Hellpoint Switch is now available. But you’ve reviewed this already back on the PC and PS4? Why are you doing it again, you spanner? Because it’s my birthday.
It’s not my birthday, it’s months away, but it was a game that got poo-pooed a bit by some folk not long after it came out. One such claim was how bloomin’ easy it was. Not for me. On some occasions, I felt the need to climb under a rock and hide away, but not this time.
Sometimes these games don’t translate well on the Nintendo Switch, but I’d argue that Dark Souls Remastered is the best version of the game, and while the bulk of my hours were consumed on the PS3, I’ve spent plenty of hours on the Switch without issue. So, how about Hellpoint?
Hellpoint Switch Review
In case you know nothing, let’s start with some hard facts. Hellpoint is a third-person action-adventure from Cradle Games and tinyBuild that mimics Dark Souls to a T, but with a sci-fi perspective. This time you aren’t a hollow but a synthetic known as spawn.
The game’s story is a little forgettable and ambiguous, but that’s not the focal point here. How does the action fair? It’s the same approach as before, and you steadily swap out load-outs to accommodate your style, or you sacrifice it all for better gear.
In the past, I had both the Hellpoint PC version and the PS4 one. I’ve been meaning to revisit the PC version now that my PC is no longer running a 4MB AGP graphics card but haven’t had the time. What I remember of the PS4 were a few stutters here and there and some ragdolling.
It’s not that I have an acute memory, but looked at my Hellpoint PS4 review. If the PS4 stutters, then surely the Nintendo will cough its guts up? Maybe we would be better off with Cyberpunk 2077 on the Switch?
What’s My Motivation?
As before, the loading times are quite lengthy, so be advised. It’s worse when you’re awaiting a turn. Compared to the other versions, the Switch visuals aren’t as good, but if you didn’t know the other platforms existed, they’re fine.
I forgot what hard work the game is initially, though not much different from the Dark Souls universe. The story is ambiguous, and instructions are usually pointers supposedly left by other players/devs, so it’s quite mundane to begin with.
However, as someone who likes to grind (I’ll deny it in public), I’m happy to do the loops, returning to the pseudo bonfire to infuse Axions. These are your souls in the game, which can be lost if you die and unable to retrieve them, and they serve the same purpose of levelling up.
The stats aren’t clear whatsoever, so it’s mostly trial and error. You’re safe with strength and reflexes, but cognition and foresight are attributes you work out in time, the same with the numerous abilities you have such as induction, entropy and radiation.
Stars Wars, Halo and Space Ace got it all wrong: you don’t require blasters in space as a classic melee weapon will do the job. Putting that aside, melee combat is satisfying, and like its counterparts, Hellpoint allows you to equip a main weapon and offhand one for shields or duel-wielding.
Unfortunately, with this Switch version, the combat was erratic. If felt much faster than on the PS4 – whether that’s an authentic experience or not, I’m not sure, but attacks were quick, but that meant frame dropping as well.
It was so frequent that I had to check whether it was to do with being online or not. My character would freeze going upstairs, or when locked on to an enemy, they would teleport while I was swinging. In that respect, battling out wasn’t much fun.
Getting about in Hellpoint is simple enough, and your spawn gets a generous jump that allows for them to get into tricky places, though this isn’t focused on platforming. Despite that fluidity, the same cannot be said about screen shakes and artefacts appearing on the screen.
An example of this is the stairs, once again. As you descend another flight, a ghost-like image of the stairway appears in the foreground, stuttering with each step. This also happens when standing still. While I was typing this, the screen shakes while stationary was disorientating as if joystick drift of an optical mouse was on its side. And no, I’m not on about the story mechanics of being in space.
Back To The PC (Or PS4)
Based on this experience, it prompted me to go back to the PC game as, to be honest, I wasn’t enjoying it, and the game felt unfinished in many areas. Also, the grass is greener. When playing this on PS4, while there were a few hitches here and there, it didn’t hamper the experience.
For some reason, Hellpoint Switch plays better in handheld mode than docked. Maybe that’s because you can see the flaws in the minimalist textures on a larger screen and the oh-so-apparent frame drops. In handheld, you don’t notice as much.
To be fair, I enjoyed Hellpoint the first time around, enough to say that I played it again on the PC. If you have the luxury of choosing which platform to get it for, I’d recommend either the PC or PS4 over the Switch. Still, read other reviews on it, or check out some gameplay.
On this occasion, I won’t be summarising with a score as I didn’t stick with the game, so it doesn’t feel right. I’m unable to recommend Hellpoint Switch based on this experience, or lack of, but I would suggest giving it a chance on another system. If you skimmed this looking for a quick rating, sorry and all that, but you should have paid attention.
Click here for the Hellpoint PS4 review.