Back in the 90’s I fondly remember getting back from school/work and playing DOOM, Duke Nukem 3D, and in time; Quake on my 486 PC. The success of DOOM and DOOM II ushered in a new era of gaming as players could connect via modem and play against one another in the pre-internet days.
Players used local dial in boards to host matches and find other players and their success spawned numerous shooters many of which paled in comparison to the games that inspired them. As for every Dark Forces there were half a dozen games in the genre that did not measure up.
There has been a growing trend of casual and Indie games of late and I generally do not find them appealing to my tastes as while I do like nostalgia, I have no interest in pixelated shooters and side scrolling games as to me that was the era of 30 years ago and I expect more from modern games.
There are exceptions of course as I really enjoyed Ion Fury as despite the look from the era, the fun and action remained which made it a great dose of nostalgic action for me.
Hellbound looks to bridge old and new with a retro shooter that has a slightly more modern look yet is still dated when compared to most modern releases.
The game embraces the simple theme of a lone warrior facing overwhelming odds and countless enemies who grow in difficulty as the game progresses.
Armed with his fists, clubs, and an arsenal of guns; the player must battle through hellish landscapes of cliffs and lava as well as buildings, caves, and more.
While this may sound familiar, Hellbound takes it to a new level by having very difficult gameplay. I am able to make my way through shooters and games to completion but Hellbound makes players be more careful about taking damage. While there are ways to regain health by defeating enemies; Hellbound does not let players act as a bullet sponge as a single hit can be devastating.
This causes players to learn from mistakes and bring that into their next game. Knowing what is behind a door, where the enemies are, and where the places to seek cover or a tactical advantage is key. Remember what Yoda said; “Patience; you must learn patience”. Hellbound also does not offer a multiplayer mode and it would have been nice to be able to have a Co-Op experience but it was not to be.
The graphics and sound of the game are solid in their retro style and the run and gun gameplay should appeal to fans of the genre.
While many will at first dismiss the game as a DOOM clone, Hellbound lovingly takes its ques from a myriad of games and creates a nostalgic, challenging, and fun experience.
4 stars out of 5