About This GameSublevel Zero Redux is a roguelite six-degree-of-freedom shooter set in a universe where reality is falling apart. With your gunship, fight in zero-g through a vast, procedurally generated underground facility to recover the technology you need to escape the many dangers hidden around every corner. Featuring a brand new expansion that adds hours of new content, the action is more intense than ever.
The Redux expansion brings many new features to the game, including a restructured campaign, new enemies, difficulty modes, new starting classes and much more.
Strap on your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and experience Sublevel Zero in Virtual Reality with an immersive cockpit view and VR-enabled weaponry.
Your gunship is free to fly and rotate in all directions. You can attack from any angle, and so can your enemies. Inspired by classics such as Descent and Forsaken, Sublevel Zero’s retro gravity-defying combat is driven by modern looting and crafting.
No lives. No saves. Fight your way through a different procedurally generated environment every time. Make every shot, every decision count. A wide range of environments stand in your way, from industrial zones to mining caverns. Think on your feet and adapt to each one’s hazards before it’s too late.
Collect a wide range of randomly-generated weapons, upgrades and game-changing items. Craft them together to equip your gunship for your play style. Unlock more items and blueprints as you play and keep those unlocks across playthroughs.
- OS: Win XP / Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10
- Processor: 2.5 GHz Dual Core Processor
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Shader Model 3 compliant graphics cards (GeForce GT 520/Radeon HD 3850 and above)
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Storage: 800 MB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible.
I do want to say that it’s a bit misleading to compare this directly to Descent. Yes, it has 6dof combat and a reactor, but to me it feels very different in important ways. The primary difference comes in the level design. Descent had carefully hand-crafted levels with enemies in surprising places and lots of secrets. To allow procedural generation, Sublevel Zero essentially plugs pre-fabricated rooms into each other like Lego pieces. This difference has four primary consequences:
1) There are no secrets (or if there are, they are *very* secret).
2) The entrance from one room to another is almost always the same size and shape.
3) The random nature of the generation feels more like you’re filling out a maze as you go rather than truly exploring an alien environment.
4) After a handful of runs, you will start recognizing the same prefab rooms, which prevents each run from feeling truly fresh.
The second point in particular can lead to somewhat dull combat at times. It can be too risky to enter a room that is full of enemies, and so you end up just using the entryway as a chokepoint and annihilating everyone who comes near.
However, in my opinion, the unlocks and crafting make up for these shortcomings. It really is worth playing long enough to accumulate (and craft!) some tier 3 items. The different craftables lend themselves well to different strategies. For example, on my last run, I tried using a Porcupine hull in level 3 for the extra health in that lava-filled reactor room, and then switched to an Apache hull for the remaining levels for the increased ammo capacity, and it worked well! This was possible primarily because I used the unlocked Larva gunship for extra nanites, and chose nanoboxes that increased the value of nanite drops.
All in all, this is a fun game, as long as you view it as inspired by Descent rather than a true successor.
My only gripe so far was not being able to save and quit when I needed to duck out for real-life interruptions. Otherwise, I’m enjoying it!
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this game.
*Yes, if you are a casual gamer that enjoy search & destory mission, buy it
*No, if you looking for variety mission, customization gunship, don’t buy it
*Rushed play style: Around 5 hours
*Leisure play style: Around 35 hours+
( ) Adjustable on new game
( _ ) Adjustable on each stage
( _ ) Not adjustable
( ) Game made for casual gamer
( ) Game made for average gamer
( ) Game made for professional
( ) Unlockable startup / customization
( _ ) Online Player versus Player
( _ ) Online Cooperative
( _ ) Online Leaderboards (Friends Ranking)
( _ ) Level-up progression
( ) Unlock perks to upgrade
( _ ) Earn something to buy upgrade
( ) Campaign Mode (Linear story)
( _ ) Campaign Mode (Multiple Ending)
( _ ) Allow to continue playing after the end
( ) Random loots/npc/map selected
( ) Random level generated
( ) Collectible Items
( _ ) Photo Mode (No HUD, free camera)
( _ ) Score Attack / Personal Best
( ) Statistic
( _ ) Microtransactions
( _ ) Split Screen / Local Coop
( ) Steam Achievements
( _ ) Steam Trading Cards
( ) Steam Cloud Save
*Choose a gunship with different weapons (play more to unlock)
*The map is random genarated everytime we play!
*Looting is random, such as: medic kits, ammo, weapon spec (accuracy, fire rate, damage)
*Enemy shooting projectile that is slow enough to dodge
*Player can choose to make it quick or slow to complete each level
*Player can dash to enemy until dead
*But enemy have 1-2 second denote explosion that damage player
*Player collect nanites to craft a better weapon or engine
*Secret chamber is random hidden, reward is worth to explore
*More playing will provide blue prints, nanocarts make create more playing style
*Unlock blue prints will allow to craft more weapons
*Unlock nanocarts will allow to choose a perk / upgrade in next level
*Total of 6 levels to complete, will be restart from level 1 is player died.
*Game save is only use for exiting game. If player die in the save, save file will die too.
*Progression stats provide useful information such as: Unlocked items, Ratio Kills & Death & etc
+Easy to pilot
+Quick comparison for loot spec (borderland style)
+Interactive map navigation
+Interesting diversity enemies
-No leaderboard at the meantime
-No zoom view
-No third person camera
( ) Yes, normal price worth it!
( _ ) Yes, can wait for sales
( _ ) No, the developer has no plan to improve
( _ ) No, not worth the time on it
WORTH BUYING WITH DLC?
( _ ) Yes, base game + individual DLC
( _ ) Yes, base game + Season Pass (all DLC)
( _ ) No, DLC is different value
( ) No DLC
( _ ) DLC is included
*Random video review:
*Game File Size: 737 MB
TL;DR: It looks amazing, plays amazing, sounds amazing, has an amazing developer team supporting it. There is some polish that’s needed, but that’s true of most games immediately after release. There’s a lot to unpack so lets just dive right in.
While it is an excellent upgrade to the Descent aesthetic in most ways, one significant downside is the enemies. They’re no where near as distinct as Descent, they’re little more than colored floating balls. You do get used to it quickly, but it would have been nice to see more character in the enemies.
There are some minor interface and usability tweaks I feel need to be made, like making it more clear what your cursor is selecting, and polishing the item comparions, but overall the interface stays out of your way.
The core gameplay is a well polished 6DOF gameplay. The addition of crafting and rogue-like elements are nicely unobtrusive and don’t get in the way of flying around DOF’ing everything in sight. The rogue-like bits are pretty standard; if you’ve played one rogue-like you’ve played them all. The weapons have a nice variety and most feel pretty punchy. Most weapons have some sort of inaccuracy which actually helps smooth out the combat. Even with a mouse DOF’ing all around isn’t an exact science, so the weapon inaccuracy relieves some of the pressure on your flying.
The game also features one of the best control binding systems around. It recognzes and displays every controller Windows does and lets you select which one to use instantly. Key/axis binding is accurate and correctly filters false-positives by temporarily centering each axis before watching for an input. Each controller also comes with it’s own set of bindings so it’s easy to experiment with different control set ups (my personal favorite is using a Wiimote and Nunchuck to play. Check the guides for information on setting that up).
The menus are all fully-controllable via the keyboard which is a plesant niceity in generally, but especially nice for Wiimote controls.
I don’t really have anything bad to say gameplay wise.
At this price I can’t recommend it enough.
Despite these accolades, Sublevel Zero needs work in a few minor areas. Specifically, there’s no thief bot, and there’s a major lack of variety with regards to hull upgrades. There are no energy recharge stations (which was the primary benefit of generally weaker energy weapons). An autolevel control would be nice instead of hiding it in the menu and having it be always on or off. Also an irritating omission: complete lack of D-pad controls for the menu/UI system. It would also be nice if there were a way to recycle useless junk for nanites. There are also no secret doors or areas, which is a disappointment (or are there?!?). Finally, I know that this is a single player game. But come ON guys. Let’s release a multiplayer DLC for this. It’s practically begging for it.
As an interesting side note, the game also accomplishes the hilarious feat of demonstrating exactly how terribly designed Descent’s levels were, as the random generation engine in this game routinely churns out better levels than Descent did.
All in all, aside from a few minor blemishes and missed opportunities, this game is a perfect translation of Descent into a roguelike format. If you’re a fan of these types of games, Sublevel Zero simply shouldn’t be missed. I think this might also appeal to you if you enjoy flight sims or first person shooters. Some people just wanna run around with a gun, but if floating around a zero-g envrionment shooting endless hordes of robots with ever-more-powerful weapons sounds fun to you, I encourage you to give Sublevel Zero a try.
However, this is not just a 6DoF… it is also a Hardcore and a Roguelike. There are no savepoints you can reload endlessly from, and the levels are randomly generated every time you play.
There is progression to the game, and that progression is in the form of unlocks. Admitedly, the unlocking system is very user-unfriendly, and it is difficult to determine what you have unlocked or what there is left to unlock. However, the best advice I can give is to play and experiment… craft whatever you can at first, and eventually you will start unlocking things.
Once you unlock the tier 3 weapons, this game become awesome. The weapons feel powerrful and meaningful, but the enemies you face are still very dangerous, requiring skill and strategy to overcome.
There are a wide number of achievements that give this game some artificial replayability, and at first this turned me off. However, the presence of the development team continuing to add content and variety drew me back, and now I regularly play and speedrun the game, having all but one achievement… the one requiring you to die 100 times. 😀 I think I’m happy with NOT having that one. 🙂
Overall, a great entry into the 6DoF field. If you loved Descent’s single player experience, you will be right at home with Sublevel Zero.
Sub-level Zero ticks off all the boxes for everything I’m looking in a shooter that takes advantage of my X-55 HOTAS. I love how fluid it feels and how all the levels are randomly generated so you get a different experience every time. Did you like Descent back in the day? You’ll love this.
If you’re on this fence about it, DON’T BE! For the price you are robbing the developers blind…take the game and run.
I made a video review to show off some of the features and gameplay of this game!
I hope you enjoy!