New Game Review

Review – Hollow (Switch)

Yep, it is pretty hollow...

The neverending quest to find a decent horror game on the Switch continues. A mere couple of days after Layers of Fear‘s disappointing release, Hollow made its console debut in the last system you’d expect a gory horror game featuring a ton of exposed breasts to be released to. Hollow had a lot of potential. It looked like Dead Space, it had a nice intro cinematic, it managed to showcase a very good overall sound design, but at the end of the day, it proved to be yet another disappointing mediocre horror game for the Switch. This might actually be the most disappointing release of them all, so far.

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No, you’re the one who’s ungodly slow

Hollow‘s initial moments were actually very promising. After being exposed to the aforementioned intro cinematic, I was thrown into this gritty, abandoned space station, full of debris and broken computers. The lighting was decent (not being the absolute darkness seen in Don’t Knock Twice or Layers of Fear), the framerate was behaving itself, the voice acting was decent enough and the level layout was intriguing. The first main puzzle wasn’t hard but it was creative enough, and it turned out to give more gameplay than most horror games provide during their entire runtime. Then the first enemies showed up.

Ignoring my first failed attempt at fighting the game’s zombies (which are basically mutated naked women, classy act) as I was unarmed and had no way to properly defend myself, fighting those monsters with whichever weaponry you can find is frustrating. First of all, remember when I told you the game’s framerate was behaving itself at first? That’s because I was the only moving creature onscreen at the time. Throw in any other being, dead or alive, into your line of sight and the framerate goes haywire. Add in the fact that aiming at enemies is annoying, your weapons are weak, enemies are too fast, and you’re extremely short on ammo, and you get an incredibly frustrating experience as a result. Sadly, given the fact your character moves as slowly as a tortoise with a broken ankle, running away from those creatures isn’t as easy as in other horror games. You have to fight them, sadly, and it’s painful. If you die, you go back to your last save point. Bear in mind that you can only save the game in certain terminals that don’t show up very frequently throughout the game, which are extremely easy to miss due to the fact they look like any of the ten quadrillion other computers scattered throughout the corridors of this derelict space station.

By the way, horror games are supposed to be, well, scary. While Hollow‘s soundtrack does its job in trying to make you feel tense at the right moments, the game itself isn’t scary. “Annoying” would be a more fitting word.

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Kinky

While Hollow wasn’t the first bad horror game I played on the Switch, nor the absolute worst, I can easily say this was by far the most disappointing of them all. There was a ton of potential that was basically wasted due to terrible design choices and wonky programming. This could have been the next Dead Space; it ended up being yet another failed attempt at bringing a potentially decent horror title to the Switch’s library. One can only wonder if a good horror game will ever show up for that console.

Graphics: 6.0

The visuals are excellent at first glance, with great detail, lighting, and a decent framerate. Once the proper action starts, the framerate drops tremendously, and the game becomes infested with motion blur.

Gameplay: 4.5

Not good. Combat is wonky, properly aiming at a zombie is easier said than done, and your character’s lethargic movements are insanity-inducing.

Sound: 8.5

Can’t complain too much about the sound department. The game knows when to be eerie, and knows when to throw an intense tune to keep you nervous during fights.

Fun Factor: 4.0

A frustrating experience. Due to the gameplay issues, technical flaws and unfair difficulty level, Hollow goes from an interesting horror mystery to subpar shooter pretty quickly.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Also available on: PC

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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