As much as I love roguelikes and roguelike-likes, I live in perpetual fear that the term is dangerously close to becoming a buzzword, much like “open world” and “procedural generation”. [I’m pretty sure this fear is already a reality. I’M SORRY. – Ed.] Still, I can’t help but have my interest perked at the prospect of a roguelike with Descent overtones, and that’s exactly what Sublevel Zero is shaping up to be.
The game is a six-degrees-of-freedom shooter with zero gravity, changing levels, scarce resources, plenty of claustrophobic corridors and, of course, permadeath. It’s as if Descent got brutal and decided to kick some puppies: even the UI bears a strong resemblance to the classic shooter of the DOS era. It looks set to blend elements from modern and retro styles, and developer Luke Thompson has said that the game’s inspirations stem from an eclectic mix of games from Forsaken to Teleglitch.
Having originally appeared in prototype form during Ludum Dare 29, the complete version will be released later this year. Most interestingly, it’ll feature Oculus Rift support. Check out the Steam page here and watch the trailer below.