Brave the Depths of a Forgotten Kingdom Beneath the fading town of Dirtmouth sleeps an ancient, ruined kingdom. Many are drawn below the surface, searching for riches, or glory, or answers to old secrets. Hollow Knight is a classically styled 2D action adventure across a vast interconnected world.
Explore twisting caverns, ancient cities and deadly wastes; battle tainted creatures and befriend bizarre bugs; and solve ancient mysteries at the kingdom's heart.
On the surface, Hollow Knight looks like a simple game that heavily borrows from ages old retro cliches, but this is a beautiful, epic adventure.
I still hesitantly recommend Hollow Knight to anyone as partial to Metroidvanias as I am, but the experience runs far longer than its visual appeal does, and at that point it becomes just another Dark Souls wannabe. It’s solid, but it demonstrates how far we still are from puzzling out From Software’s master recipe.
Hollow Knight is not only what I'd say is the best game so far this year, it also very well may be the best metroidvania title out there right now, and it is easily one of my favorite games of all-time. Truly a masterpiece of gaming if there ever was one, and certainly art worthy of being in a museum.
I'm giving this game 10/10, and I'm weighing my choice. This game manages to do a bunch of things absolutely perfectly, here are a few:
* The physics and mechanics feel great, and have a high skill ceiling
* the world is beautiful and mesmerizing, whilst being very diverse
* Enemies are challenging and plentiful (144 different types)
* Spells are found at good times, and make the game shift every few hours
* Some bosses will have you retry a _BUNCH_ of times
I find it odd - one almost can't throw a stone without hitting a criticism about this game.
Bad performance, bugs, bad map system and so on.
Yet... I feel that is possibly the best Metroidvania I have ever played (and I'm always desperately searching out any that is released because on average, there is only like one good one per year) and thus find that the game deserves much more praise than it gets.
For one thing, no other Metroidvania has ever made me observe enemy attack patterns and adjust my own THIS much. If you blindly strike at enemies, chances are you won't get very far. Which is in fact also something that people have complained about. Probably because they simply don't realize that with this game, you need to take your time in most battles. And learn to dodge. Which is probably why there is the dash move instead of a double jump (which does exist but you get only very late in the game).
For another, it is gorgeous AND really well-designed. Yes, those two are separate things. By the latter I mean the way things work in the game. It's not just the combat system that has obviously been thought about a lot and that is REALLY unique (the person at Rock Paper Shotgun who wrote that review IMO has no clue what they're talking about). Also the many details and mechanics in the world, such as the many characters one can find and interact with. Also like being e.g. able to achieve piece with a faction in the game which not only affects the bosses but also the surrounding environments. Widespread change in behavior that I don't think I've seen in a Metroidvania before.
It is also HUGE! I've been playing for over 25 hours now and I'm still on my first playthrough! And it's not just that the world is big but there are over 100 different of those hand-animated enemies. The amount of work gone into that must've been insane! Now... I must admit that probably because of that, the animation quality varies. Some elements were obviously drawn with less frames per second than others and thus stutter a bit. But still... for a game priced this low, it's mind-boggling and I already feel like I've gotten my money's worth and then some.
All of that said, Hollow Knight definitely has the flaws mentioned in the beginning. While I have not encountered bad performance myself (and I'm running this on a 4 year old midrange graphics card), nor any bugs, I doubt that people would make this up. (While it may be up to optimization in this case, I actually feel that it's great if a 2D game has so much going on visually that it requires an at least somewhat beefy graphics card.)
And I do find the map system bad and also don't appreciate the relatively infrequent save points. Once the map is uncovered and you have some abilities unlocked and you can plan a reasonable route, it's not so bad but getting there does feel annoying at times, since one can't just play the game at one's own pace but has to look for the next save point if one wants to take a break. Plus, it always seems like a cheap way of making games seem longer than they are - having you repeat areas leading up to a boss over and over. And the game world is so huge that it wouldn't be needed - so I really don't get why they decided to do this.
In the end, in my opinion the many original aspects of the game make the negative aspects lose almost all importance. Of course I hope that the sequel (there simply has GOT to be a sequel. Or at least a spiritual successor) will not suffer from these issues. But I'm still having one hell of a time with this game.
Simply one of the best metroidvania games in years. With its beautiful art style, well crafted gameplay and huge game world to explore, Hollow Knight offers amazing value for your money.
Where so many metroidvania style games fail, Hollow Knight knocks it out of the park in terms of game play and presentation with some of the best 2D animation I've seen for a game. I won't lie, Hollow Knight is a brutal game and not for a casual play through. The game starts off pretty easy but ramps up exceedingly after roughly the second boss at which point you really need to invest yourself into the game and how it's mechanics and upgrades work in order to succeed. Many a time I found my self hitting a wall, getting frustrated and having to take a break, only to come back more composed and crush said wall with such satisfaction that I've only felt from Dark Souls and Blood Born.
When I found my sweet spot I was suddenly blitzing through area after area looking for secrets and treasure being surprised and how many things are hidden. The game is a very decent length but totally doesn't feel it, by the time you're wrapping up all things in order to get the true final boss you can easily clock 30+ hours with very little of it feeling tedious.
My biggest flaws with Hollow Knight are mostly to do with things like "end lag" on abilities and not being able to "jump cancel" others. With such a fluid, tight controlling game it's shame the combat doesn't go that little bit extra but these are very niche personal complaints that many people won't notice.
Over all Hollow Knight represents the highest form of a challenging game play and should be treated as a such with any negatives reviews mentioning difficulty being void.
This game is pretty fantastic. Worth all the money. Atmosphere, Graphics, Tight controls - it's all there. The devs really deserve all the support they can get. Only the small push backward of the character is annoying when hitting thins. Not sure why it was designed that way. It doesn't seem to have a purpose other that to make the player fall off of ledges and make stupid deaths to spikes. But nevertheless, this game is really good in all other aspects. Go get it.
Taking some hints from Dark Souls, Hollow Knight offers a solid experience through and through. It is outstanding value for money, delivering high quality content, elaborate level design and stunning attention to detail, for a low price. Without any exaggeration, it is one of the best Metroidvania games ever made and one of the most prominent titles this year.
Wow! This is one of the best metroidvanias I've played in a while. The game mechanics are so smooth and feel great, the art is surreal and gorgeous, and the music is haunting. The exploration is open and invites you to get lost, figure out the level, and eventually buy a map for every new stage you reach. If you like exploration and metroidvanias this is an absolute MUST buy. Some may be put off by the directionless exploration, but I absolutely love the freedom. It is also not an easy game; you will die a fair amount. If you aren't up for a challenge this may not be the game for you, but if you are a masochist like me you'll love the controller spiking, curse inducing deaths that are inevitable. There is also a TON of content; the trailer showed a massive map that I've only just scratched the surface on and I'm eight hours in! There are over 1 hundred enemies and over 30 bosses! We are absolutely spoiled to get this gem for $16! If you are a fan of metroidvanias that aren't going to hold your hand, you owe it to yourself to play Hollow Knight.
If you're a fan of any of the genres that have been brilliantly meshed together to compose Hollow Knight, I highly recommend you play it. Even if you aren't. Play it anyways.
This game isn't getting enough mainstream press. Really... the controls are the best I've ever felt in a side-scrolling game. The graphics and the music... there really are no words. The story is interesting and philosophical, although it does require you use your imagination. The game is difficult, yet accessible (with modes that make it 'Dark Souls' difficult, if you're enough of a masochist). No qualms and no regrets, except that I wasn't an original Kickstarter backer. If you like video games at all, buy this. 9.8/10.