Posted February 26, 2015 by Peter in Announcements

Sublevel Zero looking to offer procedural 6DoF

Sublevel Zero logo
Sublevel Zero logo

I’ve never hidden my nostalgia for older games (for better and for worse), but it does seem that references to some games are less common than others. Today two rarely mentioned – Descent and Forsaken - were named as inspirations for the forthcoming Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) shooter Sublevel Zero by Sigtrap Games.

6DoF is best thought of as a first person shooter with no limit on the angle of approach – usually true 3D environments where there is no real concept of ‘up’ or ‘down’, just the direction you’re facing and rotating. Sublevel Zero is taking this approach, and adding a sprinkling other elements to it – the release mentioning it having roguelike features.

Not the whole roguelike approach of course (a term that is becoming seriously misused); but with your ship flying and fighting, you’re facing a procedurally generated environment to explore, and permadeath if you fail. Other elements to add a little tension include limited ammunition to deal with enemies, and a mention of puzzles to overcome too…
Sublevel Zero screen
To tip things back in your favour, there is mention of you being able to loot and craft – presumably to improve your abilities to survive, but not specified how yet. Nevertheless, the trailer (linked above) does show the player being able to take advantage of the freedom of movement to attack from different angles, which if properly controlled should give you a strong edge too.

6DoF games never really caught on in the same way as regular 3D FPS titles did; perhaps it takes a certain thought process to handle an environment where directions are so relative. But even if they are not for everybody, they still proved to be enjoyable for enough players that titles like Descent are still thought of as classics. We’ll find out later this year if Sublevel Zero brings that enjoyment back.

Sublevel Zero is due for release in the summer of 2015 on PC, Mac and Linux, to be published by Mastertronic.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.