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“Sublevel Zero” — 6 Degrees of (Awesome!) Freedom

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I’m going to start this off by saying that while I am aware of and have seen the game(s) played before, I’ve never personally played Descent. Yet, that series is what Sigtrap Games seems to be paying homage to in Sublevel Zero – a new “6 Degrees of Freedom” roguelike published by Mastertronic (a company that has put out a lot of games I’ve enjoyed so far!).

In Sublevel Zero, players will be flying a small spacecraft inside of a facility (for reasons explained in the intro) in an effort to figure out the facility’s purpose and obtain the parts to build a better warp drive to return to their home system. The facility starts you on sublevel zero and you will work your way down through progressively harder and more interesting areas until you finally reach the end. Flying is very freeform and realistic, and the space-themed combat is great. Also, all of the environments are procedurally-generated so that each playthrough is unique and fun. And, to top all of this stuff off with a bit more awesome, dying in the game makes you reset in true rogue-like function.

In some ways, the game is like marrying Descent with the Metroid series, because the maps themselves remind me of Metroid Prime and I really like the exploration and how it is carried out in the game. Also, although the game is roguelike, there are some unlockable things you can obtain that may make later playthroughs a bit different (if not a tad easier).

This video showcases a full run through the game (though I didn’t get all that far!) and will give you an idea of what it looks and plays like…All in 5120×2160 (5K) at 60 FPS!

Jessica Brown
Retro Games and Technology Editor. She'll beat pretty much every Mega Man game without breaking a sweat.

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