Capybara Games, the studio behind Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP and stellar mobile puzzler Grindstone, has revealed that its gorgeously atmospheric rogue-like dungeon-crawler Below will finally be heading to PlayStation 4 this spring - and it'll feature a brand-new, exploration-focussed way to play.
Below first emerged on Xbox One and PC in December 2018, some five years after its original unveiling at Microsoft's 2013 E3 press conference. Despite its long gestation, the critical response to Capybara's procedural dungeon-crawling action wasn't entirely positive; Eurogamer's Christian Donlan, for instance, while utterly beguiled by Below's beautiful presentation, felt its familiar Souls-like combat, survival, and crafting were simply too at odds with the delicate sense of mystery the game seemed eager to foster.
Since launch, Capybara has made some tweaks to the experience, but Below's PlayStation 4 release will introduce the developer's most substantial update yet. Alongside the original version of the game (now known as Survive mode), players can opt to experience its world through the new Explore mode. This, according to Capybara, features mechanics optimised to encourage exploration - and will see changes to survival, death, and damage intended to suit those looking for a more action-adventure style of play.
"Explore mode is our way of answering everyone who played Below at launch and found the challenge a bit too steep", says the developer, "It was clear that many players were intrigued by the game's haunting underworld and rich atmosphere, but its difficulty made the game inaccessible to some. We hope to see new players get into Below, and for seasoned players to revisit The Isle and enjoy the game in a whole new way."
Players that struggled with Below in its original form on other platforms needn't fret, however; Explore mode will also be making its way to Xbox One and PC.