Hollow Knight has cemented itself as one of my favourite games and that’s the same for many people! The mixture of charm, setting and difficulty has the best of players lost in its allure. So naturally when Team Cherry announced they wished to continue the Hollow Knight saga, it was easy to understand why everyone got excited quickly. But for me, the excitement was not the fact there was going to be another game, I could certainly get my fix from the first game. For me the excitement is set in the fact that I could play as my favourite NPC, Hornet. Now I’ve talked on multiple times why I love Hornet, so I’ll save you the lecture, you can read that here.
I honestly did not know that Silksong was at EGX until I saw some people tweeting about it, I remember saying to Lloyd “I need to play this, I’m going to spend all day tomorrow finding it!” And alas I did and it was beautiful. It was in the Nintendo area, but unfortunately there was only one console set up to play it, certainly an underestimation of the hype as there was always a que for it. So after roughly half an hour of waiting it was my turn.
There were two levels you could play, one set in the beginning of the game and one set further into the story. Obviously the first level was aimed towards the beginners to the game, whilst the hardcore Hollow Knight fans usually played the second level. Surprisingly I opted for the easier of the stages, mainly because there were many people watching me play, I didn’t want to get destroyed by some ridiculously hard boss. Plus with the game being easy I could focus a little more on the actual artwork and level design, which have completely emulated the beauty of the first game.
However, Hornet, to me is a much better protagonist than our silent Knight. Please understand, I do like the Knight, so please put down the pitchforks. For me, Hornet has a great personality, which I love my protagonists to have. She’s graceful but still a little cocky and aware of her skills. That certainly translated in her gameplay, with the ability to slice through the air to hit enemies from above and disengage with a beautiful backflip that adds so much grace to her attacks.
The level that I got to play was based at the beginning of the game and was set in a lush green area, the enemies here are similar to the ones at the beginning of Hollow Knight. There are some that just move from A to B and ones that target you and approach slowly, but the meat of the demo was the boss. The boss ‘The Moss Mother’ Is very similar to ‘The Gruz Mother’ from Hollow Knight, except it felt a lot harder. The boss targeted you with telegraphed attacks and shifted its pattern once or twice to catch you out. Hornets ability to dash through the air and attack served me well, granting me the ability to chain together a few attacks to give me the advantage.
The health system from Hollow Knight has returned, which was a great addition. Simply each attack you land fills up a gauge, this gauge will then allow you to either heal or attack. Think of it at a mana gauge, except you have to hit enemies to fill it up. This time the gauge is represented as a tread of string, probably hinting towards the main story in the Silksong could be less about the area and more about Hornet herself. there is also an emphasis on musical instruments that I believe will play a big impact in the narrative of the game.
The game feels VERY similar to Hollow Knight and to me that’s a little bit of a worry in that I don’t particularly want to play just a repeat. The world that they have crafted feels similar enough but has enough differences in enemies and story that hopefully that will set it apart. I do however like that they’ve not just added Hornet as a playable character in the Hollow Knight games, instead they’ve chosen to allow us to explore her story a little more.
We really don’t know much about this story and Team Cherry have been very ambiguous with what’s actually happening. That fits with their style of story-telling, Hollow Knight had a story that you had to think about. With clues not just in the dialogue but hidden within the background of the game, I love this style of story-telling. I’m excited to find out whose gone through the trouble of capturing Hornet and how/if she finds her way out alive.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a release date for Silksong yet, other than some time in 2020. So my best advice would be to keep an eye on their social media and website if you are interested. You can find them here;
Thanks for reading!