The long-forgotten game genre 6DoF, 6 Degrees of Freedom, sees a semi-resurrection in the form of a sci-fi shooter ‘Sublevel Zero’ by SigTrap Games and Mastertronic. The atrociously complicated genre title embodies something deceptively simple – a shooter where you have the ability to fly around shooting here and there, up and down, right and left, back and fo… ah! You get the point.
Available platforms: PC (tested)
Developer: SigTrap Games
If you’ve been a gamer in the nineties, you’ve probably came across, or even fell in love with, a 360 degree shooter called ‘Descent’, a game with a straightforward premise: You traverse across intergalactic bases in a space craft whilst destroying rogue bots and drones in order to get through to the end.
What’s the twist you may ask? Well, 9 lives is a bit of a thought luxury because in this game, you only get one, I repeat, one life. This may sound like an unfair deal to a casual gamer but it’s a feature suited to a game of this style. Which has done quite a job seeing as it captured the interest of many, forming a cult of sorts.
Follow? Now back in present day we have Sublevel Zero, a modern day reimagining of the classic shooter which is true to its genre in every possible way, from rogue drones to the game mechanics. Sigtrap, however, upped the ante by adding procedural level generation – every time you restart the levels won’t be the same as before – weapons’ crafting, and several space crafts to unlock as you progress along each level.
The game is set in a time when reality is falling apart, and while travelling across the galaxy in search of a way which could reverse the forthcoming calamity, you find yourself stuck in a base and have to pilot a space craft, blasting through a variety – albeit a limited one – of adversaries in order to get through.
The story is vastly appealing, only if it actually was incorporated in the game which would signify the existence of a comprehensible plot. Instead, the game feels like another run-and-gun activity.
So should you try this game? If you’re looking for a sci-fi shooter with peculiar game mechanics, yes. If you’ve been an ardent fan of Descent and its various sequels and knockoffs, yes. If you’re a general gamer looking for a game with an engaging story and gameplay, avoid it at all costs.
SigTrap Games hopes to rejuvenate the long-dead 6DoF genre with its own first-person shooter SubLevel Zero, which is a masterpiece in its own right owning to its procedural-generation feature which ensures every replay is a unique experience. Extra points to weapons’ crafting which add up to the challenge and replay value of the game.
Sublevel Zero provides an experience in which you pilot a space craft capable of 360-degree movement and combat. Lustrous graphics and sound effects reminiscent of nineties games takes you back to the nineties shooter ‘Descent’, which also happens to be the prime inspiration behind the creation of this radical shooter. This potentially Indie hit is bound to take you back into the early days of gaming.