Do Not Open Dead Inside
As a huge horror, sci-fi, space buff Hollow should have been right up my alley but i did not even want to be in the same sector as Hollow. I was really looking forward to Hollow after i watched the trailer, it seemed to be ticking all the right boxes for me. However Hollow tries to emulate several properties and does a really bad job in doing so. It fails utterly to execute on all levels. It seems to want to be part Dead Space part Silent Hill maybe with a little Event Horizon thrown in but comes nowhere close to being any of these properties. Perhaps if was a little more original it could have shown on its own merits of which it has none.
Dead On Arrival
I knew almost immediately once i started playing that i was not going to like this game. You start by docking into a space station for reasons unclear. The protagonist cant even remember why this is happening and hopes maybe you will know something. What? This character is almost immediately unlikable with voice acting to match. I could not even begin to sympathize with this dull husk of a man and kind of wanted him to die as soon as possible.
You soon discover that the space station is abandoned because of course it is and that its not really abounded but infested with weird shit because of course it is. You have to restore power to the ship with the help of the one other person still alive on board. All of it is just some game you are meant to play though. Following a trail of clues left by your ‘helper’ to progress the story. You also have visions to help with this for some unknown reason.
That is probably one of the biggest problems with the game, your doing a lot of walking following these clues and you walk slow. Like really slow. Picture the slowest moving thing you can think of. This guy walks slower. With two speeds available, slow and slower why oh why would you not be able to run. Even when tension picks up slightly this man is still at best power walking. When you have stitched together shambles coming at you, you kind of want to pick up the pace a little. My thought is that they did this to build suspense and tension. Making it impossible sometimes to get out of the way of the things coming at you but this is just bad design. There are also several blatant jump scare moments that also to my dismay did not even frighten me. Nothing about this game came off as scary.
This brings me the the creature design. These abominations are third rate Silent Hill rejects. This kind of design is in fact something i enjoy when done well but unfortunately that is not the case here. These are truly uninspired and vulgar just for gratuity’s sake. As are the random pictures of naked or almost naked women scattered throughout. Why are these here? Maybe in the hopes of getting a player to get around one more corner for another quick peek. Who knows. Probably not even the developers.
The bad design does not end with the creatures. All of the hallways, corridors and rooms in Hollow bleed together with the same aesthetic applied over and over again. The map system in hollow is equally empty. Through a holographic overlay a map is displayed. This map to me was however unimpressive . I couldn’t make heads or tails of where i was in the spaceship or where i was meant to go. With objective markers seemed far away or just impossible to tell where they actually were on the map. I can not remember the last time i found a map to be so useless.
The graphics in Hollow are also on the terrible side. It felt like seeing the kind of haze one experiences while using a VR headset with out the added benefit of seeing things in VR. There is no conceivable reason for the blur and grain filters that coat Hollow except maybe to hide the many graphical imperfections that are so abundant throughout. Perhaps this is why the flashlight mechanic in this game is also a mess. Its either too dark to see with it off or alternatively to bright once you turn on the flashlight. In a horror game lighting is super important and even this was a missed step.
The audio is equally generic and empty in Hollow. With seemingly stock sound effects and music in winch you can actually hear where the loop starts end ends is just unacceptable in a genre where audio is so important in creating atmosphere.
Not Over My Dead Body
I can not stress enough how much i dislike this game. It’s filled with bugs, not the creepy crawly kind, has no personality and is generally uninspired. It has zero redeeming qualities and i cant recommend it to anyone. Not even the most die hard horror fan. Trust me i am one. If you really need a horror fix on Switch look elsewhere.