You start of as a little insectoid knight who walks in to Dirtmouth, where you see it is a rundown town. Then you venture down into the depths of Hallownest, where your adventures begin. All this while, you have some cryptic quotes from the game and other vague but engaging dialogues from the NPC's. The story style is more of you finding the story and piecing in together, rather than it being spoon-fed to you. I personally love this as I crave for unravelling an interesting plot and it keeps me from putting the controller down.
When exploring Hallownest, you meet variety of enemies and bosses that are specifically designed to suit each region. Each region of Hallownest has a unique storyline that ties in with the characters that exist there, each areas story ties in with an overarching event that is going on around you. The sense of mystery still has its player base hooked, trying to unravel the plotline to this day, with a thriving YouTube community.
Since it is an action adventure, there is fighting – lots of fighting. These fights require learning about the pattern in which the enemy would attack and hence there is lot of dying involved too. This game is truly ‘Soulslike’, not calling it for the sake of it. Death even has its penalties, as you will have to hunt down your ‘shade’ to have your full health pool available again. These challenges keep me fixated on overcoming it.
As the lonely Knight, you go around Hallownest exploring and learning new skills. At the beginning, you have just basic jumping. Then you gain abilities that slowly unlocks you new regions, as you now can jump onto that elusive ledge that you could not do before. The platforming controls are tight, the Knight feels very responsive, and you feel in charge. This gives a feeling that you are the person exploring and your accomplishments feel personal too.
For platforming enthusiasts, there is the “White Palace” – if you manage to find it. For platforming and fighting enthusiasts, there is the “Colosseum of Fools” to test your mettle. I started as a casual gamer and this game ended up making me appreciate hard-core gameplayer. In addition, a character ‘Hornet’ mumbles gibberish, which sounds like ‘Git Gud’ that has become a meme in the Hollow Knight community to reflect the gameplay.
Finally, the artwork is mesmerizing. All the characters are memorable and stays close with you as a player. Insects depicted being cute is a challenge in itself, but also bringing in their characteristics is a definitely labour of love. In addition, Team Cherry released four major free DLCs, just to make the game more immersive for their players. An Indie game studio that is so excited about its game, is something I can always get behind and support.
All of this uniqueness in this game and the challenges it gives me makes me pick up this game repeatedly. I adore getting lost in this world as the lonely knight and ponder. I am currently looking forward to its sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong. I would definitely recommend Hollow Knight to anyone and I promise this would be the best £10.99 you have ever spent!
Hollow Knight is available now on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One