If you ask me, the Souls games have a great deal to answer for! In all seriousness, Hellpoint is a game that is clearly taken great inspiration from the hard as nails Souls series. It does what it does fairly well, but a few frustrating things prevent this from taking the crown off the demon head of Dark Souls!
The first thing I have to talk about is the setting. While the Souls games go for a more fantasy approach, Hellpoint has a more sci-fi feel to it. I love the design of this world that they have created. There is so much imagination here and many areas feel like they would not work together, but it somehow all blends together incredibly well. From dark and dingy areas to areas that are full of light!
The setting may be great, as are the creature designs. However, you are thrust into this world without any real explanation as to what the hell is going on. I get that they were going for a, learning about the world as you play type thing here. But it does not work! The little bits of lore you pick up does nothing to explain what this place is, who you are, and what happened. The reason I find it so frustrating is that I really liked this world!
How to Download Hellpoint
To download the game, click on the Download button at the end of this review. You can also grab a free Hellpoint demo for Xbox One.
The Game Review
The gameplay is that of a 3rd person action RPG. This game as you have probably guessed is very, very tough. It starts off brutally tough as getting used to the combat is rather difficult. Once you do, combat is very enjoyable and your attacks have some real weight about them. I will say that the enemy AI is very unbalanced.
I went from struggling against a standard enemy to being able to beat a boss on the first try. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the way the difficulty is. You have a light and hard attack and using this along with the dodging mechanism is the key to taking down enemies. Eventually, it all clicks and the combat becomes very satisfying.
You get a nice number of weapons to use in the game. I like the progression here as the more you use a weapon, you not only get to upgrade it, it gets better as well. The progression feels quicker and fairer than it does in the Souls games. Due to the way progression is handled, I ended up sticking with just a few weapons through my whole playthrough.
When you die, you lose your XP and what you have on you at the time. Like in Souls, getting back to where you died is how you get your stuff back. You need to defeat the ghost version of yourself, which is easier said than done. It makes the game feel more “serious” as you play as death has some real consequences.
I would describe Hellpoint as a “where the hell am, I supposed to go” kind of game. There is no map, no waypoints, no nothing that points you in the right direction. Pretty much every bit of progression I made in the game was by dumb luck stumbling onto it. I get what they were going for here, but it can be rather frustrating to wander around without a clue for hours on end.
There are also some technical issues as well. There is a multiplayer component to the game. However, when another player would invade my game or even come to help, the frame rate dropped like crazy. It was at the point it was so bad that I could not even play the game anymore.
I think there is a lot of good with Hellpoint, but there are also many things that frustrate the hell out of me. The combat is a great deal of fun and the sci-fi setting is truly fantastic. However, not knowing where I am going, the odd difficulty spikes, and the lack of any real lore really do make this a game you have to work hard at in order to love.
- The setting is great, perhaps even more so than the Souls games!
- Combat feels great
- The progression system is fantastic
- Some of the boss encounters are great
- The bosses and enemies are all quite varied in their designs
- The game needed a far more focused narrative
- You spend most of the time not knowing where you are going