Hellpoint Beta (Demo): Review
Before I start this review I would like to say that playing through this has been a blast, and I will definately enjoy more of the demo until it comes out. It's brilliance has me buzzing! It offers all the things that we love to hate about Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
It has surpassed what I was hoping for sure! I remember looking at the trailer and finding out that this was being developed by a really small bunch of ex-employees that I believe worked for Ubisoft and Activision. But they outdid themselves beautifully!
So what is Hellpoint? I'll tell you what it is. A lot of people have liked to refer to it as Space Souls, but evidently, it's much more than that, as the game is more concentrated on theme of time and different realities which is something that Shrouded in Sanity also did. The graphics look beautiful, especially for a beta, but have been known to falter at times. For example, just like in some other Soulsborne games, it introduces you to the game with a small amount of prompts, and mostly interactive "messages" scattered around.
In Hellpoint you can expect to encounter these on the walls of the tightly packed and dark corridors. However, they have a little animation about them, which has super low framerate, and is also very pixelated when you go up close too it, more so than it should be. You can see it below.
The gameplay matches a combination of Dark Souls and Bloodborne with elements of Nioh here and there. For example, Nioh had a familiarity system, and the more you used a specific weapon, the more effective you would get with it. Your character would also unlock special abilities for that weapon, which you could use against your enemies to even the odds. Same goes for Hellpoint here.
In Bloodborne, you could dodge in one of two ways: if you locked on to an enemy, you would quickly sidestep, which is done brilliantly in this game, even better than in Bloodborne in my opinion, and if you didn't unlock you would roll. Same goes for Hellpoint, again. In Dark Souls, combos would be executed and made beautifully, in a 'Dance of Death' kind of style; you can probably guess what I'm about to say. Same goes for Hellpoint.
However, nothing comes without it's flaws. The camera can be a bit of nuisance at times, getting stuck behind crates, as you're fighting a swarm of hollo- erm, I mean weak-looking humanoid beings. Or, at a single point which doesn't really matter it's just a bug that ruins immersion, when I walked up to a wall, I could see the whole level through it and all of the space surrounding the level. Sometimes, hitboxes feel too large, bullets travel way too slow to hinder you in any way, and the enemy aggro is ridiculous. They barely notice you unless you waltz right up in their grill.
There is no settings option from the in-game menu, and even at my brightest setting available, I had trouble seeing in most areas of the game. I haven't yet found a setting that allows me to change the brightness! I was also looking to play in the hardest difficulty available, but the game wasn't very clear which option this was. I also can't say I have seen much variety in enemies so far, or enemy design.
But what did keep me going, was being able to do cool shit, wear cool shit, and hit with cool shit at the start of the game. Not like in Dark Souls were you start with a boring loincloth - ugh. I mean, damn look at this dismemberment and bloodspatter below! And by the way? Yes, ragdoll corpses are a thing.
Levelling works like in Lords of the Fallen, so it's good nothing to complain about there, and jsut like before there is no pause button. But this, so far, is the only Soulsborne game not only to feature difficulty levels, but also Split-Screen, which is nothing to mock. Even if this game passes under the radar compared to the more mainstream Soulsborne games, which I doubt, it will have one of the most essential things, when it comes to content in a game.
It also features a vast variety of weapons and powers, and more will definately come in the full game, as there are item tabs in your inventory, called 'Upgrades' and 'Modules'. It of course, has it's own premise, and while the story wasn't really focused upon in the beta, I have a strong, intuitive feeling, that it will be revealed fully like in other games, not hidden like in Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
The game also has guns, but until the bullets are patched to be faster, they're pretty much useless. Some suggestion which I would like to be added in is unique powers to every weapon not Weapon type, something which in my opinion, Dark Souls 3 did wrong. Trick weapons from Bloodborne. And just to point this out, why is there a restriction on which hands you equip shields and weapons This only worked well in Bloodborne, but it doesn't fit Hellpoint's gameplay, as it doesn't encourage anything like a more aggressive playstyle, unlike Bloodborne.
NPCs and vendors could make a nice addition, and I sincerely hope that online PvP and PvE become a thing. But there it is really. There is no major reason, so far, in not buying the game, or not playing the demo. Give your opinions below! Here is some gameplay:
I hate gravity