Hollow 2 review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Developer: Megapixel
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

If nothing else, Hollow 2?s developers have pretty good taste in video games. The first Hollow was inspired by games like Dead Space and Alien: Isolation, while this new game combines those influences with more straightforward shooters like DOOM. Clearly, Megapixel have a pretty good idea of the games they?re trying to (re)create.

It?s too bad, then, that the games they actually make are nowhere near as good. The first Hollow was an unmitigated disaster of a game, and Hollow 2 follows in those same putrid footsteps, never coming anywhere close to its influences while delivering an experience that only rarely approaches mediocre.

To be fair, Hollow 2 is a significant upgrade over its predecessor. Hollow failed abysmally at everything imaginable. That game saw your space marine very?slowly?wandering the halls of an abandoned space vessel, running away from monsters at a snail?s pace and basically not doing anything of interest.

This time out, things are clearly better. You no longer move like you?re stuck in molasses, and instead move with the sort of urgency you?d expect from someone racing for their life through an alien-infested spaceship as their ex-wife screams at them over the intercom.

Of course, the fact that that last sentence includes the phrase ?their ex-wife screams at them over the intercom” should probably tell you that Hollow 2 isn?t without its own set of issues. Different issues from the first game, to be sure, but major issues nonetheless that mean the game is still awful.

For one thing, there?s that ex-wife. There?s nothing wrong with a disembodied voice promising your death lurks just around the next corner; in fact, as horror set-ups go, it?s pretty solid. Here, however, it comes off less creepy than grating and shrill. There are only so many times you can hear someone screeching at you about what a loser your character is before it just gets unbearable ? and not in a ?ratcheting up the tension” kind of way, but rather in a ?please, make the horrible noises stop” kind of way.

It also doesn?t help that the shooting aspect of the game is pretty weak ? which is a huge concern, seeing as the game is a shooter. While I?m certainly glad they gave up on trying to make a stealth game (since it means they abandoned the slow-moving controls), this isn?t much better. They equip your character with some of the least powerful weapons imaginable, and then throw you in room after room where you have to fight off hordes of enemies before moving on. It also doesn?t help that aiming is a huge pain, since it seems that rather than making it impossible to move quickly (as was the case in the first game), they went too far in the other way, making it nearly impossible to aim.

There?s one way, of course, that Hollow 2 matches up with the first Hollow pretty perfectly: it?s still ridiculously ugly. As was the case the first time around, here you choices are to keep the brightness at the lowest setting and wander blind, or turn the brightness up and see the spaceshop in all its washed-up, PS2-era glory. Neither option is all that rewarding.

But that?s about what you should expect from Hollow 2. It?s a bad game, after all. It?s clearly better than its predecessor, but that?s the lowest bar imaginable ? and it?s pretty clear that it?s a bar that this one only just clears by the barest of margins.

Forever Entertainment provided us with a Hollow 2 Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+