Hellpoint is a cosmic-horror action RPG that takes place on a gnarled space station called Irid Novo. Cosmic Gods are corrupting this station, playing games with the sentient beings on board. Ghastly creatures loom its infrastructure, attacking anything that has a heartbeat. Why are the Cosmic Gods so interested in the Irid Novo? This is the main mystery that players will need to unravel. Players will take control of “The Authority.” These are inter-dimensional investigators who spawn in places that offer challenges to overcome and enigmas to solve. Hellpoint is an interstellar Dark Souls-type adventure, where players will craft and customize their avatar at the beginning of the game. Of course, as the campaign rolls on, the build of the player will ultimately change. This is how many action RPGs work, of course, and Hellpoint will be no different. The unique setting of this game makes it stand on its own two feet, despite it taking clear inspiration from other IPs.
The Irid Novo is a fully-realized map that is stuck in a vortex deep within the belly of space. It orbits around the spiral of it in real-time, passing through cosmic shifts that spark events within the map. Special bosses will appear, items will spawn and hordes of enemies will be conjured. Additionally, their stats will change and evolve randomly which will force players to switch up their tactics. Thus, there is a fully written lore just waiting to be discovered throughout the campaign. Cryptic exposition pepper the corridors of the Irid Novo, enticing players to piece together the cataclysmic situation that transpired. This game comes with a thick atmosphere, with the design coating the game with horrid imagery. Hence, there is an interesting juxtaposition to this title that isn’t seen in many games. A refreshing mix of fantasy and dark sci-fi in one package.
Praise The Dark
There is no question that Hellpoint has a lot going for it. The map of the Irid Novo is a completely open world, offering interconnected areas and passages. Players will be free to go anywhere they want, testing their luck and wits. The deeper they go, the more harrowing the level and creature design will become. There will be many classes to choose from. Including everything that looks like knights specializing in heavy-melee attacks to space mercenaries that focus on projectile weapons. This game appears to have all the spices found in both Lord of the Rings and Dead Space–inspired titles. Even though it seems out of place, at first, it does have a rather inventive and intriguing atmosphere to it. The combat, however, is very much like the titles from FromSoftware in their purest form. Even though it does have some of its own quirks to it.
There is the standard; block, counter and dodge mechanics in Hellpoint, yes. However, what is interesting is that weapons have unlockable perks that become available the more they are used. This gives a sense of a crescendo with a particular weapon that players might find early in the game. There is also a jump button available, to help players cross gaps. This is rare in RPG games of this type, aside from Elden Ring, of course. Even though the enemy design is unique, there will be encounters will certain kinds on a regular basis. Luckily, since all of the designs are totally original, it doesn’t feel as repetitive as they could be. The weapon selection is vast and they all beg to be used at least once during a single playthrough. There is a lot to experiment with, including the armor sets and projectile armaments.
Home and Horror
The Irid Novo is essentially a giant space colony, home to many human beings that all ‘turned to the other side’ by the Cosmic Gods. It’s very much like a labyrinth, with many twisting pathways and interconnecting corridors. These offer many shortcuts, sure. However, there are also checkpoints called “Breaches” in Hellpoint that can be used to fast travel between. The kicker is that the Breaches can be difficult to find throughout the map, forcing players to memorize paths and shortcuts instead. Whenever a Breach is interacted with, it will heal players and give them a chance to upgrade. Luckily, they also don’t respawn enemies. This only happens once the Irid Novo crosses over a Cosmic Event, which is on an ever-revolving time limit. So, there is some mercy to this game and it isn’t quite as bone-crushing as Sekiro or Demon’s Souls.
Lastly, there is also a rather elaborate co-op system in Hellpoint. Players can leave cryptic symbols all over the map to provide hints and clues. Thus, there is also a PvP mode, where players can spawn in each other’s games to battle. Interestingly enough, this game also supports split-screen co-op, which is a rarity these days. A nice touch to co-op is that loot is shared and it’s not exclusive to just one side. Hellpoint has been out for a couple of years and many fans of Souls-like games generally overlooked it. It is a very creative angle to the action-RPG genre, even though it doesn’t really set a new benchmark or anything. If a gamer is looking for something like Dark Souls, but wants it to be a little more forgiving, then Hellpoint might be a good candidate. It’s challenging enough to make players sweat, but it does offer some breathing room to let players recover and keep pushing forward.
A Slaughter in the Stars
Hellpoint is a Souls-like game that not very many gamers are aware of due to the popularity of FromSoftware titles. There are other Dark Souls clones out there like Mortal Shell, among others. However, Hellpoint offers a unique atmosphere and creepy soundtrack that is refreshing in comparison to its counterparts. Hellpoint is now available for PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. This game has garnered mostly solid reviews and offers a nice journey into a forbidden space station that feels like an H.R. Giger painting come to life.