Top Critic Average
Below is a gorgeous, atmospheric dungeon crawler that is difficult to take in at the pace it deserves because of oppressive survival mechanics.
Capy's tough-love approach and well-worn survival systems makes it harder to appreciate Below's singular look and feel.
The insane difficulty of the original has been tempered by a new, more accessible mode that transforms Below into one of the best roguelikes of the generation.
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 is a beautiful, immersive experience that comes with extensive caveats. Survival can be frustrating for even the most seasoned adventurer
Below's foreboding atmosphere and slow, purposeful pace works in its early stages, but numerous frustrating design choices make its back half a nightmare.
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.
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 is a unique experience that blends some of the most popular gameplay mechanics seen this generation into a hauntingly beautiful and ferocious journey of death, redemption and survival. Even with the new Explore Mode making the game more accessible, Below's obtuse nature won't be to everyone's tastes, but the process of discovering and mastering the game's numerous systems is a vastly enjoyable one.
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.