Hellpoint is one of those games I really have no business playing. I don’t like challenging games, I don’t like having to repeat the same things over and over in games (aside from Platinum trophy grinds) and I especially hate a game that clearly doesn’t want me to enjoy it.
I always say that first impressions count for a lot, and I spent my first experiences with the game confused, naked and remorselessly attacked by ugly creeps, very much like Christmas Day 2018. The setting of Hellpoint, a decrepit spaceship called the Irid Novo (because the name Nostromo was already taken) which is overrun with monsters because why wouldn’t it be, is fairly interesting to explore. You’ll find yourself feeling particularly appreciative of this fact as you’ll see every inch of it plenty of times from the amount of time you’ll spend re-treading familiar ground after every death.
Hellpoint is very much a Soulsborne game, and unlike Javier who reviewed this game last week I am not a frequent participant in this style of games in case that wasn’t loudly apparent already. I did play Demon’s Souls back when that launched to see if I was miraculously somehow better than everyone else who played it, but upon being shown I wasn’t I didn’t play it ever again.
After my first hour with Hellpoint I had made precisely zero progress after reaching the first Breach (Bonfire, to those more familiar with that term) as I had spent the entire time dying and screaming at my TV in impotent rage.
Eventually I made progress in Hellpoint by avoiding literally any enemy which experience had taught me I couldn’t kill with a maximum of three hits. With a bit of grinding and cowardly running and hiding whenever I felt threatened, I managed to improve on my character stats and confidently strode into the first boss chamber with a new feeling of confidence. Twenty seconds later and I was back at the Breach, confronted with the fact even more grinding must take place if I want to defeat the boss. I can’t recall her name so I’ve taken to calling her the ‘Electric Bitch’.
After two hours had passed of mind-numbing grinding which hadn’t led to me getting killed and losing all my progress, I was still only capable of getting the Electric Bitch down to about half health. I put a couple of seconds of thought into the idea of another two hours of thankless grinding to knock off the other half before deciding I’d rather die gasping in actual space than humour this painful endeavour any further.
I must concede the fact that because I hate the struggle with Hellpoint I am very much not the target demographic for it, and as such can only review it as an outsider instead of someone who seeks a challenge in their choice of games. That said, I resent the level of inaccessibility Soulsborne games smugly pride themselves on like the irritating kid with their ‘everything-proof’ shield and if I could remove any current gaming trend from existence it would be this.
Side note – Stamina management on TOP of the fact you can only take three or four hits with a full health bar is a mechanic that can get in the fucking bin!
Overall I can recommend Hellpoint only to players who either like challenging games or to those who openly seek a bad time. There are fleeting moments of fun to be had here to keep you playing if you enjoy learning game mechanics through trial and error instead of running in with weapons swinging. However, this is my review and I score Hellpoint