Hellboy: Web of Wyrd review for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

Platform: PC
Also On: Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Developer: Upstream Arcade
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

While Hellboy is an amazing comic book character, you wouldn’t know it from the few video games adaptations starring Hellboy. Back at the turn of the century we had Hellboy: Dogs of the Night/Hellboy: Asylum Seeker, depending on whether you played it on PC or PS1, respectively – but even though not many contemporary reviews can be found online, the consensus seems to be it’s absolutely terrible. The same goes for Hellboy: The Science of Evil, which stunk up the PS3/Xbox 360/PSP about 15 years ago. And now we have Hellboy: Web of Wyrd, and…well, did I mention what a good comic Hellboy is?

That’s actually the one good thing that can be said about Hellboy: Web of Wyrd, so it’s probably best to start there: it looks like a Hellboy comic. Whatever other flaws it may have (and it has plenty), when you get into a cutscene, it’s like you’re looking at a Mike Mignola original. The art style, the shading, the way the dialogue is presented – all of it feels like you’re reading a comic, which can only be a good thing, given how fun Hellboy comics can be.

In fact, all things considered, you should probably pick up one of those comics instead of wasting your time with this game, because Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is a dull mess.

The problem is that it feels like you’re going through the same levels over and over with not much variety, punching and shooting your way through enemies that are either killed with a single hit or that take endless amounts of punishment, and slowly gaining more powers and better weapons. Rinse and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

On the one hand, that’s obviously the whole point of the game – it’s a roguelike, after all. At the same time, though, even if you’re a fan of roguelikes, I can’t imagine anyone could this particular brand of roguelike. Hellboy here is a slow, plodding creature who can do little more than flail his punches, taking huge wind-ups that can’t be moved once the animation has started. His blocks feel useless, his movements feel laboured whether he’s running or walking, and he can barely hoist himself up onto platforms. Everything about the action feels clunky. It didn’t take long for me to get to a point to dread entering a new room, because I knew that it would bring more awful combat, and I just couldn’t take much more of it.

I also have to admit that I didn’t care much for the game’s voice acting. I hate to say this, especially given that this is one of Lance Reddick’s final performances, but it just sounds wrong to have Hellboy not speak with the gravelly bass of Ron Perlman (though I’m obviously influenced by the fact that I first got introduced to the character by the movies). But at least Reddick sounds like he had an idea for how the character should sound – the rest of the voice acting here sounds flat and bored.

Which, I guess, reflects how most people will feel playing Hellboy: Web of Wyrd. It’s a dull, plodding slog that does a grave disservice to its source material, and you’d be wise to search out that source material instead of wasting a dollar or a moment on this game.

Good Shepherd Entertainment provided us with a Hellboy: Web of Wyrd PC code for review purposes.

Score: 4