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Hollow Knight is Charmingly Spooky, and an Award-Winning Classic

If you want a game not confined to an era or trend or anything really, you might want to check out Hollow Knight. Gamers have branded it indie without hesitancy, but it’s something much more than that. It manages to caste a dim light into the shadows left by predecessors In a world–run by bugs–in a dingy old cave: where despite a gloomy mournful environment lies adventure.

Hollow Knight Takes You Into a Lucid Dreamworld–OR a Nightmare, Depending on Your Perspective

Imagine going into your basement and turning off the lights. Then put on a soundtrack from any macabre Burtonesque film. Aesthetic set. Things are not the same as they once were for your character though, they are apocalyptic, and they are in shambles. Not even knowing much of who you are, to begin with, there is nothing to hold onto without the cozy kind strangers and ethereal lights radiating this insectoid world.

One thing that’s interesting about Hollow Knight is that despite its labyrinths, it’s not really a puzzle game. Actually, aside from the conventional boss fights of its Metroidvania genre, there’s actually quite a bit of story and plot from almost the very beginning, where the main character, “Knight,” a seemingly blank slate obtains the knowledge of Hallownest’s infection event. Hollow Knight had Metroidvania aspects ahead of the great dev curve, but it’s done with a developer’s craftsmanship that compels me. Ultimately you will need to explore to see what lies beyond the initial area.

Environments That Slay With Beauty

Hollow Knight‘s combat system is basically of the hack-and-slash genre as far as the hollow eye socket can see. It borders on cozy because although the levels are complex, they are also shaped around your fragility in a frightening labyrinth. There is a difficulty level prompt at the beginning so I suspect that means it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.

Some basic mechanics of the game to note: If you get low on health you quench soul juice, a sort of healing potion you get for killing things. There is not a ton of intuition about where to go in the game, however, I encourage you to explore! Actually, the beginning area can kind of look the same, but other area of Hallownest can be quite vibrant from the garden to an empty city. I wandered around in the ruins of the kingdom underground quite a bit before I was so turned around I didn’t know how to get out. This is helpfully solved by respawning back at the nearest spawn point. It really has a consistent Metroidvania style, and very little rogue-like aspects.

Is It Worth It?

I must admit, this review can not paint a full picture so much as to give you a brief taste of what this game is about. It’s certainly a classic indie above all. Many people are drawn to this game because of its art style and deep gameplay/plot. You don’t just slap together a game like this in a week, this game was in development for years, even starting as a game dev jam, before it was officially released.

I think what I like most about this game is its seamlessness. Also, its expansiveness. If you want to keep playing Hollow Knight until you’ve plucked every dead rose from its caverns, go ahead. It is beautiful. It might even be a gateway game into the wonderfully weird and fascinating world of indie games for many players, who know only big titles. Really, it’s accessible, and why not?

If you want to try your gaming hand at Hollow Knight, it’s almost always on sale somewhere, and I encourage you to look around. As of this edit, it’s still up on Xbox Game Pass as an expanded Voidheart Edition. There is a little bit of everything in here, but I think overall this artistic exploration of Hollow Knight gives it authority.

You’ll Be Left To Your Own in Hollow Knight (With Some Helpful Insights)

One additional comparison I want to make: this game’s environment feels holistic in the way another indie platformer does: the Ori series. Of course, Ori is in a forest, and Hollow Knight is deep in the chambers of a bug world. They are independent of each other, so it’s not like one is imitating the other. I just mention it in case you are looking for a similar title.

This game came out in 2017, and it is still incredibly popular. Silksong supposedly is in development for this year, although not much information is out there about it, though tons of speculation–this is a talking point that’s been running for years. Hollow Knight is a approach to video games with a message of aesthetics.

Okay, I’ll crawl down this tunnel a bit further now, but thanks for checking out this review, more at MrDavePizza.com

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