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A Void Hope Icon
A Void Hope

Developer: Elden Pixels

  • Price: $15.99
  • Release Date: Feb 29, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E10+ [Everyone 10+]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    You can appreciate the type of experience it’s shooting for, but in terms of play it’s still pretty ordinary

    Sometimes you run into games that are obviously made with love and care, and you can tell that the developers behind it are trying hard to make something distinctive and interesting, but it just doesn’t quite get there. A Void Hope, for me, falls into this sort of limbo category, trying to deliver an interesting mix of subtle storytelling and decent game mechanics, but then falling apart a bit in terms of the big picture. 

    Since one of the few truly bright spots in the game is the overall story it has to tell, I won’t share many details of it here. But a quick synopsis is that you find yourself in a world with a disease that causes people to lose their memories and then eventually become quite aggressive. Though your character and their spouse had hoped to get out of the city to avoid being infected, when the signs begin to show your character decides to take action to find a cure. The problem with the story is that at best all you really get from it are periodic tastes, and though they offer some satisfaction, by the conclusion I don’t know that it was enough to justify the trouble to get there.

    That’s where the gameplay comes into the picture, and unfortunately it’s generally just quite bland puzzle platforming, never requiring too much trouble or thoughtful complexity, more often than not it just is there to be overcome. Worse, as you acquire the tools you need to get past obstacles you’ve previously found in your way, you’ll need to go back to the same spots, sometimes repeatedly. Sure, this isn’t uncommon in things like Metroidvanias, but usually there’s just more of a sense of style and excitement about. Instead, most of the city you’ll move through feels almost abandoned, and though the victims of the disease pose some minor threat to you, the majority of the time they’re pretty easily avoided or dealt with. That puts the pressure on the puzzles to deliver the interest but most of the time they’re incredibly basic, and as you go on it continues to get more disappointing as it can feel like you’re going through the motions.

    The unfortunate thing is that you can see what the game is trying to deliver, it just doesn’t really get there. The overarching story simply isn’t complex or emotionally compelling enough to fully justify the adventure as a whole. That would have helped to excuse a few hours of what’s ultimately humdrum puzzle platforming, but while perhaps people simply looking for a mild set of challenges with a good look, a solid soundtrack, and a shot at a decent story could be happy with this, there are simply better titles out there you could be playing instead that do a better job of delivering on their promise.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.8]

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