Runnin N’ Gunnin!
The 90’s era of first-person shooter games is such a unique time. Many of their gameplay features are very distinctive from the modern first-person shooter’s gamers play today. (Keycards anyone?)
While modern games still take gameplay designs from the shooters of the 90’s era, there are a few gameplay elements that truly make it identify as a “90’s shooter.” These include but are not limited to, fast-paced running n’ gunnin, extreme metal music, gruesome bloody violence, and most importantly — the fucking shotgun.
Developed by Argentina-based studio Saibot Studios, Hellbound is a 90’s inspired first-person shooter that takes heavy inspiration from Doom. When I say it takes “heavy inspiration” from Doom, I really mean it and it shows.
With games such as Doom: Eternal showing critical success, these types of games still have a massive audience that enjoy this sort of gameplay, including me. For people itching for more fast-paced Doom-like gameplay, Hellbound certainly scratches that itch.
The Soundtrack Fuckin Slaps
When it comes to games like Hellbound, the story doesn’t matter at all. In typical 90’s fashion, the story is; you are on a planet fucking shit up with anything that gets in your way.
When you play Hellbound, you aren’t playing it for its story, but for its gameplay. Throughout my time play Hellbound, I had a lot of fun running and gunning shooting anything that was in my way. The gameplay flowed well and it really perfected the feel of 90’s era first-person shooters.
When I play this sort of old-style first-person shooter, the three main things I look for are fluidity, gunplay, and music. Ever since I finished this game, I can confidently tell you that the game is excellent in those three areas.
Firstly, I’m just going to get straight to the point. The soundtrack fucking slaps in this game. The heavy metal soundtrack that plays in the background while slaying demons is the kind of music that gets you pumped and makes you just want to keep shooting your shotgun over and over.
Hellbound really hit it out of the park with its gunplay and fluidity. I had a lot of fun just jumping around shooting demons and feeling like a total badass dodging projectiles coming towards me. The movement combined with the fast-paced gun-play really made me enjoy this game because as someone who is used to playing competitive first-person shooters, Hellbound really tests my skills of accuracy and reaction time. Quite frankly, if the gunplay and fluid were not up to par, I wouldn’t recommend this game at all.
When you play this sort of game, the fast-paced action is what separates this game from other modern first-person shooters. This game does not hold your hand and when it places you within the world of Hellbound, it just puts you in the game right away and you’re on your own fucking shit up.
It’s nice to play a game like Hellbound and take a break from modern shooters because sometimes its fun to just go ape shit and blast demons that get in your way. With modern FPS games holding your hand, Hellbound is a breath of fresh air because sometimes you just want to run n’ gun and blow shit up.
Yes, the Shotgun is Fantastic
Most importantly, something that I need to give Hellbound credit for is the shotgun. In typical 90’s fashion, if the shotgun has no power or oomph to it, then what is the point of a 90’s style game? The shotgun is an icon and staple to a game like this and Hellbound certainly nails it. Out of all the six guns Hellbound provides you, the shotgun is the one I always find myself using, and really, that’s how it should be.
Overall, I really have to commend Saibot Studios for taking the time to research and perfect Hellbound’s gameplay because it’s the most critical part of a game like this.
Hellbound Has Stunning Environments
Now while graphics aren’t really the biggest point of a game like this, I wanted to highlight the environments in Hellbound because they are really stunning to look at. They really set the tone of a deserted demon-filled planet and really add to the experience.
The attention to detail in the levels is really noticeable such as the sparks in the lava that go all over the place. Overall, all I can say is the levels in this game are a blast to look at.
Lackluster Enemies and Weapons
Aside from the amazing gameplay elements of Hellbound, there were a few things that I took note of. The lack of gun selection is quite lackluster. Your player only has six weapons throughout the whole game and for a game like Hellbound, that’s a really small selection. Something that surprised me also was there was no weapon like the BFG 9000 in Doom! For a 90’s inspired game like this, it’s essential to have one cool ass overpowered weapon in the game. Aside from that, I definitely do wish Hellbound had more weapon variety in its weapon rotation.
Just like the gun selection, the enemy variety was also lackluster. There weren’t that many enemy types to fight against. If I recall, there were probably less than four enemy types in the game and most of them consisted of the standard grunt soldiers running towards you. I definitely do feel that having more enemy variants in the game will add more to the action instead of constantly fighting the same thing over and over.
Pretty Short Game
The game was also pretty short. I clocked in less than two hours of playtime. The game does unlock a horde mode when you complete the game which adds a little bit more playtime, but probably not enough to make players continue playing the game.
Lastly, while it’s not a huge nuisance, it was a little annoying. Every time I died, the field of view slider in the game kept on resetting so I would have to pause and put it back to my preferred field of view. When you start dying over and over, it does get a little annoying.
All in all, I can understand the reason for the lackluster enemies, weapon selection, and playtime which I feel is due to time and budget constraints, especially for a small indie studio. If Saibot Studios had more time and money to develop Hellbound, I’m sure they would add more.
Hellbound is Still an Awesome Experience
With my time spent on the game, I still enjoyed it overall and would recommend Hellbound to anyone looking for a 90’s inspired shooter or just a short fun first-person shooter to play. The smooth fast-paced gameplay combined with the awesome soundtrack makes up for the lack of variety. I’d say this game is definitely worth it so start fucking shit up!
HELLBOUND IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Nimble Giant Entertainment for a PC review code for this title.
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Ryan only has one goal in mind — to spread the joy of video games. He also loves a variety of games, especially those that have major plot twists. Ryan loves rice and can cook a killer scrambled egg.
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