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May 6, 2015

Hollow Knight - Preview (PC and Wii U)

The last ten years or so have seen indie development produce a remarkable effect on the creation and publishing of games, in some cases bringing about whole new approaches to the industry. It has also allowed a resurgence of genres that would probably have otherwise stayed dead, and the 2D platformer has been no exception.
The so-called Metroidvania (a portmanteau of Metroid and Castlevania) sub-genre in particular has always remained a popular style of gameplay, and while it can be hard to separate the truly promising from the passable clone, Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight definitely looks to have potential. Inspired by “classic games like Metroid, Zelda 2 and Faxanadu”, as the developers put it, Hollow Knight will be following most of the Metroidvania staples, with gameplay focused on a mixture of exploration of the vast interconnected 2D world along with “difficult but always fair” combat. As usual for the sub-genre Hollow Knight will include RPG elements, with newly acquired abilities not only giving you an edge in combat but allowing you to unlock previously inaccessible areas.

So far, so standard. What truly is looking to separate Hollow Knight from its ilk however is its eerie and imaginative setting. Players will guide the Hollow Knight through the Hallownest, an ancient subterranean kingdom which has seen its denizens, made up of an assortment of grubs such as flies and mantises, driven mad by a noxious poison. The trailers released have shown a beautiful aesthetic design, with simple cel-shaded graphics evoking an atmosphere that is both unnerving and enchanting. Likewise the music direction appears to be top-notch, and even short gameplay videos have been mesmerising to watch.

Hollow Knight is shaping up to be an enchanting and strange entry into Metroidvania history.

Developer: Team Cherry
Publisher: Team Cherry
Distributer: TBC


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