Welcome to episode 4 of JiG.
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Feature Game Released Last Week: Hellboy: Web of Wyrd
Web of Wyrd serves as a stark reminder of the intricacies involved in transforming a complex work into an interactive game where our choices hold weight. While it adeptly captures the visual essence of the graphic novels, the game sacrifices substantial storytelling and character depth in favor of an entertaining yet low-stakes, action-packed escapade. Unfortunately, its roguelite elements lack the necessary challenge to truly do justice to the formidable adversary.
At first glance, Web of Wyrd exudes the same moody charm that Hellboy comics have been known for since 1994. Even in three dimensions, it faithfully preserves the bold lines, flat shading, and subtly detailed character expressions found in the series. The baroque-style shadows and lighting are even more captivating when you traverse the shadowy corridors of your home base than in static frames. When journeying through the eponymous Wyrd—a parallel dimension steeped in the memories of ancient tales and folklore—the European expressionist influences from the comic pages come to life on the screen, every twisted branch and grotesque creature's claw fully realized.
The storyline is a solid caper that would seamlessly fit into the pages of a Hellboy comic arc. After establishing their base in the eerie Butterfly House, the BPRD team embarks on a quest to unravel the enigmas concealed within the Wyrd. While Hellboy battles his way through this ever-shifting storybook realm, the rest of the team observes his progress, dissecting the knowledge he brings back for clues. The trademark clever and snappy dialogue from the comics is front and center in Web of Wyrd. However, it's regrettable that the introspective prose and meaningful moments that lend depth and endearment to the titular character are largely absent. Instead, it opts for action over introspection. So, while it presents a reasonably balanced narrative full of mystery and intrigue, it doesn't stand out among the finest Hellboy tales.
Web of Wyrd's primary strength aligns with Hellboy's style: pummeling the inhabitants of the eerie pocket dimension is undeniably enjoyable, at least until you become proficient enough to yearn for a more formidable challenge. The combat system is straightforward and easy to grasp, with skillful gameplay necessitating a mix of light and heavy attacks to wear down enemies' regenerating resilience, rendering them vulnerable to lasting damage. Employing charged heavy attacks to bounce monsters off walls and pillars offers a satisfying sensation each time and an effective way to deplete their stun meters for significant damage. Dodging and blocking become almost instinctual after a while since the enemies telegraph their moves clearly and don't inflict excessive damage on your health and resilience meters, encouraging you to stay in close and weather the storm until you can strike back. Even the lesser foes, designed to distract you and land free hits from off-screen, offer minimal actual challenge.
Web of Wyrd is rife with missed opportunities, but it is objectively fun. While it faithfully replicates the captivating aesthetics and sharp wit of Mignola's timeless comic books, the emphasis on action above all else comes at the expense of any profound resonance beyond episodic pulp. As a beat 'em up, it's uncomplicated and enjoyable for immediate gratification, but it soon reveals its shallow gameplay, lacking room for diverse playstyles or mechanical exploration, and sorely lacking formidable adversaries that would compel you to elevate your demon-slaying skills. As a roguelite, the short runs are appreciated, preventing them from overstaying their welcome. Spending too much time in maps that feel remarkably similar, with little of interest to see or do besides engaging lackluster foes, would be a true ordeal.
Game released on October 18th on all platforms. Currently (as of today) it is $19.99 on Steam.
Give Away For Premium Subscribers: Bish Bash Bots + Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
Bish Bash Bots
Bish Bash Bots presents a one-of-a-kind blend of laid-back tower defense strategy and intense combat action. You can team up in local couch co-op or play online, or embark on this adventure solo to rescue the world.
Set in a whimsical rendition of the distant future, where robots have seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. Yet, a sudden and unexplained malfunction turns these once-helpful bots into rebels, swiping all of the world's technology.
Amidst this turmoil, a diverse group of unexpected heroes steps forward to protect humanity. Armed with their unique abilities, our champions embark on an epic quest to reprogram the rogue robots and safeguard the planet. Erect upgradeable turrets, discover new gadgets, and take down these rogue bots with colossal hammers.
Traverse the globe through vibrant and vividly colorful environments. Use your strategic prowess to fend off hordes of robots and preserve the future of humanity!
Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
Greetings, intrepid explorers! Embark on a journey to the enchanting Ikonei Island, where you can make allies with mystical creatures, confront menacing monsters alongside your companions or go on a solo adventure. Collect valuable resources, craft essential tools and equipment, cultivate the land, establish your stronghold or a snug abode, and embellish it to your heart's content.
The Earthlock Adventure eagerly awaits your arrival!
Step onto the Island and dive into the online multiplayer cooperative experience, accommodating up to three of your comrades. You're free to venture alone or collaborate for the initial ~2 hours of gameplay. However, if at least one of your group possesses the full game, your collective adventure can extend indefinitely!
Free Game For JiG Premium Subscribers: Coming Next Mailing (Game: RIPOUT)
In Ripout, a cooperative horror shooter, players must brave derelict spaceships overrun by mutants, gather valuable loot, and tailor their characters as they seek the final sanctuary of humanity. Can you and your loyal Pet Gun reach Sanctuary in time, or will you share the fate of Earth's dwindling population?