The biggest praise i can give Hollow Knight is that i have been playing this over Red dead redemption 2 on it's launch week. If that in itself doesn't do it for you then i will try my best to put my feelings on this game into words.
I know this gets banded around a lot but Hollow Knight feels like a natural 2D version of Dark souls. It is also one of the greatest Metroidvania's everThe biggest praise i can give Hollow Knight is that i have been playing this over Red dead redemption 2 on it's launch week. If that in itself doesn't do it for you then i will try my best to put my feelings on this game into words.
I know this gets banded around a lot but Hollow Knight feels like a natural 2D version of Dark souls. It is also one of the greatest Metroidvania's ever made.
You begin the game, with no context as to why you have entered the kingdom of Hollownest and you can only access a few small areas from the outset, but just like the aforementioned Souls, the game branches off in several different directions. There is no set linear path to the end, you are left to feel your way through using the abilities you have at your disposal. You may venture deep into a new area only to find that there is a ledge that you cannot reach or a chasm that you cannot see the other side of. You can then use the games map system to make notes of areas that you need to revisit ( if you have purchased the proper supplies to do so of course! ) once you obtain new abilities.
This does cause a lot of back tracking, but this is a staple of these kind of games and it always affords you the ability to kill some more enemies and amass some more Geo ( the games Currency ).
As you venture deeper into the game, you will learn more about the knight and various NPC characters that you come across. They will all give you some cryptic dialogue before moving on to a new location or taking up residence in Dirtmouth ( Hollownests version of Firelink shrine from the souls series ). You can easily miss some of these entirely, in fact your are likely to miss them due to how well hidden they can be. If you do manage to track them down, they often feature unique quest lines that can lead to upgrade items.
All of these upgrades are highly useful when it comes to tackling the games huge list of incredibly bosses. At the time of writing, there are 42 Bosses in hollow knight.Many of them are deeply ingrained in the games lore if you read their description in the hunters log that keeps track of the beasties that you have slain. Each boss has their own attack pattern that you will need to learn and overcome. Some of which may seem impossible when you first attempt them but as you spend more and more time with them, your movements feel like they take on a kind of zen like quality that i have not experienced since Wipeout and its brilliant "zone" mode. Watch some of these boss battles on youtube and you will see the dance like qualities these duels seem to take. Noe of them are unfair in any way. they simply require skin and knowledge.
I could talk about more of the games systems ( like Charms, Collectable bugs and Fast travel systems that all have their own storylines ) but this would spoil the sense of discovery. You need to experience the excellent artwork and soundtrack for your self in order to appreciate what can be achieved by a relatively small group of developers. My current playtime is just around 35 hours but upon completion i discovered that i had achieved the worst ending and missed huge amounts of content, including 3 DLC Drops that were provided by team Cherry in the months after release and contained new areas, bosses and lore reveals..... all completely free.
In summary, what Team Cherry have achieved here puts most triple A releases to shame for the price of a cheap dinner out. In this day and age big multi billion dollar publishers have convinced us that you need to pay £60 for your game plus huge amounts for micro transactions, DLC packs and Cosmetic purchases because they will starve otherwise when games like Hollow Knight have more content, charm and clever game design than i remember seeing in any triple A game this generation. We need more projects like this, Dead cells and inside to push the industry forward.
Hope you have as much fun with this as i did…