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Sublevel Zero Redux Review (PS4)

Battle your way through hoards of enemies in this rougle-like first person shooter! Will you survive and help humanity find out why it's existence is falling apart or fall prey to the many enemies you will encounter? Survive and make every shot count.
Sublevel Zero Redux (PS4)

Introduction

Sublevel Zero Redux is a first person, rogue-like, six degrees of freedom shooter. Where, you, a lone pilot must escape from a facility you were sucked into, to potentially save the universe. The game is bought to you from SIGTRAP Games and Merger Games. Sublevel Zero Redux is available on PS4, Xb1 and PC. The game has been available on PC for some time but only released for console on the 21st February. Originally, I struggled with this games controls due to the amount of freedom placed on how much movement your ship has, but I soon found my feet and found myself enjoying this game far too much to turn it off. This fast paced shooter ticks all the right boxes and anyone looking for a fun challenge should definitely consider buying this game and lets be honest who isn't looking for a fun challenge when it comes to gaming? 

You can buy the game on Amazon for 24.99$

Story

You play as a lone pilot who is attempting to understand why the universe is tearing itself apart, on a mission you are sucked through a black hole and must fight your way out in the hope of saving yourself and the universe. There is little depth to the story and it is summed up in a few text paragraphs as you start a new game. No name is even offered for the pilot you play as or is there no name as to what your 'clan' is called, however this game need not delve into these as you won't find yourself worrying about names when trying to stay alive takes such concentration. This games strength lies in its actual gameplay and the lack of story doesn't take away from this. It's rare to find a game that has a weak story line yet is still so enjoyable to play but this is one of them.

Gameplay

The gameplay for Sublevel Zero Redux is lightening paced and requires strategy. The many weapons on offer allow you to play the game how you feel most suited, i.e. a heavy damage weapon with a low rate of fire may suit you or a weapon the produces a lower damage but has an increased fire rate, some weapons force you to fight up close and personal whilst some allow you to keep your distance, the choice is up to you and there is a good quantity of weapons on offer, however be wary of how much ammo you have.
The enemies of the game have a different form of attack and all offer their own challenge. The AI is also intelligent and will cooperate to bring you down. The environment itself can also be hazardous as I found the hard way when I decided to fly into a bright white light which subsequently was the end of me and forcing me to start over and discover that you do not keep any of your upgrades…
Despite its challenging gameplay you never feel like the level is impossible and that it would be too frustrating to re-try. I constantly found myself doing better and better in each attempt, providing that needed motivation to re-try and belief that any particular level isn't too difficult to complete.
As you are storming your way through hordes of enemies make sure to keep checking your map it's very easy to get lost in the maze that is Sublevel Zero Redux so make sure you keep checking where you are and what different paths are available to you. I needed this many, many times as I found myself retracing my steps due to wrong turns. A handy map can appear at the touch of a button and highlights doors you can use and those which are essentially dead ends.

Sub Level Redux (PS4) - Map

Permadeath

The permadeath factor of this game really does force you to be strategic with ammo and your movement. Flying into one area without thinking can be a certain recipe for death as the enemy can surround you at all angles. The harsh reality of starting over without your upgraded ship can be hard to accept but a game can't be rougelike without a reason.  A tip to staying alive when in combat is always be on the move! Don't remain stationary trying to line up a target as you make yourself a target, attempting to shoot and move is harder but after adjusting you'll be a much better player.

Crafting

Crafting adds a new element to this game and allows the game to seem more contemporary. The crafting system allows you to craft a new weapon depending on the resources you have, this allows you to gain access to useful pieces of weaponry you may not otherwise find. Before entering the menus to craft make sure you are in a safe area as the game will not stop for you, if you attempt to craft whilst engaged in battle you may find yourself restarting the game very soon. The crafting feature lacks any real depth though as you cannot make any of your own modifications or even view of a list of all the craftable items there are but it's still a nice touch that's been included. The resources needed to craft can be collected from destroyed enemies or chests found throughout the levels. These contain nanites, weapons and ship upgrade such as a new engine. The loot from a destroyed ship will only stay collectable for a few seconds so make sure you collect it quick but don't make mistakes as a quick swoop for this loot may be the end of you. The weapons you collect from enemies remains are also required to craft along with the collected nanites.

Sublevel Zero Redux (PS4) - Collection of Loot

Replay Value

In game achievements such as 'destroy a certain amount of enemies with a certain type of weapon' allow you to unlock upgraded ships, this can either make the game difficulty easier or you can use these advanced ships to increase the in game difficulty and further challenge yourself. The in game achievements, PS4 trophies to unlock, the range of weapons and the fact you'll likely die many times before completing all six levels can give you multiple hours of gameplay before you even consider turning this game off. Another factor is that each level is procedurally generated, meaning that every time you re-try you'll be faced with a new challenge which may be different enemies in a different room or enemies placed differently within the room. Giving you added incentive to try, try and try again.

Sublevel Zero Rexux (PS4) - In game view for player

Audio and Graphics

The graphics of this game are very bright and attractive which helps keep you captivated. Whilst the graphics aren't ground breaking or won't win any awards they make the screen glow and are aesthetically pleasing. The attention to detail is also just enough so that you can see that effort has been placed into it. Although much like with the story, the graphics are not why you will find yourself playing this game for hours so any flaws you may find will not affect your enjoyment. The audio is very suited too, it has a sci-fi feel to it that doesn't distract you from the game. It also isn't too upbeat so that you start to rush yourself whilst playing, it's as if it's supposed to sit suitably in the background not affecting your gameplay forcing you into mistakes.  

Conclusions

This game probably isn't on the radar of most people, especially with all the big releases that have been happening but this game shouldn't be over looked. There is a learning curve with this game and that shouldn't be forgotten, anyone looking to find an enjoyable experience here must accept you need time to develop the ability this game requires, however this shouldn't put anyone off as mastering this curve isn't an impossible, gruelling task. This game will guarantee you hours of solid, fun gameplay. The challenging levels keep you focused, the fact it's procedurally generated keeps you guessing and the fun gameplay and along with the quality of replay value keeps you coming back for more.
Whilst the game does have its short-comings they are so minor it's easy to look past them. As long as you are patient and willing to accept you may not find yourself flying through levels with ease at first this game is definitely for you. It offers enough of a challenge so that it is fun but not frustrating as you soon develop into a much better, rounded player able to survive the onslaught of enemies that come your way.

PROSCONS
 + Challenging yet fun gameplay – Lack of story depth
 + Procedurally generated – Lack of crafting depth
 + Bright colours compliment graphics
7.7
Good

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