Developer: Aggro Crab Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 24/09/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
With a plethora of rouge-likes already out in the past two years, is there anyway to mix things up? Going Under tries but more with the the tonge and cheek story and the satire story telling and taking every liberty to take the piss out of Millennials and their way of working.
In the city of Neo-Cascadia there have been hundreds of start-ups that have failed. Not only do they go under in a monetary sense but also literally new start-ups built up on top of the old ones. You play as Jackie, who is starting her first day as a marketing-intern at a new startup drinks company Fizzle. Unknown to her, monsters are running amuck under Fizzle and will escape, now and then. After her new Boss makes the introductions to the team, Jackie is well told her job is to kill the monsters that are in the start-ups have Gone Under.
Confused, Jackie accepts the job and venters below to battle and kill her way through the older start-ups and rid them of the monsters who dwell there. Her weapons are office supplies that Jackie will need to salvage as she ventures forward.
I will not lie, the story in Going Under is actually hilarious and takes a light-hearted approach to business failing as how bad or good the team is at Fizzle.
The gameplay takes place in two areas, firstly the hub of Fizzle this is the area where Jackie can talk to her odd ball colleges get new missions. For every mission that you complete for each of the colleges, they will tell you more about themselves and Fizzle. It is worth is as the people Jackie are very odd; for instance, you have Flavour Officer Fern, some mad possibly crazy flavour creator who comes up with some really weird things. Do the missions as they are worth the effort, as each character is so well written you will want to know more. Not only will they tell you more about the company, they can become mentors and will give Jackie perks the more jobs she does for them. Tappi, for example, is the accountant so she can give Jackie mony advice. meaning Jackie will find more of it and items cost less in stores.
When it comes to the dungeon-crawling rouge-like loop Going Under, does pretty much everything right. While not doing anything fancy or over the top to make its self standout in this department. The loop is you enter the dungeon kill everything in the room you are in collect new weapons and money. Move on to the next room and do the same for four floors, then you get a totally bat shit crazy boss to kill before going back up to Fizzle.
Weapons need to be picked up each run from keyboards, tables to swords, and even guitars. Each weapon has its own damage score and durability and Jackie can switch between the three held weapons she has (or fists if you feel brave). Having a mass array of weapons just adds to the cooky-ness of Going Under, and they all fit within the confines of the level design.
What is a rouge-like without skills that make you in to a super tank intern? Going Under has you covered, there are around 80 skills that can be found and unlocked throughout the game. Some as simple as increase punch damage, while some are a little more complex and will need some setting up to work, but are worth the extra effort. After each run, the skills that Jackie has equipped will get endorsed. Once endorsement reaches 100% that skill can be equipped before you go down to kill more monsters. Giving a nice wee boost to start the next run with.
One of the most striking aspect of Going Under is the visuals. The bright cell shaded pallet and the cartoon style designs of the world and the characters add more life and cooky-ness to the game and will leave an impression on you. I love this art style. The developers didnt just stop there with the art direction, the dungeons that Jackie will have to kill her way to the end (all while not being paid) are parodies of the actual world. There are Joblin, StyxCoin and Winkydink. Joblin is a parody of a job site where everything is computer desk work orientated and even the monsters are parodies of office workers. Going Under has one of the best visuals for a rouge-like I have seen.
Going Under has three main selling points, the writing, the art style and how Jackie will get weapons. While on their own they are excellent additions to any rouge-like, however, here they make the game. They all flow to gether to make a truely unforgetable experance. As the fighting alone is nothing new nor anything overly exciting, its the world that is so engaging and had me coming back for more.
I will have to say this is a mut buy.