I haven’t had much experience with 2d hack and slash games, so when I was presented with Down To Hell by Polish developers Red Dev Studio S.A. I figured I’d take a shot. It’s very early in its development stage, so it’s bound to be a bit janky, Let’s find out!
In Down to Hell, you play as a mysterious lone swordsman, whom after being saved by a girl becomes indebted to her. The girl has become kidnapped by demonic forces, and it’s up to you to save her.
The gameplay in Down to Hell is very straight forward. The entire game consists of slaying demons that spawn in waves between sections of 2D platforming. There are a few bosses present in the current build. However, it feels like you have to grind out a lot of enemies for the experience to get strong enough to stand a decent chance.
As it is right now, Down to Hell is relatively bare bones. Controls are simple, and there are only so many tools for you to use for combat; light attack, strong attack, finisher, dodge and magic. A lot of the time, the controls feel unresponsive and stiff, causing me to fall into pits and have to start over from the last checkpoint. Stamina management in Down to Hell is irritating, you can only dodge once before having to wait a few seconds to recharge the entire bar, and this has led to me being killed more than a few times.
Graphically, Down to Hell is fairly simplistic. Filled with grim environments and demonic enemies that look like twisted trees, the chosen art style is fitting for the name chosen. Down to Hell runs well for an early access game, and the animations are smooth. The textures on the player character don’t seem to fit in with everything else and make the character stand out. To me, it looks like the character is a bit out of place.
The music in Down to Hell is fantastic. I’ve been a big fan of heavy metal for a considerable portion of my life. When I read that the devs decided to get licensed music from bands like Koronal and Decapitated I was stoked to try it out. Once I reached the first boss creature, and the brutal metal kicked off I felt the intensity of the fight. It was pretty cool to play a game with a cool metal music soundtrack.
Given how early in development Down to Hell is Its longevity will come mainly from players wanting to see it develop. I don’t know how replayable it’s going to be, as it seems like a linear game. Further along in development if they add a bit more exploration, this could flesh out the longevity of the game, and possibly give it more playability.
To sum up, I didn’t enjoy what I played of Down to Hell, but that’s got a lot to do with it being incomplete. I’ve never been a fan of playing games this early in their developmental stage, but it shows promise. With that in mind, I’ll follow the development of the game, and watch to see if it improves. I’m not going to score it because it’s only in early access. Down to Hell Is available on Steam for $11.49USD and at that price tag, it might be worthwhile for people who are interested in ongoing development to pick up.
Disclaimer: We received a code to complete this preview