Hollow Knight: Silksong Preview

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The much anticipated follow up to Hollow Knight looks to be improving on what was already a fantastic game. Be sure to check out all of our other Gamescom coverage.

When the guys at Team Cherry were putting together their kickstarter for Hollow Knight, one of the stretch goals that got resolutely smashed was extra DLC. Hollow Knight: Silksong is that DLC. However, because ambition got the better of them, they’ve had to spin it off into a whole new game. Brilliantly, the original backers of Hollow Knight will be getting this sequel for free still. That’s pretty freakin’ cool if you ask us.

Jump Around

What’s even cooler is just how satisfying Silksong is to play. Hornet moves a lot faster than the protagonist from the first game, and she’s also much more nimble in the air. Platforming is also much more forgiving, as you’re able to grab onto ledges and pull yourself up. This alone makes traversal much less of a chore than it was in the opening stages of the previous title.

While you’re leaping around you’ll be swinging your needle to attack. Combat is incredibly satisfying, with each blow offering a satisfying thump, and cool combos are able to be strung together once you’ve mastered the manoeuvrability in the air.

The demo we played at Gamescom allowed us to move through a grassy area by the name of Moss Grotto. As the game started off life as an expansion for Hollow Knight, the game’s aesthetic hasn’t changed from it’s predecessor. Not that that’s a bad thing, Hollow Knight is absolutely gorgeous and the hand-drawn art style makes an incredibly welcome return. Bushes wriggle in the foreground, secrets are hidden away in dark corners, and enemies are immediately recognisable amongst the undergrowth.

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Rumble In The Jungle

The tough boss battles make a return too. The Moss Mother I took down gave me one hell of a fight, but it made it all the more satisfying once I won. Victory didn’t come cheap either, as I died once and had to make sure I had enough silk to get me through the scrap second time round.

Because that’s the biggest change on show in Silksong besides the change of avatar. Rather than collecting Soul, Hornet must collect threads of silk. Once you’ve built up enough spool a quick hit of the A button will see you healed. Holding the heal button down for several seconds has gone in favour of a quick heal, making it less essential that you retreat to safety in the middle of battle to tend to your wounds.

It’s a great example of the streamlining that’s going into this follow up, as well as the change of pace generally from the first game. Needless to say fans of the original will feel right at home, but there’s enough differences on show to keep people interested. Perhaps most important is that these tweaks and changes should make the game more accessible to those who found Hollow Knight too obtuse, particularly in the opening stages.

Silksong easily had the longest queue at Nintendo’s Indie World booth, and for good reason. Some fans even queued up for around 3 hours to get a go (we wait the best part of two ourselves). Without question, it was worth the wait, and if this demo is anything to go by, it will be when it finally arrives in it’s completed form too.

For more from Gamescom, see whether we thought The Witcher 3 holds up on Switch, and find out why Luigi’s Mansion 3 was our game of the show.

Phil is the co-founder and editor of Nintendo Village, and also writes, hosts and produces P Myth Gaming. He has been a Nintendo fanboy for as long as he can remember and owns every home console bar the Virtual Boy (one day... one day...). His favourite game is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.