With One Shell Straight To Hell, I thought that I missed the memo, didn’t get around to binging on the Netflix series or saw the videos on TikTok. Padre Alexander feels like an established character that appeared from nowhere.
In this sequel of sorts, in the form of a twin-stick shooter, you play Padre Alexander as he battles wave after wave of the undead, demons, and possessed household objects, ridding them once and from all from the Halliwell residence.
One Shell Straight To Hell Review
Not to be confused with Geri ‘Ginger Spice’ Halliwell’s relatives, the family are the protectors of a gate to hell, only over the years, their duty has been on the back burner, and in their complacency, the gates have reopened, and they need help.
Enter Padre, a demon slayer with allegiances to God. Still, a relationship on par with something like an old married couple as the former is pretty dismissive to him, even surly. He’s not your typical Father, and that’s a good thing as you’ll be blasting the hell out of stuff in One Shell Straight To Hell.
As a top-down shooter, you enter the residence to help the lady of the house, diving into a new layer of the house each time. These floors are procedurally generated where each room opens up a new wave of enemies to defeat but spoils too.
After the first floor, you’ll return to the home, later opening up onto the residential grounds and more, but will have a time limit to sweep the area. In this time you have to collect as many drops as possible, but reach the endpoint before the time is up.
Wave Goodbye, Heathens
What happens when your time runs out? The front of the house will be invaded by wave after wave of enemies. This part of One Shell Straight To Shell is a different genre in itself and serves as a tower defence model as you have to protect Emily, the family’s young daughter.
Enemies will enter from several points, initially bashing down the doors and attacking all structures until they reach Emily. If they do, it’s game over. To combat this, you dash around as Padre, as per the ‘dungeons’, wiping out the threat but also with the support of structures.
Each room in One Shell Straight To Hell can have a structure or two assigned such as archer towers, bear traps, healing points and more. The more coin you accumulate, the more you can build and place around the house. You’ll also unlock family members who will either follow you or guard a room.
At the end of each wave, you can repair the doors, place new defences and heal up. Then, head back to the dungeon elements to unlock new weapons, collect coins for upgrades and repairs, and also level up Padre.
Up The Arsenal
Levelling up Padre is relatively straightforward, and there’s a multitude of tiers to pick from ranging from health boosts to ammo. Once you level up each section, you spend double the skill points to earn a significant buff.
Two of his skills include prayer, to heal, and another blessing of sorts that dispels enemies within an area, and you can upgrade both. But the real focal point is his arsenal, and he has a lot to choose from.
Starting with a pistol, you can soon upgrade to a shotgun, powerful but limited range, of course, a Winchester, flamethrower, plasma… and so on. Depending on what weapon you choose, you may find the ammo depletes far too quickly.
The actual weapons in One Shell Straight To Hell don’t upgrade, just the ammo capacity, and I found that the pistol was pretty sufficient throughout, though the game changer was the tesla gun. In some ways, it also broke the game a little in making you a bit too overpowered.
Hell On Earth Doesn’t Look So Bad
Now, my first criticism with One Shell Straight To Hell is the difficulty: it’s a bit easy. I’m far from an uber player, but I died once in a four or five-hour first playthrough. Perhaps it was the gun I unlocked that made it easier, or that I invested in health buffs first of all, but there were times where it was approaching monotonous.
I’m all for repetitive gameplay when it suits, and for a top-down shooter, One Shell Straight To Hell doesn’t surprise when it does get formulaic. However, it’s enjoyable and satisfying – even if it does get a bit samey with repeat visits to set up your defence, then rinse and repeat.
One Shell Straight To Hell has an interesting visual approach too. As a slave to a good cutscene, the opener set the tone and aligned me with Padre from the outset. The in-game graphics weren’t what I was expecting as they have this simplified pixel-like aesthetic, like Minecraft, only further defined.
Perhaps that’s a poor example as the visuals are nice, but despite the variety of enemies, it’s easy to ignore the details once you’re battling it out for survival. In my experience, the dungeon crawling was more of a challenge than the defensive missions. Possibly because of the time factor and sheer volume of enemies.
On the day of launch, One Shell Straight To Hell comes with the DLC content One Shell Straight To X Layers Of Fear. The above is a review of the base game as I went into the DLC late to finish the main story first.
Alas, this DLC was a little uneventful with plenty of corridors and rooms to pass through without much action. Though I own Layers of Fear, I’ve still not played it, so can’t confirm how accurate it is in terms of mood, but it countered the fast-paced action for the rest of the game. Besides, I don’t think Padre would have had the patience for puzzles.
However, the overall impression of One Shell Straight To Hell was a good one. My biggest complaint would have been the level of difficulty. Finishing the base game, I died twice, and the second time was a fluke due to having a resurrection altar that brought me back from the dead.
One Shell Straight To Hell Review Summary
If you’re a fan of top-down shooters without a bit more depth in terms of levelling up your character, then One Shell Straight To Hell is one worth playing. On the downside, it can be finished in a day or a couple of sessions, and aside from a few elusive achievements, there might be a gap until you next play it. Neverthelss, add it to your list!