, yet oddly enticing action-adventure game.
Although it has a tendency to frustrate, both in terms of design and execution, Below offers a compelling adventure set in a mysterious world that's just begging to be explored.
Below is a game that will keep calling you back. With its challenging gameplay loop, beautiful design and polished mechanics, it's a game that could easily become a classic of the genre over time.
Below is not an inviting or wholly accessible experience. It does, however, have a lot to offer to players who enjoy uncovering mysteries and delving headlong into the unknown. It's a more hardcore Zelda game without the true bite of a Souls-like. Love it or hate it, Below is unabashed in what it is and what it demands of players who brave its depths.
Below is a beautiful game that has a lot to offer players and a lot of interesting sights to see. However, it requires the players to put up with quite a bit in order to see all that.
Despite its frustrating refusal to teach you even the basics, Below's sense of discovery is as good as anything already out there, and its gameplay is as deep as its name suggests.
Below is a quite convincing Rogue-lite with good visuals and great music, despites the lack of tutorial and narration, and a progression that can be very tough and frustrating.
Review in French | Read full review
Below is a great game with a unique atmosphere, inexpressible emotions and the idea of survival, which is a little outdated and can discourage all desire to explore this amazing and unpredictable world.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Worth the wait, Below is a Rouge lite that doesn't hold your hand and asks you figure out the rules of this world on your own. It makes for a fulfilling, albeit difficult journey.
Below is a dark, mysterious game that invites you to illuminate its secrets, then punishes you for trying. While it does a great job invoking a sense of wonder, thanks in part to its sparse, tense soundtrack, its genuinely great moments are spread far too thin. Below will certainly be a divisive game, but it offers a compelling experience for players willing to put up with a good amount of frustration and tedium.
Below is a long-awaited game that for the most part delivers on what it set out to do 6 years ago. The biggest hurdle awaiting players besides the difficulty will be finding that sweet spot of discovery and wonder that keeps pulling you on and making you want to find out more.
Below is a dark-space opera with a strong imagery that revolves around the concepts of darkness and light, good and evil. It is a well built hardcore game with procedural dungeons and traps. It is not suitable for casual players.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Below is a solid and well-designed game that will challenge every level of gamer. Steeped in mystery, fans of Roguelike dungeon exploring will feel right at home in this subterranean adventure.
It’s not cutting edge. I mean “Souls-like” is a genre of its own now, not just an interesting experiment. So we wind up with Below, which is like one of those weird evolutionary offshoots that is never quite successful.
A frustrating mix of survival game and roguelike, that has absolutely no respect for your time and yet still hides an enthralling and rewarding action adventure within its murky depths.
Below's maddening edge is an open rebellion to its quiet sophistication. It's loaded with intrigue but resistant to modern methods of approach, creating a Rorschach test where losing patience with its internal contradiction is as credible of a reaction as relishing its idiosyncratic isolation and adversity. Ultimately, Below is a curiosity in which gratification is dependent on personal resolve.
Below is a good game, but it could have been something great with some more attention to things that were bound to frustrate gamers from the get-go. It's a solid adventure, and a wonderfully interesting mystery. But it's not always fun to play.
After five years of waiting, though there are some frequently fantastic examples of sound used to further the tone and aesthetic, a similarly plentiful amount of contradictory design choices and unnecessarily tasking moments leaves BELOW with many rough edges.
If you have Xbox Game Pass and are not scared away by the potential struggles ahead, then Below might be worth a try. At a somewhat high asking price of £19.99 though, you may wish to consider other, better options.
Even though it doesn’t always feel cohesive, it’s certainly worth playing, especially if you’re a fan of roguelikes —just know that your mileage may vary in the enjoyment department.
Some players will relish the challenge, but I just couldn't. Not in this game. Below puts its best foot forward in its early hours and then never stops losing steam. If the experience were somehow compressed into a tighter six- to eight-hour adventure, I'd confidently recommend it to a wide audience. As it stands, the game has a masterful command of ambience, but it comes with too many caveats.
Below isn't revolutionary or even a risk taker among its peers. It borrows bit by bit everything it needs from other games. In Below, the means justify the end, but is the end even worth it? A vast but shallow sea is what we got after all these years
Review in Persian | Read full review
BELOW evokes a fantastically ominous air of foreboding with its soundtrack, and its visual style is unquestionably superb, but as an example of the roguelike, Capy's game does nothing new. Perhaps it's intentionally pared-down, but the resulting game is enjoyable for an hour or two, and a relentless chore thereafter.
The game is an undeniably refreshing experience and a rather intriguing introduction to roguelikes for newcomers to the genre. Unfortunately, what the game lacks in terms of consistently gratifying gameplay is not wholly made up for by such excellent presentation and solid underlying concepts.
Uncompromising to a fault, Below is a unique and often hauntingly beautiful game but its punishing design eventually becomes a tedious slog, sucking out any intrigue or enjoyment of its initial hours.
There's a fun and challenging experience down in the depths of Below, especially in the very lowest levels. Unfortunately, the cumbersome design will turn players away and keep the game's treasures hidden forever.
If you like to unravel a mysterious world that doesn't hold your hand, then you might find something in BELOW. If you're looking for an action-packed roguelite, BELOW is not it.
We really wanted to enjoy Below. We wanted a gripping indie game to suck us in and get us lost in its world, but overall all we gained from this was a headache and a loss of breath from sighing in discontent. If you like hard games just because of a challenge, give it a try. If you want a worthwhile experience though, you might want to look somewhere else.