A Look Into the Dark and Brutal World of Hellpoint
Hellpoint is an upcoming dark sci-fi Dark Souls style RPG being developed by Cradle Games. The developer currently has a Kickstarter campaign running for the game and have a demo available for Windows and Linux users through the Kickstarter page. We take a look at the demo to find what Cradle Games has in store for players.
Disclaimer: This article covers pre-alpha gameplay and does not represent a complete or finished product.
A derelict station of horror
Players take on the role of a nameless character whose intentions are entirely determined by their choices. You wake up to find yourself on a derelict space station called the Irid Novo that is in orbit around an enormous black hole. The black hole was caused by a massive quantum cataclysm known as The Merge.
Within a second of the cataclysm, everyone aboard the Irid Novo lost their minds and memories and were merged with alternate versions of themselves from parallel universes, transforming them. As if that wasn't bad enough, The Merge caught the attention of other entities of immense power that comes from the depths of other dimensions.
Your decisions will determine the outcome of the Irid Novo and the entire universe. Who do you trust and who is lying to you? The fate of existence is in your hands. The plot for Hellpoint is an interesting and rather unique concept that I am looking forward to seeing develop more in the future.
The demo doesn't offer much in the form of a plot but instead focuses on the gameplay mechanics and giving players first-hand experience on what they can expect.
Brutal and Tactical Combat
The combat to Hellpoint is very similar to that of the Dark Souls series. Each enemy is very different both in appearance, skills and how they fight. Learning their moves and figuring out how to counteract or evade them is essential to your survival.
At first, you can expect to be presented with weaker enemies that are both easier to fight and don't inflict huge amounts of damage. As you progress, however, that soon changes, as more challenging adversaries begin to appear. In one instance throughout the demo, you come across a demon using a nasty polearm weapon.
The weapon gives the monster a massive range of attack along with dealing a lot of damage. You can take it head on if you wish or you can get around it by avoiding its line of sight on its patrol route. Later on again, you come across another massive monstrosity that is capable of ripping you to shreds if it gets up close and personal.
Even in this early alpha stage of development, the combat is enjoyable and fun to play. It is exactly what you would expect from a game that is inspired by the Souls series -- visceral, brutal, realistic and difficult. If you enjoy the Souls games, you will absolutely adore what Hellpoint has to offer.
Three characters to chose from
The demo offers three different characters to choose from when starting the game. the Ancient Warrior, the Disciple and the Newborn. Each character starts with its own stats, weapon and equipment, giving a different play style for each one.
The Ancient Warrior is your typical aggressive, tank type character who can take a bit of punishment while dishing out plenty of its own. The Disciple uses weapons with longer reach while having stronger but slower attacks. The Newborn is the weaker of the characters but is much more nimble and has more stamina that the others.
It is definitely worth playing through the demo with each of the three characters, they are very different in their combat approach to each other. While this may be the case, they are each as enjoyable as each other to play with neither being overpowered or underpowered.
Interacting with a strange and dark world
Anyone who is familiar with the Souls games will understand exactly how the world of Hellpoint works. As you defeat enemies, you collect what is known as Axions. These can also be found scattered throughout the world, often in hidden crevices and hard to notice side paths.
These are your currency for leveling up your characters stats which can be done at Breaches. Breaches are essentially your campfires and act as a checkpoint system. Any Axions that you obtain from picking up on the ground must be consumed at a breach before they can be used to level up your character.
If you are killed, you will lose any Axions that you possessed at the time of death. In order to retrieve them, you need to return to where you were killed and defeat your previous incarnation in battle. You will find that certain areas are closed off to you until you find a key. In some cases, a door may require multiple keys to open.
There are also buttons that you can interact with that will elevate platforms or open paths that were previously inaccessible, along with rope like ladders that allow you to climb up or down high areas. Already there is a massive amount of detail to the game, despite its early development build.
The demo offers quite a bit of gameplay too, unlike many that give you no more than five minutes. Hellpoint gives you plenty to play around with and between trying out the different characters you are sure to get quite a few hours out of it.
I want this right now!
That was what was going through my mind as I played the demo. It is a world that I didn't want to leave. It absorbed me and I wanted to remain there as long as possible. If this is the kind of quality and depth that Cradle Games can produce for a pre-alpha demo, I can't wait to see what is in store in later on.
As someone who never really got into the Souls series, this is a title that has certainly made me want to. If that is the case for me, it is a game where any fans of the Dark Souls games, will feel right at home with. Now if you will excuse me, I have to more Hellpoint to play.
The demo for Hellpoint can be downloaded through its Kickstarter campaign page on Windows and Linux.