Developer: Cradle Games
Publisher: TinyBuild Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One PC
Reviewed On: Ps4 Pro
Release Date: 30/07/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
What happens when you mix H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror, the Engineers (your Character) from aliens and Dark Souls. Well, you end up with Hellpoint. An interesting mix of supernatural occult and sci-fi.
“You are a creation of the cryptic Author, crafted and sent to investigate Irid Novo in an attempt to figure out the unholy series of events that led to the strange incident known as The Merge.”
That’s the story in a nutshell. One thing that I do like is the information progression, making the player look out for writing on the walls items and other little details in order to get more information on what has happened on the space station.
The one thing about Hellpoint is it wears its influences on its sleeve, that has a few differences, some good, some bad and some could be better. THe one thing Hellpoint nails is the atmosphere and the impeding feeling of doom. It feel right at home if Lovecraft would have written a story on a space station. Cradle games have got this down to a tee.
Now being a Souls-like there is plenty attacking, dodging corridors and enemies attacking you from all angles. However, Cadle games added in jump. On paper it sounds amazing and opens up more opportunities for exploration, the implementation is a different story. Jump does what it says you jump, it added a different attack animation when pressing attack in the air. For platforming, it causes more problems than enhancing the experience. In a game where dying is going to happen by not reading attacks, the one thing you don’t want to do is die due to a jump mechanic. I found that I died WAY TOO much to jump then I should have. There were some jumps that just didn’t want to work. One jump was between two doors, and I would jump while walking hit the door frame fall to my death, run and jump same, it took over 20 tries to do a simple jump. Or I just suck at jumping.
One more little grudge with Hellpoint are the breaches you unlock that act as bonfires. Yes, they save the game, and allow you to level up. Hell, they allow you to make the game easier or harder, if you are a maniac. There is just one minor problem for traveling about the station. Only the breaches at the start of each zone are useable to warp between. In order to use any other, then you have to find an item that will link it. Not a major thing unless you die and have to run all the way back to get the axions (souls)
The healing in Hellpoint makes for a more offensive play style, pushing the player to be aggressive. As the only way to replenish the healing item (bar dying) is to attack, this will refill the item’s use after a said number of attacks. It’s a great risk reward mechanic as you have to fight.
Overall Hellpoint is a decent Souls-like with a few niggling problems. It has the best atmosphere in Souls-like games, with its cosmic horror and some great enemy design. Unfortunately, it does not push the genera in any way, shape or form. It still had me coming back for more, even if the jumping parts had me in tears.