Sublevel Zero is your new 6DoF roguelike shooter

Grab your dramamine and hold on to your hat

Sublevel Zero is England-based studio Sigtrap’s new roguelike reimagining of the first-person, six-degree-of-freedom shooter. Influences on the game’s design swing from classic 6DoF titles like Descent to modern roguelike shooters such as Test3 Projects’ Teleglitch.

The studio says the game’s combat will be driven by “modern looting and crafting,” which I interpret to mean random item drops and buffs that will upgrade your ship’s arsenal and defense systems. However, the crafting system has left me curious, and a bit concerned.

Typically, I dislike crafting mechanics in my games, especially those that are action-oriented. But if it’s incorporated in a smartly designed, efficient, and immersion-maintaining manner, it could possibly work out quite well.

As exhibited in the video above, Sublevel Zero sports an exceptionally fetching, stylized, lo-fidelity art style. It seems to seamlessly blend aspects of Descent‘s chunky, ’90s-era look with more contemporary aesthetics found in newer 6DoF titles, like Cadenza Interactive’s delightful Retrovirus. It works well and gives the game a unique visual identity.

Staying faithful to its roguelike inspirations, there are no saves in Sublevel Zero and it also prominently features permadeath. Depending on your persuasion, this will either be an extreme turnoff or an incredibly appealing design choice. As for me, it’s most definitely the latter.

Sublevel Zero is currently on track for release in summer 2015 and is planned for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. If you’d like to stay up to date with the game, you can find out more by visiting the game’s website as well as following the studio on Twitter.

Rob Morrow