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The Land Beneath Us Review


The Land Beneath Us begins a bit sluggish and the gameplay can really feel repetitive after some time. Nonetheless, though it doesn’t succeed at every part, it’s an entertaining recreation that may be skilled casually whereas additionally offering a problem for many who need to grasp its tactical fight.

The Mix Beneath Us

The-Land-Beneath-Us-White-and-Boring-Room
Picture through FairPlay Studios

The visuals of The Land Beneath Us usually are not essentially unique, however they get the job executed. The recreation has that very same minimalist pixel artwork type with out outlines that we’ve seen in lots of indie video games currently, however mixed with easy 3D platforms and a modern-looking UI. Different video games pulled out the mix of retro and trendy components, however right here I really feel prefer it makes the sport seem like it’s struggling to search out an identification. It doesn’t look unhealthy, however it doesn’t look totally cohesive both.

That is unhappy as a result of mixing retro and trendy visible components usually result in very distinctive trying video games, however the issue could be the shortage of variation and persona within the flooring you discover. I want the sport had extra distinct situations and made extra use of this pixel artwork and 3D mix to supply extra distinct backgrounds and environmental storytelling as a substitute of one other crimson or blue room with random monsters.

Talking of monsters, I didn’t actually really feel any sense of coherence or belonging to the creatures I used to be going through. As a rule, they appeared to be there solely so I might kill them and transfer on. Though there’s nothing unsuitable with it, it does distinction with the sport’s preliminary effort to supply a lot lore and context to what you’re doing.

The-Land-Beneath-Us-Stage-3
Picture through FairPlay Studios

Usually talking, the artwork is useful, and there’s nothing inherently unsuitable with it, however for a recreation that spends a lot of your time with a protracted lore exposition dump earlier than it allows you to play, I used to be anticipating a bit extra.

The Plot In Entrance of Us

Soul-Power
Picture through FairPlay Studios

In The Land Beneath Us, you play as Sven, a Soul Harvester summoned by an odd AI in a bizarre sci-fi lab. As Sven, you will need to rescue The Creator so the world can return to harvesting Soul Vitality, the final word answer to a really troubling vitality disaster. As you advance, you’ll meet new characters, study extra about your previous, and the AI’s true intentions.

Frankly, I didn’t care a lot concerning the plot. Sven is cool, and I like his design, however I felt just like the quirky AI is attempting too laborious to be humorous with references and tropes which might be a long time previous by now. I get the concept of creating a Claptrap-like character who can ship some jokes now and again, and I do imagine it may possibly work irrespective of what number of instances it has been executed, however I nonetheless really feel prefer it might have been toned down a bit. I additionally really feel very disturbed by the one pixel in Sven’s helmet that makes it look crocked for some motive.

Main-PC-in-The-Land-Beneath-Us
Screenshot by Assault of the Fanboy

That stated, it’s not like I hate the writing or the characters on this recreation. There’s quite a bit to be admired right here. Whether or not you agree or not with the message that the sport is attempting to move, or how it’s finally delivered, it’s very clear that the staff had a transparent imaginative and prescient of what the sport’s plot was meant to be.

The Land Beneath Us makes use of absurd fantasy and sci-fi ideas to make the participant take into consideration the implications of going too far, the worth of life, the sense of self, and different moral dilemmas. As I stated, there’s a message that the builders have been attempting to move, however though I severely dislike preaching in video games, I really feel like The Land Beneath Us presents its themes in a approach that makes the gamers assume critically about it greater than hammering down a message into their heads, and I commend the writers for it.

Tactical Flip-Primarily based Roguelite

The gameplay is by far one of the best and most unique a part of The Land Beneath Us and the principle motive you’ll play this recreation. I used to be very impressed by the way in which that FairPlay Studios Co. was in a position to present an expertise that jogs my memory of Crown Trick whereas being its personal factor.

This recreation is a turn-based tactical recreation on a sq. grid, however not in the way in which you assume. The bizarre factor about turns on this recreation is that all of them occur on the identical time. Each time you’re taking your flip, all of the enemies on the map do too. So, how does it work? You possibly can see the place you possibly can transfer, the vary and attain of your weapons, and the enemies’ assault trajectory on the grid.

Weapons-in-The-Land-Beneath-Us
Picture through FairPlay Studios

Enemies don’t essentially assault each flip, however they are going to all the time telegraph their assaults, and if you happen to transfer into a kind of squares or keep there, you’ll take injury. Every weapon you discover should be outfitted in considered one of your 4 slots. Every slot represents a path: up, down, left, or proper. These weapons solely assault in that path. In case you have a spear in your down slot and a gun in your left slot, neither weapon will ever assault enemies above you or to your proper.

I do know it sounds odd and sophisticated, however it’s the core of the tactical side of The Land Beneath Us. To make it even higher, the sport doesn’t have any kind of timer. It received’t rush you, so you’ve on a regular basis on this planet to make one of the best determination. After some time, you’ll get used to the enemies and their assault patterns, making you velocity by the primary flooring of the dungeon whereas all the time having the choice of rigorously contemplating one of the best subsequent transfer when issues get extra sophisticated.

Weapons might need particular properties, like reaching 3 squares afar, attacking two enemies in a 2-squares lengthy line, or therapeutic you when an enemy is defeated. There are many weapons, and also you’ll probably discover some extra fascinating than others. Though I’m not a fan of the weapon allocation system, I received’t maintain it in opposition to the sport as a result of it’s a very artistic, very distinctive tactical battle system, and I’ve nothing however good issues to say about it.

Death-Screen-in-The-Land-Beneath-Us
Screenshot by Assault of the Fanboy

As quickly as the sport began, I used to be hooked by the battle system, however the remainder of the sport made me want that extra care was put into the remainder of it. Enemies really feel a bit bland and over-simplistic at first. The recreation does have a sluggish begin and waits too lengthy earlier than letting you employ its extra enjoyable mechanics. Unlocking new weapons ought to be fascinating, however it solely makes upgrading them a lot more durable since you want to get the identical weapon from a chest to improve those you’ve.

There’s additionally the issue of overpowered talents or builds which might be considerably abusable. Don’t get me unsuitable, the sport is nice and price attempting, and I do love the battle system of The Land Beneath Us, however I imagine that some minor tweaks might have made this recreation so, so a lot better.

The Verdict

Though I used to be by no means compelled to take heed to the annoying AI and perceive Sven’s true function, The Land Beneath Us does put good effort into offering a great plot and charismatic characters. As for the gameplay, I used to be shocked by how a lot better this recreation is than Fallen Knight, FairPlay Studios’s earlier recreation launched on Steam.

I discover it simple that The Land Beneath Us is a enjoyable recreation worthy of its price ticket, however I can’t eliminate that feeling that this title is just a few steadiness patches away from greatness. That stated, I nonetheless suggest it to Roguelite followers and gamers who take pleasure in a slower, tactical recreation. For those who like each, this recreation will really feel prefer it was tailored for you.

7

The Land Beneath Us

I discover it simple that The Land Beneath Us is a enjoyable recreation worthy of its price ticket, however I am unable to eliminate that feeling that this title is just a few steadiness patches away from greatness.

Reviewed on PC


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