Future is looking great for Horror games genre fans. With so many big horror games already announced, fans have a lot to look forward to in 2023 and beyond. Among all of these announced titles, fans should also keep an eye on the recently announced action-horror game Beneath from indie developer Camel 101.
Looking at the announcement trailer of the game, it seems like a mix of Subnautica and Dead Space however, the developers are huge fans of Resident Evil franchise so we can expect mix of things. Beneath will take you under water where you will be filling the shoes of protagonist Noah Quinn who is a deep-sea diver. Quin will face all the horrors and challenges using different strategies and will try to escape.
After watching the trailer, we wanted to know more about the game and had a chance to talk about different aspects of the Beneath with the developer. The full interview for Beneath with the devs is as following:
Q: Tell us a little bit about Camel 101. How many people are currently working on the game and how long has it been in development?
We’re a small team who’s been around for a few years now. The studio was created in 2009 by the brothers Bruno and Ricardo Cesteiro, and we’ve been making games ever since. The team started with small projects – casual puzzle games – and as it grew and gained more experience, the focus was pivoted to bigger and more ambitious titles.
Now we are essentially doing what we love: intense first-person adventures on the horror genre.
The team currently has 5 members in-house, and a number of regular out-sourcers that work on specific tasks. Beneath has been in development for approximately two years.
Q: What was Beneath inspired from the most? What was the motivation behind creating such a game?
Well, we wanted to create a game that took place in an oppressive and claustrophobic setting. Space is cool and we love it, but we already made a survival horror game in space, and we wanted to try something different.
So we started looking at the ocean. It’s deep, dark and mysterious, and still largely unexplored. It’s the perfect setting for a horror game. In addition, while there are numerous literary works that explore the horror genre in relation to the sea, there are relatively few games that have used this theme.
Some of these literary works were also a great inspiration for creating this story.
Q: Sanity has been listed as a feature in the game. How will that work? Can you elaborate on that?
The main character will be under constant psychological pressure, not only because he’s caught in a horrible situation, but also because a powerful psychic being is affecting his mind.
Stressful things like taking too much damage, looking at particular objects or standing in the presence of horrible creatures will decrease the character’s sanity level. When this level reaches zero, his senses are affected, and his awareness and aim suffer greatly.
Adding to this, strange phenomena can occur while the sanity level is too low, like strange creatures being spawned nearby.
Q: Players will have some sort of a suit as well, right? What functions the suit will be able to perform?
That is correct, there’s a pressure suit that can be equipped in some places, allowing the player to venture outside in the ocean. It’s a slow, heavy suit that can withstand enormous pressures but that also has its limitations: it has no weapons, and the oxygen supply needs to be recharged from time to time.
It does have a number of flares that can be fired to scare away curious creatures.
Q: How will the progression work in the game? Will players learn new abilities or it will just be weapons and their effective use?
The main character doesn’t learn new abilities, but he can improve his basic stats and carry more ammunition and equipment. This is done by finding special one-usage key items.
The weapons can also be improved with new attachments and upgrades, that can be unlocked in workbenches by using collectable weapon parts.
Q: If we want to gauge the difficulty level of Beneath, in comparison, how difficult or challenging it’s going to be? Will there be different difficulty levels?
It’s a survival horror game, so it’s not going to be easy. There are soldiers and inhuman creatures trying to kill the main character, whose mind is in the brink of collapse. Ammunition is limited, which means that the player can’t fire long bursts at everything he sees. There are strange phenomena in what is by itself a dangerous environment.
There’s a lot going on against the player, so it’ll be a challenge.
But we don’t want it to be so challenging that it stops being fun, so there’ll be a fine balance between both.
That being said, there’ll be different difficulty levels. Some folks prefer a more relaxed experience, while others want to experience the full nightmare mode.
Q: The game will feature adaptive enemy AI, right? Can you elaborate how they will reach to give players a tough challenge?
The human opponents usually appear in groups, or squads. When they spot the player, they’ll try to use the scenario to their advantage: some take cover in the nearest place possible, while others try to flank the player. If the area allows it, they’ll try to attack the player from different sides.
The player will have to keep moving and change covers, or he may find himself quickly surrounded by enemy soldiers.
Additionally, some groups will have a more defensive behavior, while others will be more aggressive.
Q: As for destructible environment, which parts of the environment will be destructible and to what extent?
We’re using several techniques for environmental destruction, like heavy particles, that make the combat scenes insanely chaotic. To name a few: structural cement breaks, papers fly through the scene, glasses and monitors shatter, pipes release pressurized steam when shot.
Some objects break in pieces, while others lose support and swing from one side to the other. Lamps can also be destroyed – this will plunge an area into darkness, decreasing the detection area of some enemies.
What the player won’t be able to do is blast walls and move through new areas.
Q: I know you can’t give an accurate number however, just to get the idea of the scale, how long will a single playthrough of Beneath take on average?
We can’t say for sure, but we’re confident that it’ll be more than 8 hours.
Q: The game gives a lot of Resident Evil vibes. However, to stand out, what’s unique to Beneath?
Let me start by saying that we’re huge Resident Evil fans. Our admiration for other works often leads us to find inspiration in them, so maybe we’ll be able to capture some of the same feelings that make the Resident Evil franchise so popular in our own game.
That being said, and getting back to the question – I believe a combination of different elements will make Beneath stand out: a setting where the player is stuck inside a complex of underwater stations, having to venture outside in the deep ocean – vulnerable – in order to reach a new area or retrieve something valuable; having human and inhuman opponents and the sanity meter that adds even more tension to the experience.
Mixing all this together creates a fresh experience that will definitely stand out from what we’ve seen before.
Q: Will the game target 4K 60 FPS on PS5 and Xbox Series X? What other modern graphics tech are you guys planning to include for the game? Which game-engine is being used to develop the game?
We’re using the power of Unity 3D as the foundation for our project.
The team is striving to push the limits of visual fidelity and we’re eager to explore the possibility of delivering 4K resolution at a smooth 60 frames per second to players, but it’s still early to make any concrete promises.
Regarding graphics tech, our team is devoted to creating a game world that is both dynamic and reactive, and as such, we have implemented a variety of advanced techniques to bring our environments to life. Our focus on scenario destruction is paramount, as we seek to immerse players in a world that feels truly alive and responsive. To achieve this goal, we have employed a range of techniques that help create environments that react realistically to player actions.
Furthermore, we understand that the little details can make all the difference in the player’s immersion, which is why we have put great care into our fluid particle effects. Whether it’s smoke billowing from a burning object or water cascading down a wall, we have worked hard to create effects that are not only realistic, but also add an extra layer of immersion to the player’s experience.
Q: How will weapon upgrades work in the game? What’s the variety of weapons in the game?
There are four weapon classes in the game: handguns, SMGs, shotguns and assault rifles.
Each class has its own advantage and disadvantage, and each weapon in its class has different stats than the others.
Throughout the course of the game, players will have the opportunity to collect weapon parts that can be used to upgrade their weapons.
These upgrades can be carried out at workstations located throughout the game, providing players with a chance to continually improve their weapons as they progress through the game. Smaller upgrades can be achieved with a relatively small number of parts, while more substantial upgrades that significantly increase a weapon’s power and capabilities will require a larger amount.
The upgrades are applied to the weapon class, not to a particular weapon. Let’s say for example that the player unlocks a suppressor for a handgun. That suppressor will be available for all handguns.
For now, Beneath doesn’t have a release date. The developers are hard at work to complete the game but since it has been in development for 2 years already so a 2023 release could be a possibility. Hopefully, we will see more of Beneath soon. The game is expected to launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.