Can Holmgang breathe life into hack-and-slash fare?
Hack-and-slash games have a lot to offer these days, even though it may seem like, in some of them, they’re doing the same old thing. But it’s when you add an extra little ingredient – like, say, role-playing elements – that the process can be taken for a surprising turn.
That’s exactly what the team at Zerouno Games has in store with its hack-and-slash adventure Holmgang: Memories of the Forgotten, which is currently underway in its funding phase over on Kickstarter. In essence, the game promises to be a spiritual successor to the classic Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games, with 3D combat combined with neat role-playing techniques to make it stand out in the crowd.
Here, We Hack and Slash
With a development team that features a number of veterans in the industry (including some from MercurySteam, the developers behind the Lords games), Zerouno looks to make a name for itself with its first original IP. Though funding is slow thus far, the team is confident that it will generate a large enough audience that will want to see this inspired adventure come to fruition.
The game takes place in the land of Dracorum, where all is at peace. However, following the death of its emperor, Hazulem, it falls into darkness, with monsters creating havoc all over the place. It’s up to three key heroes to step up and try to bring the light back to the world.
Each character brings something unique to the table with their general attacks. However, players will also be able to customize their attacks with buildable combos, as well as the ability to roam the land, as well as the water beneath it. What’s more, they won’t go it alone, as they’ll have several sidekicks to choose from.
These secondary aides can lend you a hand when the going gets tough, or should your character be slightly overwhelmed by enemies that might get in your way. And that’ll happen often; but with your hero and sidekick working together, you’ll be able to overcome the odds.
Something New For the Genre
The combat style in Holmgang will be quite familiar to Lords fans, with a number of chainable combos and other techniques to master. There will also be Finishers, in which you can take down an opponent with the right amount of style. You’ll also need to solve the occasional puzzle, such as moving around blocks or trying to get something activated so you can continue to move forward.
But along with a customizable combat technique for each character and a variety of moves at your arsenal, Zerouno also wants to make the world itself a brilliant part of Holmgang. This includes making the freedom of choice over the course of the game, such as possibly staying behind with someone, or continuing forward into another area. And with the game’s “multi-path” approach, you don’t have to necessarily go the same way twice. That’s how Holmgang will differ from other hack-and-slash games, as it’ll offer something new each time you play, either with the combat system itself or with where you want to go next.
This Art Style’s Going Places
Holmgang will also feature a mixture of 3D and 2D side-scrolling segments, like other games of its type. It’s a pretty cool effect that works kind of seamlessly, creating an immersive world with different perspectives that should keep players intrigued. Not to mention the various enemies you’ll face off against, ranging from large, armed behemoths to more spiritual types that could pose a challenge. (Looking at you, Dark Cabal.)
Thus far, Zerouno has a lot of innovation going into the game’s design. It’s still a bit on the light side considering the game’s early Kickstarter days, but the final effect should create something that fans of this sort of game will be proud of. Not to mention the innovative combat, the three different warriors and the ability to explore a huge part of the world. That’s hard to turn away from.
You can learn more about the Kickstarter project here and see if Holmgang: Memoires of the Forgotten is your speed or not. If it’s successfully funded, the team hopes to bring it to Steam as well as consoles, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. If not, they do have back-up plans in place, though the crowdfunding route is the best bet at this point. We’ll see how this adventure unfurls in the months ahead. But if that sort of thing is in your blood, you may want to give this “choose your own adventure” style game a good look.