Hellpoint is a bad game. Actually that might be a bit harsh. It’d be more accurate to say Hellpoint is a terrible port of a game that might be bad, but I can’t actually tell. I normally give games a decent shake of the stick even if they look like they’re not that great because I have quite a lot of pride in writing this garbage for the 3 people who read it and feel I should give every game a decent chunk of time to get a better idea of what the devs were going for. With Hellpoint on Switch whatever they were going for they shouldn’t have bothered with.
Hellpoint is a Soulslike with a sci-fi aesthetic that reminds me a little of the movie Event Horizon. Except it’s nowhere near as good as Event Horzion. Shut up, Event Horizon is ace.
All the Soulslike tropes are there; you drop your collected currency on death, attacks are mapped to shoulder buttons, you use stamina to sprint, attack and block, enemies respawn after resting, so on and so forth. The fundamental difference is that it lacks any of the charm that Dark Souls has. The problem of this game on this particular format is it looks and runs like an absolute dog’s dinner.
The aesthetic of a game can be entirely subjective. Sometimes a games aesthetic elevates it over its mediocre gameplay (looking at you, Bioshock Infinite). Sometimes it’s aesthetic hampers your enjoyment of a very good game. But sometimes it does more than hamper it and it completely destroys any desire to spend any more time on it.
What Hellpoints visuals remind me of are the big box PC games I picked up in Poundland in the early 2000s. Games you’d never heard of that look like they were made over one weekend and you bought just to laugh at how bad it is. There are no shadows, the textures are horrifically low resolution (which is kind of fine as the game is also at a really low resolution), the enemies have basic animations and then just pop out of existence as you defeat them and it runs at somewhere in the mid teens in terms of framerate.
I managed to play it for about an hour before I realised I could be playing any of the other games I’ve got to review rather than waste it on something that has had nothing but the most perfunctory effort put into its port. I didn’t try it in handheld mode, which I guess I should but seeing as on a 50” TV the text is like 8 point or something I figured I’m best saving my eyesight and just didn’t bother.
If I was going to criticize the actual game I’d say it misses the point of Dark Souls. One of the biggest and best characters in Dark Souls is the world surrounding the game. The gameplay is a large part of it, absolutely, but the build up of everything surrounding it is bloody masterful, in all the Dark Souls and Bloodborne and Sekiro. This is just a space station with massive corridors and uninspired enemies. There’s the very real possibility it changes up later on but bugger that for a lark.
I’m probably going to cop shit for the length of time I put into this game before committing to a review. I don’t care. Life is way, WAY too short to spend on mediocrity like this. After I wrote this I checked some PC gameplay and while it’s nothing revelatory it’s WAY more solid than this steaming pile of garbage. There’s a running gag with Switch ports when a game from another format would fit perfectly on the format which goes “It’d be perfect for Switch.” Hellpoint is absolutely nowhere near perfect for Switch.