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Hollow Knight Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 392 Ratings

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  • Summary: Hollow Knight is a 2D action-adventure game with an emphasis on traditional 2D animation and skillful gameplay. Journey to Hallownest, a vast and ancient underground kingdom inhabited by a bizarre collection of insects and monsters. Players will forge their own path as they explore ruinedHollow Knight is a 2D action-adventure game with an emphasis on traditional 2D animation and skillful gameplay. Journey to Hallownest, a vast and ancient underground kingdom inhabited by a bizarre collection of insects and monsters. Players will forge their own path as they explore ruined cities, forests of fungus, temples of bone and other fantastic lands, all on their way to uncovering an ancient mystery. Expand

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Hollow Knight - Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 27
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 27
  3. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. NF Magazine
    Sep 5, 2018
    100
    There's never a low point. Only the desire for more. [Issue #35 – September/October 2018, p. 17]
  2. 100
    Hollow Knight’s cryptic lore doled out in pieces leads me to believe I saved Hollownest in my ending, but an after-credits screen shows a 73% completion in 27 hours of play. I may have finished, but I’m far from done. I still have tons of upgrades, optional bosses, a true ending and a mantis to overcome. And I’m itching to jump back in.
  3. Jun 27, 2018
    95
    Hollow Knight won't leave you hollow; quite the opposite. This incredible 'metroidvania', most likely the best example the genre has met in over 20 years, will leave you full with a feeling only a few games have achieved: the feeling of having played a masterpiece.
  4. Jun 19, 2018
    90
    Hollow Knight is a big, beautiful, forbidding Metroidvania that's absolutely thick with detail. From its punchy combat system to its charming art and sound design, this is one of the finest adventures you can have on Nintendo Switch.
  5. Jul 16, 2018
    90
    Hollow Knight is absolutely a masterpiece. The art style is fantastic, the level designs are outstanding, and battles are challenging and fun. If you enjoy Metroidvania games, don't hesitate trying it.
  6. Jun 29, 2018
    90
    Hollow Knight confirms on Switch all the good it displayed in its PC version: we're talking about one of the best (if not the best) metroidvania of recent years, graced by gorgeous art direction and a fantastic level of challenge. A must buy if you're not afraid of difficult titles.
  7. Jun 27, 2018
    80
    Dark and beautiful, you’ll come for Hollow Knight’s visual appeal, but you’ll stay for the challenge and responsive combat.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 107
  2. Negative: 14 out of 107
  1. Jun 13, 2018
    10
    I’m about 10 hrs in and feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of this game. My gaming life started with watching my dad play MetroidI’m about 10 hrs in and feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of this game. My gaming life started with watching my dad play Metroid on the NES while my mom drew the maps by hand, and the then eventually playing Super Metroid SNES. This game expands on every metroidvania experience there has ever been. Great game, worth the wait. Expand
  2. Jul 9, 2018
    10
    My favorite single player game growing up was Super Metroid and fell in love with the genre. it didn't take long after starting Hollow KnightMy favorite single player game growing up was Super Metroid and fell in love with the genre. it didn't take long after starting Hollow Knight for me to realize that it was just strictly better than Super Metroid. The game improves on many aspects of SM, whether they needed to be or not. it feels good to control your character, it is satisfying to complete challenges, and it even feels great to just sit and take in the atmosphere. Can't wait for the next DLC! Expand
  3. Sep 21, 2018
    10
    This game is beyond amazing. It is brutally hard, but it is so worth it. The game is very hard, the story is very interesting, the art styleThis game is beyond amazing. It is brutally hard, but it is so worth it. The game is very hard, the story is very interesting, the art style is out of this world and the music is classic. This is one of the best games I've ever played bar none! With a focus on exploration that really rewards you for going off the beaten path. Tons of items, upgrades and abilities that keep combat fresh and the pacing is perfect. It starts out mildly challenging with some challenge, but the more you unlock your abilities. The number of enemies goes up, but the challenge goes up as well. This is what I am talking about with big budget games like GOW and Spider Man. Sure, they got big budgets and graphics, but they don't have as much game play as games like Hollow Knights and Dead Cell. You get more game play value and replay ability from those two games than most of these so called AAA games.

    The miraculous thing is, this wonderful game was made by 3 people. 3! This game is one for the ages and it is one that you should not miss. I don't care what system you have, GET THIS GAME! It is an instant classic with incredible boss fights, a wonderful art style that is so wonderful, every scene is like a work of art from Picasso. The music hits all the right notes and will send shivers up your spine and the game play is complex, but it is easy enough to grasp. Do not miss this one of a kind experience, it is only 15 dollars and comes with free DLC! How incredible is that? Go get this game now.
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  4. Jun 30, 2018
    10
    I'm at one of the final bosses and about at about 88% completion. This game is fantastic. If you like platformers and Metroidvania-styleI'm at one of the final bosses and about at about 88% completion. This game is fantastic. If you like platformers and Metroidvania-style games, this is one of the very best to be released in recent memory. I waited to pick it up for the Switch, as I like many other folks are drawn to sinking in the time on the switch version because of the portability. If you haven't played metroidvania-types before, the games are founded on a progression system that slowly but dramatically improves your mobility and combat skills while allowing access to areas - most of which are interconnected - as you obtain new skills.

    The combat and platforming is incredibly tight. The variety in skills and customization afforded by the crest system is deep and satisfying to experiment with. Boss battles are varied and intense; difficult but fair. Enemy and area variety are exemplary.

    What makes this metroidvania so special, besides the excellent execution of the fundamentals, is the art style, world development, and Darksouls inspired story-telling and emphasis on pattern-learning to progress past certain enemies and bosses.

    The game has some difficult bosses and platforming sequences especially with optional bosses and collectible items like the Grubs that are scattered across the enormous map. But nothing feels cheap and the game never gates progression behind particularly difficult content.

    Also cheers to Team Cherry for their persistent support of the game with meaningful patches and free DLC. True mark of an earnest and well-intentioned developer.

    The game, unlike other ports, seems to run just as well on Switch as on PC. I guess the resolution could be higher (I'm playing on a 1440p monitor) but I believe it is constant 1080p and 60fps as I haven't noticed any slowdown. Loading times are also negligible.

    There isn't a ton to criticize here. I wish the player-map-icon functionality wasn't necessarily tied to the charm system. I have over 30 hours in the game and probably another 5 or so to go before 100%. I did find myself wandering around and backtracking a good deal. You get map icons later in the game that help in locating items and essence sources but without a map from the web and/or a solid plan on what you want to do, it's easy to get a little lost and 'waste' time not getting anything done. It can be frustrating but it's a small price to pay for a cunning and expansive map rife with secret passages, whole areas, short-cuts, hidden items, and bosses.

    The combat again is impressive. It starts out so simple but by the end of the game you have an impressive tool-belt and loads of customization options. Adding to the satisfying combat is the sound effects and music. I remember when I first started the game being impressed with the muffling of sound that occurs when the knight takes a hit; kinda like have your bell rung. It added a weight to the combat that persisted and grew throughout the game. The music is similarly well-composed and the voice effects of the NPCs are downright infectious ('ba-pa-nada').

    I can't believe how cheap this game is too. $60 would not be absurd for how much quality time one can spend with this game. They are charging $15.

    If this game even piques your curiosity, buy it. One of my favorite Switch titles and second only to BotW in terms of hours logged. Team Cherry puts Australia on the map for game development and I'm looking forward to what those folks have in store for us in the coming years.
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  5. Aug 29, 2018
    9
    Hollow Knight is a phenomenal title showing just how much you can do in a tried and true formula.

    Set in an underground mecha of a now
    Hollow Knight is a phenomenal title showing just how much you can do in a tried and true formula.

    Set in an underground mecha of a now derelict society of bugs, Hollow Knight has you controlling a creature known only as 'the knight' as you explore an increasingly labyrinthine map and unlock powerups. Visually, this game is drop-dead gorgeous. The lovingly painted backdrops all feel distinct and make each area come alive in its own way. The characters and enemies are all wonderfully animated and the style is unique and memorable. The fact that so many indie games are turning to hand drawn animation now to stand out does not at all diminish the value of a game when its done well, it just looks fantastic.

    The story is left intentionally vague only ever delving into specifics as they apply to gameplay. The player is left to suss out what they can from a handful of dialogue encounters and enemy descriptions. This, along with the death mechanic and overall aesthetic has Hollow Knight bearing a striking resemblance to Dark Souls, and that's great. If the game is still completely original, there's nothing wrong with building off the strengths of a proven formula.

    As for the gameplay, its largely a metroidvania exploration title where you navigate distinct locales, eventually find maps to show you where you've been, hunt down collectables and powerups, and take on challenges as they come to you. More of the map begins to open up once you start acquiring abilities and most of the best abilities are locked behind boss encounters. For the most part, I absolutely love this game. Combat and movement are quick and satisfying, the difficulty is punishing but still rewarding most of the time, and familiarity with the mechanics breeds expertise. I always felt like I was getting better and better the more time I put into it, and Hollow Knight rewards players handily for their dedication.

    The only reason I'm knocking a point off is because the game has a bunch of little moments where my interest dropped off exponentially. I understand the need for a game about exploration to take its time in the beginning, but after the first couple hours of playing all I was finding were dead ends, and the fact that I couldn't see where I was in an area because I hadn't found the map yet compounded on that sense of aimlessness. Leaving progression entirely up to the player is a wonderful thing, but if there aren't enough signs that I'm making any progress, it starts to feel more like a chore than an opportunity. The same can be said for certain boss fights. The enemy AI is all technically fair and follows a readable pattern, but there were some bosses that just took too much trial and error for me to figure out. Once I did, they were much easier and satisfying to defeat, but I think the balance of difficulty and approachability is skewed harder one way than I'd like.

    That being said, the only thing I think I would want changed is the map system. You don't have a map of an area until you find the map guy, and he's often hidden away like any other collectable. After you get a map, unless you equip a certain charm (of which you can equip so many) you don't actually see yourself on that map. Then once you've found a save bench your map updates to include all the areas you've visited. This does a great job of putting you in the shoes of an adventurer climbing their way down into an unexplored abyss tracking their progress themselves, but I don't think it's entirely necessary. Just having the Map guy in more obvious locations or not tying your own placement on the map to a charm would do so much to make this less of an obstacle and more of a feature.

    But again, I only bring these little points up because the game is otherwise so immaculately put together. I can't think of another game right now that managed to pull off this tone and gameplay in such an effective way. It also doesn't hurt that, like Shovel Knight, Hollow Knight has been getting regular substantial updates from its developer Team Cherry that are completely free to download (at least on the Switch version, I can't say anything about the PC release). I actually originally purchased the game on Steam but my computer couldn't run it for whatever reason. I was discouraged, but when it was announced for Switch I got it immediately. There was always something captivating about its style and premise, and I'm glad I gave it a second chance. Hollow Knight is anything but a hollow experience.
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  6. Jun 18, 2018
    9
    Only a madman would look at a group of deadly praying mantis enemies as an opportunity, but after becoming a seasoned hollow knight that'sOnly a madman would look at a group of deadly praying mantis enemies as an opportunity, but after becoming a seasoned hollow knight that's exactly what you'll see.

    I’m The Flannel Fox Tim Swiernik and I reviewed Hollow Knight on the Nintendo Switch

    Beginning in Dirtmouth a small village above the Hallownest’s Ruins with nothing but your trusty nail by your side your adventure begins. With a blind leap into the ruins of an abandoned world.

    In the beginning of the game you can only jump, melee attack with your nail, and regain health with your soul. As you defeat enemies you gain soul, when you hold down the A button Hollow Knight can charge back health.

    This simple health recharge mechanic is so potent that it forces you to take risks in order to continue. Where in a normal game if you are low on health, you would turn around and go looking for some or return to your closest regen point. However, in Hollow Knight you are drawn to battle, with one hit left in your health if you pull off the perfect attacks you can be back to full health in no time at all. There are so many moments, where you will assess the situation, pause for a moment, then run into battle knowing that one hit could be your last.

    Hollow Knight is a 2d metroidvania and one of the so called souls-like games, referring to the awesomely brutal gameplay in From Software’s Darksouls, Demonsouls, and Bloodborn. This shows itself in the many different systems in Hollow Night. For example while on your journey you are collecting geo, the games’ currency, if you die your geo is gone until you find your Shade, after defeat it to regain all that you have earned.

    Another reason this is a souls-like, is the brutally different encounters with npcs among the world. When exploring this beautifully grim environment, I try to be careful when moving into a new area as death is lurking around every single corner. When faced with a difficult foe you must learn their attack patterns, which can often take multiple lives doing so, in order to come out on top. Forcing you to get good and to get good fast, it’s so rewarding defeating a boss that kills you so many times, but even more rewarding to encounter that enemy again later in game, and conquering them with ease. Not because you’ve leveled up or gotten a new weapon, which you do not do in this game, but because you have gotten better as a player.

    Being a 2d metroidvania, as you play through the game you unlock new abilities that grant you access do different parts of the map. This being my first playthrough of the game, I truly knew nothing about it and did not know which mechanics were going to be introduced. That being said it took me about five hours to stumble upon the wall slide/wall jump, which was thrilling. One of my favorite 2d mechanics after playing super meat boy, this turned a game with incredibly challenging combat, into a cleverly difficult 2d platformer. Dashing and wall jumping through thorn covered areas, gave me a huge grin on my face almost immediately, and waiting this long into the game to introduce it made the reveal all worth the wait. Travelling back to an area in the beginning of a game that you remember specifically when you saw it the first time, then having that lightbulb moment when you get the perfect ability to now go there, is one of the best feelings in gaming and it will never gets old.

    Each area of the map is broken up into little sections or worlds, but in order to view them on your map you must purchase that area’s map from Cornifier the Cartographer. Not knowing where to find him multiple times in new ares was getting quite frustrating until you begin to hear some faint humming, then you see his papers on the ground, letting you know that he’s close and you find him to purchase that areas map.

    Along with having to purchase a map, you have to purchase the ability to locate yourself on the map, as well as fast travel points, resting benches, and basically everything that is on a normal map. Not being a big fan of this as spending my hard earned Geo to be able to see blue cocoons on my map, felt like a waste of my money.

    Hollow Knight is an amazing 2d metroidvania and a challenging platformer, will fantastically brutal combat that certainly scratches that souls like itch. Just as often as I would stumble into a deadly boss battle, I would be rewarded with amazing moments of discovery, accomplishment, and victory. I can solidly recommend this game to any Switcher who is up for a great challenge.
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  7. Sep 12, 2018
    0
    This is not a metroidvania. IT's a Dark Souls as a 2D platformer. Awful game, with so many bad design choices that it has to be bad onThis is not a metroidvania. IT's a Dark Souls as a 2D platformer. Awful game, with so many bad design choices that it has to be bad on purpose. I don't recommend anybody to play it. Visually is one of the ugliest games I've ever played. It feels like a student game, or some amateur game, definitely somebody with zero experience in game development. One of the worst games I've played this year. Expand

See all 107 User Reviews