Dungeon exploration or hack-and-slash games aren’t groundbreaking on their own. Silent Hope enhances the existing formula, putting its own spin with multiple playstyles. As you journey to restore sound to a silent world, you will build up seven heroes and give them the tools for success. Fight your way through the abyss by making gradual progress and unraveling the mystery.
The seven heroes are well-balanced making it easy to switch between them. Being able to switch characters within the dungeon gives you the flexibility to adapt to obstacles. Slowly developing your base also gives you an incentive to gather materials and create new items. There isn’t a lot of variation and it can wear on you after some time. Silent Hope is a game that rewards consistency and patience, giving you a fun time if you stay the course.
Story – A World Without Sound
Silent Hope begins in a world where a king took all the words and plunged himself into an abyss. His daughter, the princess, has trapped herself in a crystal made from her tears. After 100 years pass, seven spirits emerge from the abyss and take the form of heroes. Under the direction of the princess, who speaks telepathically through the crystal, the heroes dive into the abyss to learn what happened.
You learn about the story gradually, with shining lights on the ground slowly revealing the princess’ thoughts to you. As you fight more bosses, you also find giant tablets that elaborate on the story. As you dive deeper into the dungeon, you learn more about what really happened and the thoughts of the king.
The story has a few twists despite looking like your typical evil king story. Just like Fort Solis, not everything is as it seems. There are no surprising revelations or incredible narratives that you didn’t see coming. But it is a nice story that holds your interest because you do want to see the truth.
Due to the gameplay, it might take a while before you get to experience the full story. There’s no way to easily re-check story quotes and you must replay boss fights to reread tablets. It’s easy to forget where you are at with the story because it takes a long time to progress. It would be nice to have a journal that lets you review notes, but you will go through dungeons repeatedly anyway.
Gameplay – Repeated Dungeon Diving
Silent Hope is dungeon exploration with hack-and-slash mixed in. You will choose one of seven heroes to dive into the Abyss where you fight a variety of enemies. It’s not a rogue-like as most levels are the same but presented from different camera angles. Even with repeat trips, the scenery won’t change much or at the very least, you get a different map layout.
Enemies don’t have many attacks and they are easy to dodge. The challenge comes with larger numbers of enemies as you proceed to the lower levels. These enemies will also be stronger which forces you to get better equipment to survive. Resources are everywhere in a dungeon and it’s not difficult to build better gear quickly.
With seven heroes, you have a variety of playstyles and approaches. You can go through a dungeon with one hero while everyone else provides support. But it’s better to spend some time with each hero and understand how they fight. It adds some variety and also gives you options when battles become too difficult. You can also configure heroes for different floors, switching to enemies they can easily defeat.
Variety is one of the strongest points of Silent Hope. You can choose from seven heroes who have their own classes. Elemental attacks can be configured onto weapons allowing you to overcome difficult enemies. Return points in dungeons allow you to switch characters to choose someone better suited for the situation. That flexibility helps you settle in to your own playstyle and come up with long term strategies.
Flexibility – Adjust Strategies as Necessary
While mastering all seven heroes is a time-consuming task, you can start by testing them out. Each hero has several skills and fighting styles that have their advantages and disadvantages. You can also forge new equipment or upgrade it, attaching several gems that confer specific bonuses.
The benefit is that you can pursue a variety of strategies and configurations to help you conquer the dungeon. Choose a group of heroes you enjoy using and go through the dungeons. Unlock new classes to get access to more skills and configure them however you like. Switch up elemental bonuses or passive boosts depending on the situation.
These options don’t present themselves at first and it does take them to build them up. But once your heroes are sufficiently leveled and have good equipment, dungeon exploration becomes significantly easier. You don’t have to follow a formula; whatever works for you is fine. Your favourite classes or heroes can be whatever playstyle works for you.
The only problem with the benefits is that it takes a significant amount of time to get there. It may be enjoyable gameplay, but there isn’t a lot of variation until you have dedicated some time.
Patience – A Necessary Evil
Silent Hope is not a game that you can finish quickly. It requires several dungeon dives where you look for specific materials and train up characters. This can be an exhausting process, especially because you must refine resources during your exploration. Refining only takes place during a dungeon crawl and the better the material, the longer the wait.
There will be times where you must dungeon dive just to wait for refined materials. Sometimes you are looking for a better weapon and must spend time fighting until you find one. Floors have limited amounts of enemies and sometimes you must get lucky to get what you want. You can use items called Sands of Time to avoid waiting, but they are very rare.
While grinding is always going to be part of any game with levels, it’s taken to a high level with Silent Hope. To get to the variety and flexibility, you must be willing to wait out the grind. If you aren’t, this game will get boring quickly.
Audio & Visuals – The Sounds of Combat
Silent Hope doesn’t have much conversation other than the princess providing exposition. With all the words gone, that gives significance to what you hear and read. Other than the traditional battle noises and characters getting hurt, there’s little in the way of audio. It’s a traditional dungeon crawling experience with music that fits the environment.
Cute designs have been used throughout the game, from the heroes and animals to the environments and enemies. While not the same genre, it reminds you of other games such as Rune Factory 3 Special. It doesn’t make combat easier but it does emphasise the theme of taking your time. Silent Hope is a game you should enjoy at your own pace, and it’s not intimidating enough to stop you from trying.
Silent Hope was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by Marvelous Games.