Down to Hell
A nameless knight filled with hatred is fighting a horde of monsters in the terrifying forest of death. As the monsters are attacking him from every angle, the nameless one knows that his last stand is coming to an end. Suddenly, a bright light appears out of nowhere and scares the monsters away. He stands up with the help of his sword, looks straight into the light and sees a girl in the middle. Within seconds after realising that the girl was his saviour, the forest floor started shaking and trees were ripped out of the ground one by one, until a hellish creature grabs the girl and disappears deep into the forest. The nameless one had to rescue his saviour; it’s time to go down to hell!
Down to Hell is a hack and slash/ side-scrolling platformer game developed by Red Dev Studio S.A. and published by Ultimate Games S.A. on the Steam platform, on the 30th of August 2019 as an Early Access.
This version has two chapters, consisting of 18 levels and 8 bosses fights. As you launch the game, you’ll go through an excellent, short tutorial. After learning the different attacks, swapping and activating potions and magic spells, you’ll be on your way down to hell.
The first thing I really like in this game is the background artwork, which amplifies the dark and hellish atmosphere that the game creates exceptionally well.
In the first chapter, the levels will be very similar in terms of the layout, and you only have to go up or down. However, you might find it challenging to reach the path upward without any platforms. There are the times when you must synchronise your jump-and-dash combination to reach the top path. You can jump to your heart’s content, but you’ll need energy to activate the dash movement. The energy bar is green and is on the bottom left of your green under the blue bar for your mana and the red bar for your health.
As you move through the stage, enemies will appear from the right and left sides of your screen and start attacking straight away; make sure to know your attack and parry well, as they usually come in waves. But don’t worry, you still have 3 health potions and mana at your disposal in case you need a boost of health or mana. The other way to regenerate health is to perform a Blood Rush attack, which is when the enemy you face has a small bar of health left, and the letter f (if you are using the keyboard and mouse) or rt (if you are using a gamepad) appears above your enemy’s health bar. Kill the enemy this way, and some of his health will be transferred back to you.
There are a few other things you’ll come across during each stage. The first one is an older man who is part of the story. The second is a sort of oval-shaped blood-red rip on the screen, of which there are two; one usually in the middle and the other at the end of the level. The difference between the two is that one is larger and has lightning streaks in it, and indicates that you have reached the end of the level. The other one can either be activated or not. If you decided to trigger it, two blood walls will appear not far from both sides of the rip; enemies will materialise within this confined space and you must either survive for a specific number of seconds or kill the exact number of enemies in order to win the fight. If you do so, you’ll be rewarded with a red chest, within which you’ll have to select one of the three upgrades available for your character. There are a few other chests around some of the levels, so make sure to explore as much as you can before jumping into a fight with a big boss.
You’ll also come across fairly large crosses with plenty of skulls at the bottom and candles spread all around the structure. These interesting structures are, believe it or not, chapels. Every time you visit a chapel you can restock potions, see what upgrades you’ve acquired and also have a comprehensive gamepedia.
WOW - the bosses are beautifully done and are scary as hell! It will take you a few goes to learn their attack patterns, and as soon as you understand them, you’ll beat them one by one to a heavy metal track (fabulous if you like heavy metal music, and it suits the game very well).
I really like the artwork, and the soundtrack is not bad either. Unfortunately, there are a few hiccups in this game. Sure, it has been released on early access, but they are issues to be rectified as soon as possible. The first one that I encountered was that my gamepad stopped working in the middle of a level, and to be honest, this type of game is best played with a gamepad. I experienced a few crashes, especially when I was using the parry technique on enemies (when their eye turned red). And on one or two occasions, a main boss became stuck, so that was an easy win! It would have been good to have more difficulty levels as an option. I finished the first two chapters in around 3 hours. But this game has great potential and is fun to play. I guess I will have to wait and see as the updates come through.
Positives+ Great Artworks
+ Heavy metal soundtrack which suits the game perfectly
+ Fun story (so far)
+ Spectacular bosses
Negatives- Few crashes
- Gamepad stop responding in the middle of the level
- No trading cards as yet
The atmosphere is really well portrayed, the bosses are spectacular, and the fighting is entertaining! Check out Down to Hell; it might be right up your alley!
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Zeepond Rating: 6/10
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