Going Under Is Corporate Memphis But Ironically

The title is both the bottom line summary of the game and also literal: Going Under is a roguelite dungeon crawler about being an intern at a tech start up who, in the way of internships, gets all the unpleasant chores foisted upon you, like going into dungeons and killing all the goblins. It’s made in a 3D version of that Corporate Memphis art style with the purple-and-orange skin tones that exclude everyone equally and the weird proportions. You know the one.

And “Corporate Memphis, but ironically” is the bottom-line summary of Going Under. It’s using this godawful art style to its fullest, packing as much personality as possible into the characters made with it, and it’s using the art style because it’s about how corporate startup culture is just the worst. It’s a weird combination of brick-like unsubtlety and restraint, where the entire game is made with this hideous art style, making the joke totally unavoidable, yet they never feel the need (at least, not as deep in as I’ve gotten, which is half-ish of the way through) to state the joke directly. The writing is clever, the satire mostly lands, the gameplay is at that workmanlike level where it’s good at everything it does but isn’t doing anything particularly exceptional or new.

And that makes it kinda hard to talk about, because, like, yeah, it basically works. If you really like roguelike dungeon crawlers, to the point where you’ve already gotten through Darkest Dungeon and Enter the Gungeon and Rogue Legacy and Binding of Isaac and stuff, and if you can get past Corporate Memphis, you should probably play it. That’s two pretty big qualifiers, but hey, a niche is a niche.

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