Diablo creator David Brevik recently revealed his upcoming solo project, It Lurks Below, with a brief trailer. The game blends elements of Terraria and Minecraft, including an emphasis on crafting the tools you need to survive, with the randomly generated dungeons and looting of Diablo. Brevik recently stopped by the GameSpot office to show off the game and let us play the closed beta.
You start by creating a character and choosing one of several RPG classes–rogue, bard, and so on–before you’re dropped in a very Terraria-esque 2D loop of a world. Right away, your main priorities are finding food, crafting a wand (which functions as a magical gun), and making some sort of shelter to protect yourself from nighttime monsters. If you’re not taking damage, you might be critically tired or hungry, and dealing with all three at once is a hectic balancing act at first.
Once you’ve got your bearings on the crafting and basic survival front, it’s time to start heading…below. We died pretty much instantly thanks to a combination of overconfidence, a lack of equipment, and a little bit of panic, so we mined some iron and crafted some armor and tried again. We successfully defeated a boss before our time was up, and it dropped an impressive area-of-effect item that would make future excursions a lot less daunting.
We’ve only scratched the surface (literally), so it remains to be seen what’s in store on the more Diablo-like end of It Lurks Below’s gameplay loop. But the tried-and-true combination of managing resources, crafting, and basic survival was engaging and relatively easy to pick up. The next step is digging deeper, and if there are some Diablo-style twists waiting below, the game could really set itself apart from the likes of Terraria and Minecraft.
It Lurks Below currently doesn’t have a set release date, but it’s supposed to come to Steam later this year. Brevik is developing the game solo as part of his studio Graybeard Games.