The formerly Xbox-exclusive Below now has an April 7 release date on PS4, and it's coming with the added "Explore" mode for "players who enjoy adventure and discovery."
If you're unfamiliar with Below, Capybara Games Creative Director Kris Piotrowski admits on the PlayStation blog that players have found it "uniquely brutal." It's a dungeon crawler with survival elements that doesn't hold your hand, and in fact offers nothing to guide you through the perilous trek to the bottom of The Depths. Piotrowski says the game was initially designed to be "an unforgiving killing machine, with a challenge that appeals to the kind of player who relishes extreme video game punishment."
Without doubt, there are players that treasure Below for that very reason; for many, the more arduous the climb, the more rewarding the peak. But now the developers are expanding Below to make it appeal to a wider audience by splitting the game into two modes: the original game is now being sectioned off into "Survival" mode, and a new, more forgiving mode is being called "Explore."
Explore eliminates survival mechanics entirely, so your Hunger and Thirst meters never deplete. Instant kills are also being replaced with bleed mechanics, so your health meter drains more gradually and gives you time to heal. And finally, permanent checkpoints are being introduced so you don't lose as much progress when you inevitably perish.
Remember, Survival mode retains the same disciplined experience of the original game if you're a glutton for punishment - Explore is a separate, optional mode for players who want to soak in the scenes a bit.
Check out all of the exciting new games coming in 2020 and beyond.