We performed Hole Knight’s sequel at E3 2019, and it guidelines.
I used to be extraordinarily excited to play Hole Knight: Silksong within the Nintendo Sales space at E3 2019, and what I discovered there was a sequel to considered one of my favourite video games that concurrently felt extremely acquainted and fully new. It’s unmistakably Hole Knight, however with the velocity cranked as much as 11 because of the nimble nature of its new protagonist, Hornet.
Hornet’s primary motion doesn’t appear any quicker, however her assaults and talents actually are. Your mid-air downslash has been changed with a diagonal dive thrust (utterly uprooting methods I had developed within the first sport) and she will be able to seize edges to hop up onto excessive platforms proper off the bat. It felt like I needed to relearn a sport I used to be already intimately conversant in – that was jarring, however as soon as I did, I believe I began to love its fight and motion much more than the unique.
Within the midgame demo space I performed – which you’ll watch within the video above – Hornet already had a handful of talents unlocked. These included long-range kunai that solely refill at benches once you spend a brand new foreign money known as Shell Shards, in addition to a correct dash – no extra spamming sprint! – that may stream into an enormous soar or arduous stab that truly pole vaults you elegantly over the enemy you hit.
There are loads of unknown elements nonetheless, however Silksong has the potential to be even higher than the unique.
However the single most impactful change was her heal. As an alternative of the lengthy cost to heal a single hit level at a time like its predecessor, Hornet’s heal is nearly instantaneous and refills three hits directly. That’s an insanely highly effective improve, nevertheless it additionally makes use of all your magic meter (a spool of thread in Silksong) and may solely be used in any respect if it’s full. That rework had drastic repercussions on how I performed – ones that finally made its fights really feel a bit extra strategic than earlier than.
It created fixed moments of rigidity the place aggression was the one technique to survive. Hole Knight’s boss fights may typically really feel determined, looking for any protected second to heal and understanding you had been close to doom whereas at low well being. Comparatively, Silksong’s really feel like correct duels. Having the ability to heal a lot so shortly means low well being moments are make-or-break alternatives the place you would simply swing again into full pressure, however that you must get hits and fill that bar totally to take action.
You’ll be able to stream by way of Silksong at lightning quick speeds consequently. It appears like a direct response to the slower, much less agile nature of the unique, taking what was nice about that sport and never being afraid to significantly change it to repair its inherent limitations. And people tweaks to widespread complaints about Hole Knight don’t cease at fight – so far as I can inform, you don’t drop your cash on demise this time round making it rather less punishing, and there’s extra nuance to your talents now that your choices past the fundamental swing don’t all use the identical magic meter (I actually like these new kunai).
The world, considered one of my favourite components of Hole Knight, additionally appears extra wealthy with element and extra vibrant with colour. Shiny inexperienced bushes, crimson scorching lava, extra variation in backgrounds, and a model new solid of enemies to find (and get killed by). It’s a beautiful sport and even simply the 2 areas I noticed have me hungry to find extra – with teases to a nonetheless nuanced however barely extra express story now that your protagonist can truly communicate.
So right here’s my daring declare: Hole Knight is considered one of my favourite video games ever, however I believe Silksong has the potential to be even higher. Clearly there’s much more to what makes the primary sport nice than simply the fight, and if its map is a letdown or the bosses simply aren’t that fascinating then it may, after all, nonetheless fall quick. There are one million questions that I couldn’t even start to get solutions to in what I performed.
However what I do know is that the framework I noticed on this demo has set Silksong up with an opportunity to surpass the unique. I couldn’t think about how that might even be attainable earlier than I attempted it for myself – and, frankly, I’d have been fairly okay with simply extra Hole Knight. However Workforce Cherry isn’t taking the protected path, and that excites the hell out of me.