My wife peaked over my shoulder to see that the cow and chicken seemed familiar to her. When I told her that was the old Harvest Moon chicken and cow, she also pointed out something else. She saw Rune Factory in the gameplay and asked about if it had a romance option. I told her and she looked at me like it was my fault.
Silent Hope is an Action Hack and Slash RPG that was developed by Marvelous and published by XSEED Games. It felt like they were keeping this game under wraps since there was never any mention of the game. The game’s initial release was Oct. 3rd and available on the Nintendo Switch and Steam. There aren’t many details that I can find about the production of Silent Hope or any issues when it started.
For all of the silence in this game, I’m amazed there isn’t a hill somewhere.
Silent Hope starts with a tale about how this whole turn of events took place in the world. Followed by another cutscene about the princess explaining the plot of the game and the goals you’re tasked with. Seven heroes appear on the screen to select from; Wanderer, Warrior, Rouge, Archer, Farmer, Fighter and Caster. Each with unique play styles and skills that create some fun ideas to pull off. Though I would have a favorite out of the bunch, I really enjoyed playing them all through each level.
The heroes are only tasked to go into the abyss to find the missing king, but to prepare for anything. Each hero, minus the Wanderer, have stalls that can help you improve everyone’s gear for traversing the abyss. When you collect materials in the abyss like logs and stones, you can visit the Rouge’s Workshop and Caster’s Atelier. There’ll be other materials you’ll collect that combine the wood and stones you collected called Mementos. Mementos are weapon and item blueprints needed when making anything when you visit the Warrior’s Forge.
There’s also fodder for the Archer’s Farm and seeds for the Farmer’s Fields. With the items gathered, the Fighter’s Kitchen will make delicious food to use going into the abyss. The amazing thing I like about the Wanderer is that he’s willing to fill in for them. Though they only just met, they were able to make a little community that works so well. There is a nice mechanic that allows you to switch with each hero at the hub or in the abyss.
The last thing I’ll make note of are the things you’ll find in the abyss throughout your journey. Blackstone statues appear on some floors, activating them will give you trials to complete for extra exp. You will find Crystal Tears that are used to either go back to base or swap the hero to another. The last would be the Memory Rifts that you should be aware of. If you feel like the abyss seems too easy, enter the rifts for a bigger challenge.
Each hero has a buff they carry into the abyss, which carries over to others from swapping from the tears. You’ll benefit from doing a continuous run and swapping each hero to level them up during your travels. During my playthrough, I enjoyed the skill system and the distribution for those skill points. Plus, having the ability to choose what button activates what skill is a wonderful addition.
Graphics & Audio
Playing on PC, the appearance of the hub, the abyss and even the characters have an adorable charm to them. With a style that fell between Harvest Moon and Rune Factory that appeals to both fandoms. Especially with the iconic cow and chicken from the Harvest Moon series that haven’t changed since their first appearance. Having a soft and round design gives the fantasy motif a lighter feeling, even with the abyss being so close. Even the bosses they fight seem more adorable because of their shape and color palette.
The OST when being in the abyss is quite mesmerizing and easily blurred into the mind to not be repetitive. Even the sounds of the weapons being used have a weight behind them when hitting or missing. With only the princess speaking, it feels as if she is a goddess rather than being human. Yet, her calming voice was actually soothing and gives a sense of comfort when you’re at the hub.
So far, I’ve played 40 hours of the game and have only gotten to the second zone. The reason for this was to equally level up each character to unlock each of their classes. Once a hero reaches level 15, they’ll unlock this new class and you can access their collection of skills. There is a third class that is kept locked until you beat the game. But, I don’t know if I have to beat it with each hero or just one of them.
Silent Hope has become a game that I would highly recommend to people wanting to experience Hack and Slash. The simplicity of the skill tree makes it friendly for beginners. Even veteran players of the genre can just enjoy the game and not stress over the perfect build for the heroes. Getting to relax while exploring the abyss felt great and allowed me to focus on the plot. The need to discover all the secrets the abyss has is the big motivator in my case when playing this game.
I award Silent Hope the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.