Hack ‘n’ Slash PC Review
Since the introduction of the Game Genie on the original NES, it has been the pastime of bored gamers everywhere to try and edit the internal workings of any given game without the maker’s consent. Skip forward a couple of decades and Hack ‘n’ Slash is now trying to add code manipulation as the core gameplay feature, with some random elements of Zelda mixed in seemingly give it some kind of substance with mixed results.
On first impressions the game appears to be a top down action/adventure game like so many before it, and this impression can carry itself through the exploits for some time. The dark truth about this game is that it is one of the more open ended puzzle games that has come out recently. The hacking allows for many interesting solutions to the same problem. Is your fairy companion singing too loudly and scaring away your turtle-bridge? You can either mute him or turn down the distance that his voice can be heard. A boss that continually spawns enemies at you? Either find his weakness or turn all of those spawns into your allies.
Watch our stream of this game here:
For as interesting as all of the in-game solutions feel as they are worked out, a handful of them seem to be more difficult than one would thing at first glance. The previously mentioned turtle-bridge puzzle can be challenging as the companion that must be hacked could not be moments before, making it kind of difficult to figure out in the moment as it almost feels like the game itself is changing the rules on the fly. The core problem quickly becomes that the game can randomly throw in moments that make the puzzle solving feel like utter chance instead of allowing the players to organically have the “aha!” moments themselves.
The aesthetics are an oddity on their own level. Half feeling like a flash game, half feeling like some kind of cut-out paper figures running around, all of it feeling slapped together in a strange and weird way that only seems to fit because it is in this game where pretty much the fundamental laws of everything can be changed. It is too bad that the story seems to get the same treatment as it could have been interesting if it had been more concise. Instead the characters just seem to be entirely happy to talk at length about nothing.
Hack ‘n’ Slash is interesting from the moment that it starts until it ends, the problem with it is that the fun seems to be concentrated in specific areas instead of spread out like some kind of creamy enjoyment butter. It manages to nail the Hack section of the title, but most of the other stuff ended up being hit and miss. The game is very heavily supported through the mod community on Steam, so it is worth a look if it ever goes on sale.