Hollow 2 is a superbly designed horror game that came out of nowhere and defied expectations. Players take the role of an unnamed protagonist in this dark, mysterious world filled with gruesome creatures lurking around every corner. A very unique adventure, worth checking out for all players who love a good scare!
Hollow 2 is a game that has been in the works for quite some time. It’s finally here and it looks to be one of the best games on the Switch. Read more in detail here: hollow 2 switch review.
When a developer or publisher decides to create a sequel to a game that was critically panned, I can’t help but admire their decision. One intended purely to demonstrate that, sure, the series had promise to begin with, and that such a sequel is evidence of what occurs when you learn from prior errors. It requires a tremendous effort on your part to persuade your viewers to give a series that has been panned a second shot. Perhaps that was the goal of Forever Entertainment’s Hollow 2, a follow-up to a mediocre-at-best, pretty-bad-at-worst horror game launched in 2018.
Hollow 2 might pass for a mid-tier Xbox One or PS4 game if the resolution wasn’t so poor.
I don’t blame you if you don’t recall or have never heard of Hollow. It just appeared and was swiftly forgotten. It showed promise as a space horror game definitely influenced by games like Dead Space. It even featured fantastic sound design, which is unusual for a low-budget Switch game. Unfortunately, it was the only thing that could be said about that disaster, as it suffered from a slew of faults common to early Switch third-party games, including poor graphics, a slow framerate, and sluggish controls. I never expected a sequel to such a popular game to be approved, but when I saw the name of the studio behind Hollow 2: MegaPixel Studio, I became (somewhat) interested.
You may be wondering who MegaPixel Studio is. Forever Entertainment, on the other hand, has shifted its emphasis away from low-budget indies and has begun to produce games based on long-forgotten Sega titles. The Panzer Dragoon remake was created by MegaPixel Studio. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a good love letter to one of Sega’s most underappreciated games, and it signified Forever’s intention to release beefier projects with much more attention than what they were turning out in 2017 and 2018. Knowing that MegaPixel Studio was in charge of Hollow 2’s development gave me faith that the game would be at least as good as the first. Yes, it is.
Imagine battling these monsters while listening to dubstep music.
Because it scarcely attempts to play and feel like a game, Hollow 2 is a lot better than its predecessor. The original game featured a first-person survival horror in which you moved slowly and battled foes at an even slower speed. When compared to Hollow’s Alien, its sequel takes a more, shall we say, Aliens-like approach. This is an action game first and foremost. A borderline arcade-style first-person shooter that, while still attempting to present players with a frightening environment, has more in common with Doom 3 than with Dead Space itself.
I’m not sure whether there are any fans of the first Hollow, and if there are, if they’ll be disappointed by how un-horror-y this game is. The majority of your time in this linear journey will be spent killing dozens of animals in tiny arena-like chambers or hallways with your large arsenal of Doom-like weapons, then collecting their remains to offer health and ammunition pickups whenever you reach a checkpoint. You’ll sometimes be instructed to complete a little puzzle, nothing too difficult, which is the closest Hollow 2 comes to approximating a traditional horror game.
There’s some light problem solving to keep you reminded that this is still a survival horror game… in some ways.
Despite the fact that I likened Hollow 2 to a Doom game, it is far from as polished or as fast-paced as one of iD Software’s shooters. The framerate, which was a major flaw in the first Hollow, is still a major issue in its sequel. The game does not seem to operate at an ideal framerate, since it does not even achieve 30 frames per second. It’s weirdly… steady at the same time. It reminded me of a Nintendo 64 game in that it played at a subpar framerate for the most of my time with it, but it maintained that framerate for the majority of my time with it, to the point that I could (grudgingly) get accustomed to it in portable mode.
The weapons you have at your disposal are diverse and powerful, but the basic “pistol,” which has endless ammunition and a massively overpowered charged shot, can already handle the majority of the enemies you’ll encounter. That didn’t bother me at all; in fact, I like these battle sequences on occasion, despite how easy they were. In Hollow 2, you have a lot of health and armor, so you’ll never feel threatened. There are plenty of resources, and checkpoints abound, providing health regeneration and the option to purchase additional ammunition. Continue doing so until the game becomes tedious.
This saw weapon is cool, but you already have a pistol with unlimited ammunition. What’s the point?
Hollow 2 isn’t particularly awful in terms of visuals, with some outstanding lighting effects and level design, but it’s handicapped by a visibly low resolution. That’s not even taking into account the framerate. The sound design is… strange. It’s not horrible, since the game has a lot of well-done voice acting, but it’s supposed to mimic someone close to your character, who ends up sounding like a crazy ex-girlfriend who can’t deal with a split. Finally, dubstep is used in the battle sequences. Dubstep, yes, you read it correctly. It’s 2021, and someone is still attempting to resurrect the damned monster. To be clear, the songs aren’t horrible in and of themselves, but this is designed to be frightening at the very least. Dubstep is used in the battle phases. Do you spot the contradiction?
This is a lot more like it.
The original Hollow was so awful that a sequel couldn’t possibly be worse. I’ll admit that Hollow 2 exceeded my expectations, but that’s only because they were low to begin with. Granted, it’s not wholly horrible, and it’ll appeal to fans of space horror and those looking for a portable Dead Space experience. Just keep in mind that this game is still horribly poor, with a stuttering framerate and clumsy gameplay. Not to mention the overuse of dubstep, which is inconsistent with the film’s scary theme. Overall, though, things might have gone a lot worse.
The level design, lighting effects, and creature designs are all really good. The framerate is quite low, yet oddly enough, it is steady. The resolution is obviously poor.
Hollow 2 is more of an action game than a survival horror game, since it is a first-person shooter with some horror aspects. Its fighting isn’t horrible, and shooting at creatures is a lot simpler than in the previous Hollow, but the game’s poor framerate degrades the experience significantly.
Hollow 2 places a lot of focus on dubstep music being played during fight parts against space abominations, even though its voice acting is excellent and its sound effects are great. The songs aren’t bad, but they’re hardly horror music.
Although it is still riddled with flaws and has mostly abandoned any sense of horror in favor of high-octane action sequences that aren’t always satisfying, Hollow 2 is still a vast improvement over its dreadful predecessor.
Final Score: 6.5
Hollow 2 is now available on the Nintendo Switch.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
The publisher donated a copy of Hollow 2.
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Hollow 2 is a game that has been released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game received mixed reviews from critics. It’s worth noting that Hollow 2 is a sequel to Hollow: A Space Oddity which was released in 2013. Reference: dex switch review.
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