Going Under is a roguelike hack and slash game that was developed by indie studio Aggro Crab. It was published by Team17 and saw a console and PC release in September 2020.
Fresh out of college, Jackie applies to a company known as Fizzle, to be a marketing director. She gets the internship, except two things have already gone wrong. One, it’s unpaid, and two, she’s killing monsters in the basement. None of which she wanted! But she takes the job anyway, because you never truly know.
I honestly didn’t expect much story to the game, considering its a roguelike hack and slash. I expected the gameplay to be the shining jewel, but the story really shines as well. It very much mirrors the capitalistic views of the world, and how people jump from one fad to the next, and some people start up businesses during these fads, only to go under once the craze is over. Even the NPCs you interact with all have their own unique personalities, all sort of resembling the people you would find in these big jobs.
You have Marv, the crazy one who thinks he’s doing what’s best for everyone, but he’s not. Swomp, the absolute pothead that everyone loves. Fern, the guy who actually loves his job and has a purpose behind starting the company. Ray, the moronic CEO who doesn’t understand anything! Tappi, the accounting department head who’s stressed about money. Then finally Kara, the one who just doesn’t want to be there but still comes in. I loved literally every single one of them, for their own reasons, and if I ever died in a boss fight, I was excited to go and talk to them to see if they had anything new to say!
When the game first came out, I thought it was a top down shooter, sort of like Binding Of Isaac. But in actuality, it’s a third person hack and slash roguelike. This certainly gave it its own personality, but definitely with some drawbacks. The game doesn’t start out too difficult, and at first I was breezing through the dungeons, which there are 8 of, though three repeat, and there was only one I had to retry once or twice. I chalked it up to not being good enough, which of course, is usually what happens. After you clear the first 4 dungeons though, the game kicks it into overdrive. The enemies are harder, the bosses are different, and the dungeons are a bit longer on each floor.
There were some runs of the dungeons that I stood no chance on. Mostly due to randomization. Whether it was because I didn’t get good perks, or the biggest issue, rooms where at least five of the hardest enemies in the dungeon spawn, and I stood no chance against them. Luckily you could sort of make the dungeons a bit more bearable in the late game. As you progress through the game, you get to do side quests for the characters that give you certain perks if you make them your “mentor”. I chose Swomp the whole game, because he would steal items from the shop for me, give me a few monsters on my side at the beginning of every floor, and eventually give me a room that let me heal in each dungeon. It was amazing.
When you pick up perks in the dungeons, whether from the perk room that gives you the choice of picking one from a pair, or by clearing the floor, your “endorsement” level with them goes up. When they fully level, you get to equip one that you really like, that you have automatically when you enter a dungeon. There were so many choices by the end of the game, but I stuck with one that gave me more invulnerability after I got hit, so I got a chance to hit back more before I had to dodge. When you defeat enemies, they drop their weapons, or you can even find them on the walls, or on desks or stuff in the rooms. I quickly found what weapons I loved and hated, and I was always looking for them.
One thing I did hate, was when the weapons broke. After they broke, you wouldn’t automatically change weapons, and you’d have to stop attacking, just to change your weapon. It was the only real controls that weren’t fluid and it always made me rage. Luckily if I ever wanted to make the game easier, I could with the accessibility options. From giving extra health, to lowering enemy damage, and even making myself invincible for longer after certain actions. I’m happy they’re there so that many others can experience this silly, joyous and frustrating game!
- Surprisingly Good Story
- Accessibility Options
- Tons Of Perks
- Heck Of A Difficulty Curve
- Weapons Break
I’m not one for the Roguelike formula, but I really enjoyed this game. From the story, to the characters, to the excitement of finally clearing the dungeons, I was happy I gave this a chance. I can’t recommend it enough, even if it made me rage a lot. It’s definitely worth it.