Bug off with Hollow Knight, a 2D Metroidvania game that's as difficult as it is cute

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Games | Mar 7, 2017

Dark Souls Hollow Knight metroidvania Team Cherry

I'm getting real tired of all these Dark Souls clones.

Ever since its release in 2011, countless developers have tried to rip-off and rebottle From Software's iconic formula like it was sidewalk lemonade. In thinking that the difficulty is the only thing that makes Dark Souls great, people have totally forgotten to add anything of substance that differentiates their games from all the other tough-as-nails titles out there.

Thankfully, some studios such as Team Cherry know that they are making their own thing, not a carbon copy of a game that makes grown men cry.

Hollow Knight, a 2D action-adventure game which was released last February 24, is not a Dark Souls clone. Taking place both in and underneath the town of Dirtmouth (a name you could also give a child who swears too much), the title features a completely hand-drawn look and puts you in the little boots of the Hollow Knight.

This easily-drawn fellow, like many others before him, seeks to travel into the darkest depths below the town to discover the secrets hidden within them. Could they hold gold? Power? The answer to why a Nintendo Switch is so crazily expensive? Only by traversing into this deep, interconnected maze can you find the answers to these questions.

Of course, going through a vast array of tunnels without so much as a rock to avoid isn't anyone's idea of a good video game, so the folks at Team Cherry have decided to fill them with as much opposition and traps as a real-life marriage. Featuring over 130 enemies and 30 bosses, Hollow Knight is fast, challenging, and requires that reaction time you usually reserve for when a cockroach invades your personal space.

But you aren't helpless. Amongst the large number of things that want to kill you are a handful of allies which will help you on your journey by providing you with information, items, and an inside look at their fleshy brains. By using an item called the Dream Nail, the Hollow Knight is able to jump into the minds of both friends and enemies, giving you a deeper understanding of the world and how difficult brain surgery actually is.

To combat these obstacles both in and out of the mind, you should make use of abilities (those things that make you stronger) and charms (bits of useless crap usually kept by suspicious old ladies). These two elements, when used in various ways, can quite literally bring you to new heights and help you on your journey. If you think the game is too easy the first time around, completing it once unlocks Steel Soul mode, which serves as the ultimate challenge for this already difficult game.

Hollow Knight is available on PC, Mac, and Linux through Steam, as well as on the Nintendo Switch. Other platforms aren't available as of yet but with all the literal bugs the game has, it can only be a matter of time before Hollow Knight infests the industry.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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