Hob's main source of inspiration is obvious: The Legend of Zelda. Not the recent Breath of the Wild, but the classic Zelda, the ones tied to the canons dictated by the first 2D chapters. Playing the impression of being in front of an epiphany of the Nintendo saga is really fierce since starting to cut the grass with the sword to find us in the spheres of health. In short, with Hob Runic Games, the famous software house for the two Torchlight (of the highly successful and really well-made action games, despite the fact that they are Diablo II clones) try to emancipate, but without giving up a game concept strong and already well settled from which to leave. To differentiate the way we choose it is above all stylistic, both at the construction level of the gaming world, which we will talk about in a dedicated paragraph, and at a strictly narrative level, with some solutions that recall the works of Fumito Ueda and all that video game evocative that dodge movies and words, leaving the tale emerging from the observation and interaction of the player with the environment.
Hob begins with a dramatic sequence. A strange robot awakens the protagonist from a crypt and drives him through ruins toward an unknown destination. On the street comes into contact with a strange form of life, a sort of environmentally-malignant tumor that is rapidly spreading, threatening to die. To save him the robot has to cut an arm and give him his, putting an end to the prologue and starting the real adventure. The robotic arm is equipped with some exceptional powers, which will enable you to unlock the first areas of the adventure. Meanwhile, it has a force that allows the movement of some objects (eg blocks of stone or large batteries) and the activation of mild pressure mechanisms.
Obviously it can also be used as a weapon in conjunction with the sword (there are several swords in the game, which must be constructed by finding the pieces scattered around the maps). Going forward in the adventure will unlock new power-related features, either by solving the puzzles or by buying them in a workshop, where you can spend the materials found around (mechanical pieces and butterflies) on projects found by columns of stone or obtained in key moments of the adventure. For example, you can unlock a fist shot, useful against armored enemies, or a power that allows you to use the dematerializers needed to solve some puzzles, or even the most effective combo for the sword and so on. At one point you can also change the look of the protagonist, just to say. As a Zelda series, the character's progression is not just an end in itself, but allows access to new areas of the map. With the burst shot you will be able to break some fragile walls, which will also allow you to create links between different areas, as well as dematerializing will allow you to reach others. Now you do not have to figure out whether it's really worth doing so much to visit the Hob world.
The Hob´s open world is a major ruinous mechanism that needs to be reactivated ... literally, since it is important to bring electricity back to all areas, all from different visual style. At first, there is only a partial view of what happened, but solving puzzles is getting more and more in touch with this wonderful building made by the artists of Runic Games, which alone is worth the full price of the game.
Although not graphically very complex, it is often fascinated by the landscapes produced by Hob´s engine, which are always composed of great wisdom. Thus, puzzles after puzzle, an incredibly dark underground cave lights up with its shapes and emphasize the return to life, simultaneously showing the function. It is impossible not to remain open when an entire region of the game world returns to the surface before our eyes, or when we are interacting with complex mechanisms that completely alter the surrounding scenery. The puzzles of them have a purely mechanical nature, as you should have already understood: pull levers, blocks to move, connecting platforms to move, obstructions to be eliminated, platforms to be reached, and so on. There are also moments when you need to use the lead of the protagonist to overcome some obstacles, or others where you are tested by very precise jumps on retracting platforms. Overall, puzzles and secrets, the latter linked to the materials or bonuses that boost the energy bars, Hob exploration is one of the most beautiful experiences of the past few months, which does not regret the classics of the genre.
Where Hob sins is in the combat system. Let's say it works in general ... and that's enough, because it's really bland. The weaker enemies kill all or almost swirling the sword, while some of the bigger ones require a more tactical approach, but nothing that can really be taken seriously.
Hob´s review The narration is mute and proceeds for suggestions
Long struggle becomes almost a nuisance that distracts from exploration, despite the release of new powers for the sword and for the punch add a little variety. Another defect is the gaming camera. Developers opted for a fixed and non-rotating view, but it does not prove to be adequate in all situations. For example, sometimes you miss the jumps because the shot does not allow you to properly measure the distances, while in others the camera rotates slightly by losing the direction of the race, thus eliminating the subsequent jumping. These are sporadic situations that you get used to, but you do, especially because the rescue system is based on checkpoints that force you to retrace areas you have visited to go back to where you are wrong. Finally, for some Hobs it may be too dispersive, because the goals to be pursued are never clarified and the open world structure of the map can be confused.
In fact, this only happens in the beginning, when you are practicing with the gaming system and you are especially concerned about that. In the rest of the adventure there are always clues suggesting where to go (on the map itself there are placeholders pointing to where the next goal is). In addition, the fact that the game world is essentially divided into macro areas that need to be tackled one at a time (apart from hunting for secrets) softens the sense of loss a lot. That being said, choosing such a contemplative style for the narration might mislead someone, so you're warned that if you love getting caught at each step and receiving didactic explanations about everything, Hob might get in trouble.
Hob tries to make Zelda, when the Legend of Zelda series has gone beyond herself. Great in the explorative stages, it sucks in a silent and fascinating world, which seems like an immense mechanism to look, decipher and reactivate. Unfortunately, he pays a bit his bland combat system and a camera that sometimes misleads, leading to Marian errors. However, despite the reported problems, it is an experience we recommend doing because it has some really wonderful moments. In short, Runic Games has proven to be able to successfully go beyond Torchlight, which apparently began to be tight.
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