A Captivating, But Quiet Journey with 7 Adventurers – Silent Hope Review
Silent Hope is an interesting idea dungeon crawler, with the premise of the game involving using seven “chosen one” characters to find out why everyone suddenly cannot talk in the kingdom. The player also wants to find out what happened to the king and why the princess has become trapped in a crystal tear. Although the ideas are nice in theory, the execution does leave much to be desired.
One problem is that there isn’t too much story or cutscenes. The cutscenes are at the beginning and ending of the game with great visuals, but not much else in-between. Most of the story is told through voice expositions from the princess or the king during the levels.
You explore underground deeper and deeper, with warps back and forth at certain floors. The game is a dungeon crawler with randomly generated dungeons except the boss floors and some mandatory enemy or mini-boss battles. You collect monster drops, treasure chests and collect items such as grass and wood in the levels. I won’t spoil exactly how many dungeons are in the game, but there is a good 15+ hours of content, with earlier dungeons having 10 floors and later dungeons having 29 floors. It’s not a long dungeon crawler such as Strange Journey or any game in the Etrian Odyssey HD Collection, both of which can easily go for 60+ hour story modes.
The scope of the game isn’t too grand. You can retreat anytime (or die) and you’ll lose a portion of what you collected, but you keep all your character levels. If you leave at the locations that allow for warping back and forth (bonfires) you won’t be penalized and they’re pretty plentiful early-game.
The game starts off easy but definitely ramps up the difficulty later on, with the final levels being full of enemies and environmental hazards. The final stretch of the game, without providing spoilers, has a gauntlet of mandatory enemies and then the final bosses.
There’s a post-game which I believe are another two dungeons with even more loot and bosses, but I’ve only finished the main story so far. You can only play on standard difficulty at first, but after beating the story you can play on harder difficulties with harder enemies but also better loot.
The hub world isn’t that good unfortunately and is the biggest disappointment of the game. You can interact with the 7 characters but it’s mostly just shops and menus where you can upgrade equipment, farm and cook recipes.
Although the game is related to the Rune Factory series (this game has shared enemies such as woolies) this game takes mostly the dungeon crawling aspect of Rune Factory. There is no relationships and you don’t physically plot your farm, instead it’s just done through a menu. The hub area is pretty small as well, basically being the size of a room except outdoors. I believe this was the biggest missed opportunity for the game.
The gameplay is addicting and if you like classics such as Secret of Mana this will be up your alley. It’s fun to learn new skills and upgrade your equipment and experiment with builds. You can control 7 different characters, but if you want to focus on just one you can definitely beat the game with just them. The weapons are unique to each class, but the armor in this game (ring and earring) is compatible across all party members.
I played as the rogue (maid) and later upgraded her class into a trickster when I unlocked specialized classes, and it was a blast to play. She had a move where you can sneak attack an enemy to deal big damage, but I noticed that when I used it as a finishing move on an enemy it would instantly cooldown and I could use it again, so I used other special moves to lower all the enemies’ health enough that I know the sneak attack would finish them off, then I’d spam that sneak attack on all of them. Your build can vary a lot but there will probably be a character in the game well-suited for your playstyle.
It’s unfortunate due to plot reasons that none of the seven protagonists talk or really interact with each other. It would’ve been interesting to have them more fleshed out with story scenes in the story or talking with each other, like how Tales of games had skits for instance. The plot being barebones is a bit of a downer with all the plot being told in the beginning and ending. Of course plot is not extremely important in a game mostly focused on dungeon crawling, but it would’ve been a nice bonus to have more scenes here and there.
It’s not a bad game overall, but it’s certainly a very bland game. I really would’ve enjoyed the game more if it wasn’t for the plot reasons making characters silent. I would’ve loved to see character interactions and more cutscenes, even if was just character portraits on a screen and unvoiced dialog. I would’ve enjoyed actually farming crops instead of just doing it in a menu in the hub area.
The majority of the plot occurs at the beginning and end and I wish there was more cutscenes for completing dungeons. The one-way voice talking to you through the light gets repetitive after a while. The gameplay is very fun at first and learning your characters’ moves is interesting, but it definitely becomes stale after dozens of floors and not enough is done to change up the formula. The boss fights are definitely a highlight though, who have great designs and solid movesets that you need to overcome through skill. If you really enjoy dungeon crawling and want an action JRPG, this game will be up your alley.
- Being able to choose from 7 classes of characters (who unlock specializations) allows for fun gameplay.
- The bosses are designed uniquely, and are challenging and fun.
- Each dungeon has a unique biome and it feels scarier going deeper and deeper and uncovering the mystery.
- Gameplay becomes repetitive after a while.
- Although the bosses are interesting, the enemy variety is not there, and there are often palette swaps of very few enemy types.
- Endgame does have a difficulty spike where you need to beat waves of enemies as well as final bosses.
– Brandon Harris
Reviewed on the PC