Working for a major corporation can often feel like one is constantly navigating through an endless set of shifting obstacles, with new foes at every corner. This is the exact idea that developer Aggro Crab is going for in their latest game, Going Under. Themed around American work culture, Going Under is a dungeon crawler that sees players in the role of an intern, fighting their way through tech startups, using a variety of office tools and junk as weapons.
First day on the job
The protagonist in Going Under is Jackie, a newly hired intern for Fizzle Beverages, a major corporation in the dystopian city of Neo-Cascadia. Holding the absolute lowest rank that one can have at such a company, the intern is tasked with the most remedial of jobs, on top of dealing with their mindless coworkers.
It’s the themes and settings that completely set Going Under apart from your average dungeon crawler. Instead of navigating through medieval chambers and fighting goblins, you’re dashing through the halls of a modern office, beating men in suits with a giant keyboard. American work culture has often found itself in the crosshairs of satire and parody, but those instances have been rare in the world of video games. It’s a completely unexpected blending that works extremely well.
The meme economy
The humor and overall lightheartedness of the game worked really well for me. Going Under is stuffed with cheesy jokes that poke fun at office life, and I was all for it. The game establishes its over-the-top goofy nature from the very beginning, allowing the writers to get away with some truly dumb jokes.
The art style in Going Under is incredibly stylized and cartoonish. Character designs are quite simple, looking like the products of a Cartoon Network series from the early 2000s. Similar to the writing and dialogue, the game’s art style and design are an element that wouldn’t work in other titles, but fits perfectly in the world established by Aggro Crab.
The corporate ladder
Where Going Under is really able to succeed is in its gameplay. Beneath all of the silliness, satire, and references, is some solid dungeon crawler gameplay. The game leans heavily into classic roguelite elements, with procedurally generated levels, and powerful bosses. Going Under also includes over 200 different office-based weapons for Jackie to take into battle.
Most of the weapons are picked up in the world and can be used immediately. Not many games will let you grab a laptop off of a table and start bashing your colleagues over the head with it (Shacknews does not endorse the use of laptops or other devices as blunt objects used to attack your coworkers).
At times, the combat felt a bit button-mashy to me. Weapons break often, and it only takes one button to chain together attacks into a combo. In many cases I just found myself looking for an item to grab, and then spamming the attack button until it broke, quickly scrambling to find a new weapon, and so on.
Players can also earn experience and unlock new abilities for Jackie to use, such as gaining more cash from crates, or receiving an additional heart. These skills can be pinned, placing them in an empty slot. The variety provided by the randomized levels and wealth of weapons gives some much needed replayability to what is a fairly short game.
Going Under is a fun dungeon crawler that parodies capitalism and the culture surrounding it. While a shorter experience, the game is given a solid level of replayability thanks to the procedural generation and wide variety of weapons. Though the combat feels like it’s lacking depth at times, it’s still fun to sling office equipment around at foes. Going Under is a great offering from the team at Aggro Crab and Team17.
This review is absed on a digital download code provided by the publisher. Going Under is available now on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch for $19.99
- Funny characters and story
- High replayability
- Good variety of weapons and levels
- Combat lacks depth
- Shorter campaign