David Brevik, whose most notable titles created were the original Diablo, Diablo II and titles through other studios, has launched a 2D RPG on Steam. It Lurks Below, an “action-oriented, survival RPG set in a randomly generated world” is now in early access. It’s retro-inspired aesthetics and mechanics appear quite influenced by the Terraria and Starbound’s of today. Despite this, on its steam page it reads:
“Though this game looks similar to other games in the genre, it plays very differently. It is a true RPG, with many stats and character classes. It is very reminiscent of other games made by David Brevik such as Diablo, Diablo II, Hellgate: London and Marvel Heroes. With six character classes to choose from, randomly generated levels, random stats on items, secret areas, bosses, a survival talent tree and three different play modes, it delivers on a very different and unique gaming experience.”
I’ve put in around 300 hours into Starbound, and one thing I felt was always missing was character classes and deep RPG leveling. In the same vein, It Lurks Below’s gameplay videos show mining, a rune system, base building, customized characters and randomized weapons as well as a full RPG system. Brevik has said he’s played a lot of Starbound, and wanted to create something similar, but with more structure and a story arc overlaid.
I found the most notable thing here is that, although Brevik’s studio’s name is Graybeard Games, It Lurks Below is done entirely by Brevik himself. Although he’s a game designer by trade, in a recent interview he stated that he learned pixel art by taking some online classes, and that his daughter helps him out on the art side. As for QA, he’s been live-streaming It Lurks Below on his Twitch channel to gather feedback from fans and the community.
I’ve always been fascinated by the solo developers. Despite having experience working in teams of hundreds in various studios, Brevik has decided to go full solo and develop It Lurks Below based on community comments. At time of writing, this early access release is sitting at a ‘Very Positive’ rating on Steam. It looks like an absolute blast, so I’m thinking I’ll be picking this up for sure and give Starbound a break.
What about you, geeks? Feel like playing a title made by the original creator of Diablo? Sound off in the comments!