Expansive catacombs, mystic surroundings, and endless secrets is what characterizes Hollow Knight. It is easy to get lost in its deep, eerie world. With well-developed history, a seemingly never-ending journey, and a meaningful purpose, the 2D Metroidvania action-adventure game is one that you would want to absorb completely for what it is.
Story: A creature dies near Hallownest and resurrects as the Pale King. The bugs of Hallownest worship the Radiance but the Pale King convinces them to worship him and accept him as the ruler of Hallownest instead. He establishes a great kingdom but whispers of the Radiance are heard by the bugs in their dreams which leads to anarchy and infection. The Pale King tries to contain this infection within a single Vessel, with shadowy beings created by him. The Vessel is contained within the Black Egg Temple and sealed by the Dreamers. The player’s character, the Knight, arrives in Dirtmouth near Hallownest and attempts to venture within. He realizes what has been going on and attempts to solve it himself.
Play Style: The game has endless content and freedom at every nook and corner. Any direction that you may go in the catacombs, you will find bosses, items, upgrades, and secrets. The atmosphere is where it stands out: gorgeous art, beautiful music, and infinite detail. Every area feels as if it is a different world, but also as a fragment of a larger universe. You keep stumbling upon new areas that you find out yourself and never run out of options. The game is shamelessly diffucult, but allows you to get comfortable at your own pace. It may be daunting at start, as death means going back to a checkpoint and having to find your corpse again. Moreover, the physics makes some hurdles hard to overcome, but as there are many options in the game you will never hit a dead end. Combat is very precision-based, but also requires a lot of skill. You develop tactics suited to your play style, utilize items and upgrades strategically, and add complexity to your skill as time passes. The boss fights are where you are tested the most, but with no right or wrong choice, every view-play would be different than the other.
Audience: If you are a big fan of 2D games then this is hands-down one of the best 2D games we have seen. With such depth and complexity it is hard to ignore the fact that Hollow Knight has really put a lot of thinking skill and analysis into their development process. Gamers who love to soak in the atmosphere of each game they play will particularly love this game, as the attention to detail is commendable to say the least.
Platforms: Hollow Knight is available on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Verdict: With multiple endings depending on the decisions you make and the actions you take, this game is one of the most detail-oriented and well-thought pieces of art we have seen. It is a long game, but you would not regret spending your time and playing it over just to see how it could have gone if you made some different choices. Team Cherry has produced one of the best works in the indie game industry, and you must not miss out on Hollow Knight for the type of game it is!