Hollow Knight: Is It Worth It?
Your Blank Slate Protagonist
Hollow Knight is one of those few indie games that hit mainstream popularity, and it is worth noting such an achievement. Very few games get the chance to hit the peak popularity that triple-A games get and Hollow Knight, much like Shovel Knight, Brawlhalla, and Path of Exile have done very well in the spotlight. Hollow Knight has even shown how much it adores its user base by giving away DLC and I am more than happy to be reviewing their game. I did an initial reaction and final thoughts video on our new YouTube channel, and you can watch that video here or check down below. I purchased Hollow Knight myself, and this is one of the few games that I reviewed where I wasn’t in contact with the developers. Like always, this will not affect the way I review the game, and I will remain unbiased throughout the entirety of the review. Come along with me and find out if Hollow Knight is worth it!
I feel like I am behind on the trend of games being made for a gamepad. I have been a PC gamer for most of my life and have adapted to a mouse and keyboard. Hollow Knight is one of those few games that feel awkward without a gamepad, but with a little remapping, you can break apart most of the clutter from the default settings. After that, the game played like a breeze.
There is no strict tutorial in Hollow Knight, and much like any other Metroidvania or platformer game, you get tips along the way. I prefer this because I don’t need to spend 10-15 minutes learning every aspect of the game only to forget some key features. With this 2D side scroller, you can attack in four directions, dash, interact with objects, and heal yourself with enough life force. Like most platformers, you can break objects that drop coins, but what I loved about Hollow Knight was that I could destroy a lot of the scenery which gives me something to do while I am walking.
As you progress through the game, you find more and more things to interact with. You can find statues that give you extra shields, or you can find statues that replenish your life pool. The interesting thing about Hollow Knight is you have five hearts, and then if you find extra shields as well, you can stack that. Your life pool can replenish two hearts once it is full at the beginning of the game, which is different than most platformer/ Metroidvania games. In other games, you are at the mercy of healing items, but with Hollow Knight, you can create your health by taking out various monsters and collecting it from crates.
The story and Atmosphere
Hollow Knight left a lot to the imagination in the beginning in terms of story. I think there are also tons of resources on the internet trying to break apart the lore and after playing for the first 20 minutes, I have so many unanswered questions. All I know about my character is that I am small for my size and… that’s it. I want to find out more. The game gives a feeling of unease even though it has a cute Tim Burton-y style of art. I felt very alone while playing and that mixed in with the lack of knowledge of what I am doing gave me a different sense of adventure. It felt like I was the only person in the world, trying to figure out what happened to the world. After losing to the same boss, mini-boss, demi-god creature three times I decided to go a different route through the dungeon and travel deep into the mines, and when I stumbled upon what sounded like a child singing, I knew this game was going to spook me. The game does a great job at limiting the story and creating the right sense of atmosphere for this creepy adventure.
Artwork and Music
I want to start by saying the music in Hollow Knight is incredibly phenomenal. The low piano music, in the beginning, set the mood for me and I knew I was going to fall in love with the game instantly, I am even listening to the soundtrack as I write this. Like I said above the sounds the NPCs make gives off a creepy and eerie feeling. I couldn’t tell who was a friend or who was a foe when playing, and that is how I died the first time. Turn the music up when playing, and you will see why I have such a deep appreciation for their soundtrack.
The Artwork for Hollow Knight is on a whole other level. I do believe that was most of the draw and the increase in popularity of the game. I believe a lot of the artwork is hand drawn, and that is why it appears to be so unique. A lot of developers use asset packs to help create their game, and that is why some art style may look very similar, but Hollow Knight decided to create an entirely original game through art, story, and music. The game gets a lot of points for sheer originality.
After playing through the first 20 minutes of Hollow Knight, I was mesmerized. I will be loading the game up as soon as I finish writing this. The game leaves a lot to the imagination and while the only downside is the cluttered mouse and keyboard controls the rest of the game is smooth and fun to play. If you like games that give you an eerie vibe and you like the Metroidvania genre, then this is the game for you. Take the mantle of the Hollow Knight and save those in need. Check out the gameplay in the video below and don’t forget that we will be running a giveaway for Hollow Knight soon, so be sure you are following us on Twitter @GamingIronclad. If you have played Hollow Knight already let us know what you liked about the game, or what you would like to improve. Farewell, traveler.