Review Code Provided
In Down to Hell you play as a knight hungry for battle and on the prowl for a challenge, kneeling and defeated the knight is ready to give up until a girl comes from the nearby woods and heals his wounds before she herself is carried away by demons leaving the knight to give chase.
Played in a side on view you have to rely on your skills to overcome your enemies; you have a heavy and light attack, a parry, a dash move and some spells at your disposal but almost everything you do is limited by needing to have to recharge. When you swing your sword, if you charge up the attack, it will use some of your stamina and you have to wait for it charge back up again and while you don’t have to use stamina for the magic and dash, you still have to wait for them to recharge. I also found parrying very difficult to get the hang of since the timing for it seems to require that you’re perfectly precise and as a result I just played through the whole game without using it.
The environments are quite cool to look at when you first start the game but as you go on you begin to see that they don’t change all that much. The same can be said for the level layouts, most of the time you’ll just be travelling from left to right, smashing enemies as you go along. Every so often you’ll come across portals which pit you against a small wave of enemies with varying conditions such as kill all the enemies or survive for a certain amount of time and when you manage to complete the objective you will be rewarded with a chest that allows you to pick one upgrade from a choice of three. The upgrades you can choose affect your abilities in combat, such as the amount of damage you deal with different kinds of attacks or they can give you more health or allow you to stock more potions.
Down to Hell has a lot of boss encounters in it and these are undoubtedly the hardest part of the game because they will test the limits of your skills more than any of the other enemies, each one is different and they have a decent arsenal of attacks at their disposal which they’ll use to devastating effect if you’re not careful. When the bosses attack it seems somewhat random so you always have to be on your toes, ready for whatever they might throw out next and some of their moves can deal a lot of damage especially when you have them down to half health. I found that it was easier to go back and forth to beat them, I would wait for them to attack and then I would jump over or dash through them and land a few hits while they were facing away but even when you use a tactic like that you have to watch out because some of the bosses have moves that can hit you even from behind that are more effective than their frontal attacks.
One thing I liked out this game was that if you died while fighting a boss, it didn’t make you go back and reattempt the level so you could keep trying until you were able to best them. One boss in particular, a pesky three headed wolf creature, near the beginning of the game really tested my patience so I’m especially grateful that I was able to just keep trying with no interruptions, although as I played on, it felt as though the bosses got easier and I needed fewer tries to be able to best them.
Defeating the bosses gives you an upgrade chest and there are a couple of moments where it will also give you a new spell or ability. Unfortunately for one of the bosses I was testing out a new ability and it somehow caused the chest to glitch and I didn’t get to make use of the contents, luckily though there are plenty more to find if you explore the levels, some of them you can find just dotted about but most of the time you’ll have to complete a portal challenge to get one.
Down to Hell has a lot of promise but it’s definitely rough around the edges and feels as though it could use some extra work before it’s ready. The controls often feel stiff and unresponsive, though this likely because of the recharge times for abilities and my impatience when it comes to wanting to use them again. Also rather importantly, the game is missing its third chapter so the story isn’t complete but the worst part about the game probably has to be the terrible writing, I feel like the game may have been better without it since parts of it seem a little nonsensical, like your character behaving as though they have utter disdain for everyone and everything but then at the same time feels as though they should go on a quest to rescue someone to prove something to someone whose opinion they claim not to care about.
Possibly the main downside to this game is its incredibly short length, I finished it the same day I started and that was without continuous play, this means that for those of you who are more skilled at these types of games it’ll probably take even less time.
If you like games that will give you a slight challenge and you like that challenge to come with some heavy metal music then this game is for you. You can click on one of the links below to buy Down to Hell;