‘High Hell’ Review
High Hell came from the minds of Terri Vellmann and Doseone, and was published by Devolver Digital. It’s described as “a neon-soaked, arcade-action first-person shooter,” and that’s a pretty accurate assessment. Also, add in “frantic” and “fast-paced.”
This game will have you flinging your crosshair about trying to hit as many enemies (or DMEN) as possible so as to not be gunned down. If you’re not mindful of it, there’s a very good chance you’ll end up at your desktop for awhile saying “just one more level.”
Speaking of levels, I really enjoyed the variety when it comes to the level design in this game. They’re all set around different corporate and production offices of a drug cartel, but there’s such a great amount of difference in every level that the same color scheme over and over never really got boring. It’s all kept visually interesting with the bright colors, funky art, and anything else they can litter the level with. Every level is set up differently, and it’ll take some exploring your first time through each one to find everything.
There are always collectibles scattered about, whether it’s money you need to burn, a hidden DMEN doll to collect, or just finding all of the enemies to clear the level.
I don’t have very many complaints about the movement system as it’s very simple. If you aren’t used to incredibly twitchy gameplay, you may want to turn down the aim sensitivity—other than that, everything seems to run incredibly smoothly. After playing through a few levels I found myself getting the hang of jumping around and aiming so I could always be moving forward, but not getting shot.
You don’t have a whole lot of health, which is something that keeps the game challenging. Most of the low-level enemies you encounter die in one hit, but that doesn’t mean much—just a few wrong moves and you can end up very dead. There’s only one weapon, but that seems to be all you really need to make it through. Why overcomplicate the game with a plethora of weapons? Personally, for the style and direction of the game, I think one gun works very well for what they had planned.
The boss battles are definitely brutal, and they don’t really give you any hints to go on, either. It’s more trial and error, which I love, and always makes the boss defeat so much more rewarding.
The art style and sound are a treat, as well. The soundtrack is great and very energetic; it definitely keeps you moving and plays well with the art. Since everything is so brightly colored, it makes detecting enemies on the fly easier while you’re jumping and spinning about each level.
Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I think the super simple design of everything adds to the experience of the game. It isn’t meant for you to faff about and ogle the level detail: they want you to sprint through, blowing everything away, but they add in enough color and props to keep your brain interested.
If you’re a fan of twitch shooters, or you’re just looking for a different FPS to try out, this game is only $10 and is available now on Steam. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun challenge. I’ll warn you, though, it only has 20 levels, and if you pick up the controls very quickly there isn’t much replay value unless you’re one to go back and try for your best run on each level.
There isn’t anything wrong with waiting for a sale to hit, but up until November 2nd if you pick up High Hell, you’ll also get a free copy of Heavy Bullets, as well!
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