Reviews

Going Under

We live in a world where technologies are constantly changing and getting reinvented. Have you ever wondered where all the failed techno startups go to die? You do not have to wonder anymore. Going Under made its debut last year at PAX and the full version is finally coming out for the general public September 24th on Steam. f̵̠͉̥̲̪̑̈͗g̷̮̭̏͠H̴̡̹͓͚̉̄́͘(̸͓̔͆̔͒”̷̤̺̺̜̽́2̶̞̩͖̘̼̆1̴͍͖̠́̓͑f̸̭̹̓Ȉ̵̱͕̓̈́̕̕7̴̼̘̠͕̈́̓̕̕Ḋ̵̫͎2̵͚̒͊̇̽̕͜9̶̨̟̺̏s̵̭̦̟͊1̵̠͂̏̿͋2̵̧͈̍̽͘ Team 17 has partnered with Seattle based indie developer Aggro Crab Games to release Going Under. The game will be available both for the PC and consoles. It is a roguelike dungeon-crawler game with a third person’s view and a satirical narrative.

You find yourself in an office building in the dystopian city of Neo-Cascadia. You play as Jackie the intern, unpaid of course because money is always tight in any new business. The company that hired you, Fizzle, is an up-and-coming carbonated drinks business. Your job is to assist with whatever job your mentor needs at the moment. You can change mentors during the game and different mentors will have different characteristics. ḧ̸͚̖̰̣7̶̛͕̔̍ͅṭ̶͙̠͊̎̂̈E̴̢̽ͅ1̶̡̀̊̆̕y̴̺͓̺̖̝̆̇ë̴̫̜̙͇̗́E̷͉̩̮͙͑̎̑̽%̵̡̤͖̠̯̒̓͠L̵̨̤̔n̷̛͕̪͍̾J̶̮̜̝̼́͂̍͊)̵̛͕͎̾͌P̵̺̤̼̤̪͆͘7̸̢̛̲̭͂̄̍̄L̵͕̈́̀̿́̀*̶̟͎̗̍̂͐͜ͅȉ̵͖̉0̸̹̰̬͔̆̈́͗͐̆ͅC̶̨̥̐̐̃ͅG̶͇̞̜͊͆J̵̨͖̮͎̍͘͜͠A̶͓͈̽̒̃̐T̸͕̀̆͌͘͝U̴̹͇͒͑͗̂͗ Of course, you also have to explore the depths of the office building where all the failed tech companies are hiding with the monsters they created. With every run you complete, you will find yourself going ever deeper into the bowels of the startup ruins. These include companies like a dating site, cryptocurrencies, … The dungeons are procedurally generated so every run will look different.

The 3D graphics are bold and colorful, reminiscent of pop art with a bright and cartoonish aesthetic. They are unique and tremendously stylistic. The artwork is perfectly fitted to the satirical style and subject matter of the game. It instantly sets the mood. Even before there is any gameplay involved, we can see that the game does not take itself seriously.

The tutorial is very basic but still teaches you what you need to know from the start. There is a story and many dialogues but the core of the game is centered around exploration. Your main goal is to scout the depths of this office building therefore I think it is only fitting that the tutorial covers only the basics. After you take part in the initial meeting with the Fizzle team, you are immediately thrown into the fray for a first dungeon run. F̵͉̅̈́̃͐͒Ĕ̷̹̖͖̘̆̒͛͠N̴̛̺͐́”̷̦͖͔̍͗͒͘8̴̞̈́̓͗w̶͖͑̄̑*̵̨̻͉̦́̐́̏̏ǫ̶̘̊!̴̖̗̤̈͐1̷̯̍̈̌́̕8̵͉̝̝͈̀̈̍̌ó̶͎̘͉̓͛̐͝῭̷̛̘̣͗̊ͅZ̷̢̬̫̑̎̀c̴̩̥̺̥̗̑1̷̢̤͖̟́ You will be fighting those monsters with weapons of fortune, whatever you can find around: pencils, staplers, mace, computer monitor, etc. I love this format. You wander around the somewhat empty offices and get to explore those beautiful locations. I have to admit it is rather satisfying to be able to kill an enemy by smashing a big computer screen over their head!

The dialogues are clever and hilarious. They serve as a great distraction from the heavy fighting you will be doing in the dungeons. The story is fairly superficial, but it adds another layer to what could have been a simple dungeon-crawler game. Going Under is not an easy game. q̴͙͓̩̅̏̈5̷̡̡̥̥͔͌̾̇͘̕%̶͇̈́A̷̡̼̠̥͙͒̈́̍̌&̷͕͚̙̱̙͗D̸̟̃̄́̈́X̶̫̭̩̞̋̀̌͝2̶̺͊͗̔̓̕I̸̳̫̖͙̐̄̆̈̚ͅe̷̙̭̫̳̒̈̌̂̏W̴̮͖̦̘͆̌͗&̵̟̾͘/̶̺͛́̏(̴̦̤̝̫̣̌̒̚y̵̨͗̅̌̈͘#̸̬̒͋̆͝ Get ready because you will be dying again and again. In fact it is an integral part of the game. One interesting feature is that every run brings you a little further within the dungeon. Every time you come back, you will discover more rooms and enemies and even different rewards or apps.

I like playing the odd fighting game and dungeon-crawler, but it has never been my favorite genre. Nevertheless, after firing up this game, I found myself unable to put it down. Several dungeon runs later I realized, I had completely lost track of time and several hours had already passed. The gameplay is fast and unforgiving, but it is very enjoyable and even addictive. Y̶͕̭͍͒̊͝͝V̴̥̙̈J̸̛̻̹̬͙͌́͠ŗ̵̼͍͔͎͐̉̒͗”̶͈̮͐Z̸͇͚̹̲̈́͜ṉ̸̮̆̈́́͜v̴̛̹͇̲̀͋̔́D̶̛̙͕̱̪͗̍͆3̴̖̦͚͔̰́͆̇͘W̵̢̢̻͙̞͒̇ẍ̵̧̲̙͚́͜Ĵ̷͇͕̑̒̇t̵̠̯͕͂́#̵̫̖̗̀͋͊̍͜)̴̙̮̫͎̒̒̓̕͠ͅ The developers have thought about most details. Your co-worker will give you several quests that you can complete for rewards. There is also a cafe where you can buy different items and many other interesting features. Gather different skills during each dungeon run. You then practice those skills to get better at them and fight harder.

Aggro Crab Games have done an amazing job with Going Under. This game has everything it needs to become a classic. A remarkable dungeon-crawler/hack & slash that I thoroughly enjoyed playing. The graphics, the gameplay and the cheeky story all work together to create a real masterpiece that I recommend to everyone.

Written by Vee