To Hell with Hell can go to hell. There, that’s the review done I think. This game is hard. Like, really hard, even trying to put the game on easy is a lie, as the easiest levels will take so, so many attempts. This game is a roguelike, so you know what that means: random levels change with random pick-ups. As well as being a roguelike, it’s also a bullet hell adventure where you spend all your time dancing around millions and billions of bullets.
It has a somewhat basic plot, where you play the daughter of a Demon, tasked with killing another Demon to solve a war between Demons, you’re also going to have to kill a lot of other Demons and Spiders and Headcrabs and other monstrosities along the way. You have a vast array of weapons and masks you pick up throughout the adventure to try and help you. The masks put a spin on the traditional power-up system and form part of the ‘Hellish’ aesthetic that the game is drenched in. The hell theme isn’t scary at all, but it’s not meant to be, it works well as a themed setting that works well with ramping up the anxiety.
One of the elements of the game that simply cannot be ignored is that you only get 6 saves. With an unknown amount of randomly-generated levels, you don’t know how long you need to leave between saves or how close you are to the end, it adds almost another level of anxiety, on top of an already really hard game. There are going to be those who hate this feature, but the different side of that is that there is a solid and constant challenge again with this save system.
The problem with To Hell with Hell is perhaps the same problem that circles around all the other roguelikes before it, it’s hard to show real effort in a game that randomly generates its levels and it’s drops. This game offers no real sense of tactical play, the tactics are only really point and shoot, it doesn’t provide much in the way of variation which can lead to a feeling of repetition or fatigue to it.
To Hell with Hell isn’t a complex game but it doesn’t feel like it’s aiming to be. Shooting the wave upon wave of enemies does work as a soul gameplay mechanic for a while, but then it does start to get pretty dull pretty quickly. It’s not saying that this is a bad game – far from it actually, but it just feels like it needs another layer of depth to stop the game getting stale.
To Hell with Hell
To Hell with Hell is a hard game, extremely hard, maybe too hard. It feels like its difficulty is designed to be a badge of honor that really comes across as obnoxious. The shooting works well and is weighted enough for it to feel like you’re in the fight still.
- Weighted shooting
- Nice art style
- Moreish challenges
- Other roguelikes do it better
- Obnoxiously hard
- Limited save system
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0