Hellpoint Review – tinyBuild Studios attempt at a Sci-Fi version of a “Souls” game.
Lets start this review by stating that Soul-like games have been a source of much anxiety and frustration for me over the years. My Hellpoint review is going to be a bit bias as I’ve suffered quite a bit through these familiar titles. The feeling of dying steps away from the save point leaves scars to this day. With that said tinyBuild and Cradle Games Studios captures the spirit of Soul-like games. They’ve opened new wounds that will again take years to heal. If I could sum it with a comparison its essential Dark Souls meets Dead Space, and for anyone that has played those franchises, that’s high praise. With all that said the graphics and visuals of the game drew me in and definitely lived up to the trailers.
Hellpoint is tinyBuild Studios and Cradle Games attempt at a Sci-Fi version of a “Souls” game. They go about this very literally, considering the actual button layout is very similar to the ones you would find in any game of the Dark Soul series. They seemingly do this so there are no excuses as to why their initial levels absolutely lay into you. Cue the PTSD. The looting system is very similar as there are random drops and you acquire experience points as you ravage your enemies, only to drop in its entirety when that one lurker enemy sneaks up on you. But that’s okay because you can retrieve said experience points…..if you can kill your shadow clone equipped with your gear from when you died….Get the picture? tinyBuild does not pull the punches. They provide a visually stunning experience to help cope with the 9 circles of hell the game offers you.
As far as the story for Hellpoint, there not much to work with. Like many indie titles, the story is much more implied, as a player you are driven to make assumptions about the world. I found that it did not hinder my time in the game as it is consistent from the beginning of the game. This builds an air of mystery around your purpose on the spacecraft. Ultimately, you understand that your sole purpose is survival and everything simply plays into that.
That said Hellpoint has many strong points, which starts with its visuals. From the start of the game when you are dropped into a dark room with little explanation of your purpose, the rooms are dark and eerie but are enhanced by vibrant and bright accent colors that provide for a beautiful world that that really draws you in. The same can be said for the enemies and bosses which range from a hellhound with bright purple spear-like wipes to 10 feet armored knights with gold and blue accents. Each enemy feels unique while still feeling like they belong in this world.
But Hellpoint is not a flawless symphony of a game. There were some moments that really frustrated me as a player, not because of my lack of skill (which there is definitely a lot of) but glitches that left me defenseless against the enemy. One of the major issues I had was panic jumping and an enemy running and pushing me into a wall suspended in the air until the next enemy came and went absolutely in on me. There was also an issue of one of the inputs reacting to windows shortcut for changing language and glitched and froze my game, requiring a restart. I eventually switched to a controller which fixed a lot of my issues including my own panic jumping.
Overall, Hellpoint is that hellish experience that challenges you to react quickly or suffer and die. While it does pull inspiration from the Souls series, I felt like it did enough to set it apart and make the player feel like they are in a completely different world. While there was the occasional bug during gameplay that distracted from the great combat system, it was still an immersive experience. If that sounds like the game for you then definitely give Hellpoint a try as it will not disappoint. My Hellpoint review gets a 7/10.
Hellpoint is available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and gog.com. You can purchase the game directly from tinyBuild here.
Hellpoint Review [PC]
Overall, Hellpoint is exactly that a hellish experience that challenges you to react quickly or suffer and die. While it does pull inspiration from the Souls series, I felt like it did enough to set it apart and make the player feel like they are in a completely different world. While there was the occasional bug during gameplay that distracted from the great combat system, it still was an immersive experience. If that sounds like the game for you then definitely give Hellpoint a try as it will not disappoint.