I always think that developers make their lives so much harder for themselves when creating a Hell-themed game. Especially ones that are particularly underwhelming; they scream out for Hell-based puns in coverage (Agony is a great example of this – and has an incredibly apt name).
Down to Hell is no exception; it’s a 2D hack and slash game with massive bosses and a very hellish setting that just isn’t very good, sadly. The animation is lacking, the combat is somewhat unresponsive and the dark visuals can make it difficult to work out what’s going on, let alone avoid traps (that often seem to come out of nowhere) or deal with enemies (which, like traps, seem to come out of the blue). Bosses are dull, extended slogs and the music accompanying these battles is headache inducing metal.
In fairness, the soundtrack outside of the boss fights is actually pretty decent and atmospheric stuff. The art direction, when it can be seen through the mud and murk, is actually pretty good – as can be seen from the artwork and screenshots dotted throughout this review.
However, I really tried to wring some fun out of playing Down to Hell, but couldn’t get on with it at all. It’s an awkward, edgy teenager of a game and even less fun than that description may suggest, unfortunately.
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