Hollow Knight is one of those rare gems in the gaming world, that seems small and unassuming, but when you open it up it reveals something magnificent. Created by Team Cherry, a group of just three guys, it is one of the most beautiful, well-crafted games ever made, not just of the decade.
This game is tough, so tough in fact that it made me cry out of pure frustration, but it made me want to beat it. I often give up on games because the gameplay is either clunky making the entire experience more difficult and downright annoying to play, but this game is so smoothly made, every movement feels precise and it just feels lovely to play and the frustration comes merely from the fact that I made silly mistakes, mistakes that prevent me from getting further in the gorgeous world of Hallownest.
This is where the game excels. The world is absolutely stunning, the character design is wonderfully creative and the atmosphere that is created in each section of Hallownest is absolutely perfect. The art style is so clean and well designed, the way in which environments are layered, giving depth to what could have been a very flat 2D platformer.
Because of the beauty of the game, it compels you to unlock areas on the map that are currently covered over not only because they will probably be the stunning environments but because it will unlock more information about the world you are exploring.
There is next to no information given about what is actually going on, you are dropped into this desolate world, and as you delve deeper into Hallownest, more information about who you are playing as and how the world got into the state it is in is uncovered. This mystery only drives the player forward to unlock the secrets that lie within the world.
Hollow Knight is a masterclass in storytelling by showing the player as well as explaining through text. At every turn, even when you think you know what is going on there are surprises around every corner. There are so many areas that are designed in a way that you can work out the history of them for yourself just through the visuals, for instance, the City of Tears, you can tell from the grandeur that this used to be a bustling place full of riches and aristocrats, which is confirmed when you talk to NPC’s and progress further through the game.
Hollow Knight is my favourite game of the decade because it was a huge achievement for me to get through it, I used to give up on games, and this game pushed me to finish it, the entire White Palace section of the game damn near broke me. But the sense of achievement that I got was so worthwhile and is why it will always have such a special place in my heart, I always said to myself I couldn’t complete hard games like Dark Souls, but it wasn’t that I couldn’t, I just had to find a game that suited me and Hollow Knight was the one.