Review – Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Up until now, if you were a die-hard Hellboy fan and you wanted to play a game based on Mike Mignola’s comic books, you had two options: an utterly atrocious disgrace released for the PS1 in 2003 (one with an 11% aggregate score on Gamerankings) or Hellboy: The Science of Evil, an underwhelming piece of shovelware based on the Del Toro movie, which at least had Ron Perlman reprising his role. Hellboy: Web of Wyrd, as a result, is the best Hellboy game of all time, almost by default. I had a good time with it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a flawed game.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd cel-shaded graphics

An achievement in cel-shading.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is, in essence, a beat ’em up/roguelike hybrid. Set in a third person, over-the-shoulder perspective (not unlike Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, in fact), your objective is to explore randomly-generated levels in an alternate dimension known as “the Wyrd”. There you’ll defeat enemies, acquire power-ups, and then reach the boss at the end of each section of said dimension. For the most part, your combat skills are limited to your melee capabilities, as well as your insane durability, but you can also wield (and upgrade) guns and throw destroyed pieces of the environment at enemies in order to stun them.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd combat

The combat is not complex or deep, but it feels great regardless.

It is, by and large, a surprisingly easy game. It doesn’t control incredibly well, as Hellboy himself moves as slowly as a truck stuck in the mud, but he is also incredibly tough to beat. You start off with a lot of health, and most enemies are either too frail, too slow, or too predictable. I actually waltzed through a good chunk of the game with surprising amount of ease, barely worrying about my health or the upgrades to be acquired during a run; I’d always have either enough health, or be close enough to a health replenishing, or take enough hits to fill up a rage meter. Said rage meter would then allow me to either kill all enemies in my vicinity, or remove half of a boss’s entire health bar, rendering risky situations trivial.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd gun

Believe it or not, an in-game still. Could have fooled me for a comic book panel.

I haven’t found any game breaking glitches during my runs, even though other reviewers have pointed that out. On PlayStation 5, the game ran well enough, with short loading times. Most of the issues I’ve faced were probably design-wise, namely the poor camera controls and character movement. In fact, the only thing I could point out as a glitch per se was the absence of sound effects coming from enemies.

Yes, sadly, Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is a bit shallow, but that doesn’t make it entirely bad. If there is one thing that basically carries the game on its back at a ludicrous degree, that thing is its presentation. Visually-speaking, this is one of the most impressive usages of cel-shading ever seen in a video game, with the same color palette used in the comics, as well as the harsh usage of contrasts. The only very slight issue I found with the visuals was the repetitiveness of the environments, a consequence of it being a roguelite. It is a cliché to say this, but Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is indeed a playable comic book, complete with character animations being rendered with few frames. The game itself runs at 60fps, though, don’t worry.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd bosses

Boss battles were not exactly hard.

Another important aspect about the game is the fact Hellboy himself is actually voiced by the late Lance Reddick, in what’s, sadly, his last ever role in a video game, after gracing us with roles in games like Destiny and Horizon Zero Dawn. Does he do a good job as Hellboy? Well, yes, though there aren’t that many occasions in which he’s given more than a handful of lines at a time, such is the nature of a roguelite.

The fact this is the last game to ever feature Lance Reddick is a bummer, but I’d say his last gaming role is still a good one. Furthermore, with the exception of the aforementioned sound effect issues, the rest of the sound department is pretty good. The soundtrack alternates between somber ambient music during exploratory sections and some sick metal riffs whenever you’re fighting against enemies.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd Lance Reddick

The late Lance Reddick does a decent enough job voicing Hellboy.

It might be a clear example of a game that’s more style than substance, but despite its many issues, I still had fun with Hellboy: Web of Wyrd, mostly out of intentional design decisions, but also the fact it was so damn easy at times, it almost felt like a power fantasy. By no means would I decide to recommend it over other combat-oriented roguelites like Hades or Dandy Ace, but if you’re into a borderline entry-level take on the genre with not many stakes, or if you’re a fan of Mike Mignola’s magnum opus, this one is a no-brainer. 


Graphics: 9.5

Environments can be a bit repetitive, but Hellboy: Web of Wyrd features some of the best cel-shading I have ever seen in a video game.

Gameplay: 6.5

The feeling of delivering a super heavy punch at an enemy is absolutely delightful, but the game is filled with a barrage of small gameplay issues that bring it down several notches.

Sound: 8.0

It features one of Lance Reddick’s last roles. He does a good job, even though there isn’t a lot of him in the game as a whole. The soundtrack is pretty good, but the sound effects are largely mediocre.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Visually-speaking, it’s a magnificent achievement. As a roguelite, it’s fun and all, but also very easy, and very repetitive.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd was provided by the publisher.