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Video Game / Sublevel Zero

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Sublevel Zero is a First Person Corridor Space Sim that can be best described as Descent/Forsaken meets Teleglitch, created by Sigtrap Games and released by Mastertronic on October 8th, 2015. It's available on Steam.

It's the distant future, and reality as we know it is falling apart. Entire star systems vanish, reappearing halfway across the universe- if they reappear at all. Humanity is scattered, wandering a dying universe in rag-tag space fleets. No one remembers what went wrong. Some have become warlords, preying upon others using rare, pre-event warships, while others desperately search for some bit of Lost Technology that might allow them to fix the universe before it's too late.

You are Space Fighter pilot from one of the latter clans. You've stumbled across an Advanced Ancient Space Base, hidden away in an Asteroid Thicket, wracked by flux storms, and protected by automated defenses. The effects of your Warp Drive aggravate the storms and whisk your ship and the base far from where you were. Now, your only chance at returning home is to enter the base in the hopes of finding something that can get you there- and maybe help your clan fix reality.


Gameplay flow is similar to that of Descent, albeit with the added complexity of procedurally-generated levels, enemy placement and item drops. You begin a run at Sublevel Zero, with the goal of reaching Sublevel Five. On each floor there is a reactor you must destroy, which drops a Plot Coupon that opens a portal to the next floor. You begin with only humble examples of a laser and autocannon, and if you die once, it's Game Over- but you do unlock new weapons and crafting recipes that can appear on subsequent runs.


This game provides examples of:

  • Attack Drone: The enemies consist of these. They come in flying, grounded, and stationary varieties and have a variety of attack patterns and behaviors.
  • Homage: A direct one to Descent, including the uniquely-shaped HUD crosshair and a ship choice called "Pyro".
  • Blown Across the Room: Concussion rockets can inflict this on enemies.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Weapon models glow the color of their ammunition type: Light blue for energy, orange for ballistic, dark blue for plasma, red for missile, yellow for "darts", and pink for advanced missiles.
  • Energy Weapon: You begin with a "pulsar" weapon and can find various other types.
  • Enemy Summoner: There's a large blue drone that can spawn smaller drones.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Your ship has a "flux drive", but its a small one and insufficient to get you home. However, each reactor drops a component of a much more powerful drive...
  • Final Death: However, you are rewarded with new blueprints and perks that become available in subsequent runs.
  • Gatling Good: Miniguns are among your Tier 2 ballistic weapon options- you can craft one early on by combining your starting pulsar and autocannon.
  • Hitscan: Some of your weapons can do this (Impact Rifle, Railgun), but beware the pink drones- they can do it too, with a Quake-style Rail Gun shot.
  • Homing Projectile: You can find Homing Missile launchers. Holding down the fire button when using one allows you to manually designate a target.
  • Item Crafting: You are able to mash weapons and ship parts together to create more powerful items. You don't know which initially, but a helpful message pops up on the right side of the HUD when you can.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Much as in Descent, somewhere in each level is a reactor core that when destroyed grants access to the level exit. Thankfully you don't have to Outrun the Fireball, but each reactor exhibits different behaviors and they become exponentially more dangerous.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The Railgun mentioned below, which can be crafted together with the minigun to create a gauss cannon- a tier 3 ballistic weapon.
  • Plasma Cannon: One of your three primary weapon types, though this also includes flamethrowers.
  • Power Glows: There are glow effects on damn near everything.
  • Railgun: Available as a Tier 2 weapon, created by combining an impact rifle and a laser.
  • Ramming Always Works: You can crash into most enemies without damaging your ship, and this is even required to unlock one of the alternative ships. Don't crash into the drill drones though... and watch out for when enemies explode.
  • Recursive Ammo: A basic cluster missile is among your options, as well as a Tier 3 advanced missile weapon that releases swarmer missiles.
  • Retraux: The game's assets are rendered with visible pixels and bright colors, albeit with a modern lighting engine, and the music consists of upbeat Chiptunes- It's kind of an odd contrast to the Back Story.
  • Sentry Gun: Some of the enemies are these.
  • Tron Lines: On everything- even the level architecture.

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