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Silent Hope Review

Silent Hope Review

Silent Hope is a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler title developed by Marvelous Inc. and published by XSEED Games. In it, we step into the shoes of seven different voiceless heroes who are brought forth by the princess of the land.

What was once a peaceful kingdom has descended into utter chaos as the once benevolent and powerful king took everyone's voice and jumped into the abyss. Now, his daughter — and the only person in the entire kingdom with a voice — has awoken from a deep sleep many years later in hopes of helping the heroes delve into the depths to help the kingdom, hopefully finding out what happened to the king in their journey.

This is where one of the few problems I had with Silent Hope reared its head: the princess. While most characters don’t have a voice, the princess talks… a lot. While this was charming at first, it quickly started to become overwhelming, especially as I wouldn’t even get a minute of silence, and got worse when she started repeating dialogue. Thankfully, you can fix this issue easily, as you can mute her voice in the Options menu once she gets to that point for you.

Silent Hope 1

In Silent Hope, you start off being able to pick up and play any of the heroes available immediately. Throughout the seven options, there is a ton of variety that covers basically any playstyle — from the classic sword & shield to a farmer who stabs enemies with a pitchfork and rips vegetables out from the ground to eat them and get a random buff. I took my time in finding which one was my favourite by repeating the first level with all of them at least once, and although I did find some I liked more than others, I think the options available are pretty solid. I always found something to love about all of them whenever I'd go back to playing them after a while. 

This is great because Silent Hope gives you the option to swap out for other characters mid-run whenever you find a crystal for it, and while I think it expects you to do so, nothing happened to me as I obsessed over my favourite character. The only "punishment" I had was that I'd need to go back to base more often than if I had a handful of heroes ready.

Once you choose a character, you head over to the Abyss (which is the dungeon area). In it, the levels are separated by "Layers", and each area has its own gimmick; as an example, in the snow one, you'll encounter snowman heads scattered around that will try to follow you and hit you. They're not too hard to dodge and can sometimes even work as a great tool to kill off some enemies, but they add something different to each zone. You'll also discover different enemies in each Layer, though it's more like re-skins because they have very similar attacks. 

Silent Hope 2

Throughout each area, you'll find several checkpoints and crystals. The former lets you travel back to the specific stage when you leave the Abyss, and the latter works for leaving at any point and keeping all your loot! Although I have died a handful of times, it's not easy to die and lose anything if you're careful and don't bite off more than you can chew. The game does pace you by giving you a limited inventory space (though it took me a long time to reach it), which helps remind you to go back to camp every so often.

Aside from checkpoints and crystals, you'll also find extra challenges that will reward you with higher loot for facing tougher foes. And when you're not busy decimating groups of enemies, you'll be busy collecting materials to refine back at base to create better equipment! This constant burst of rewards, loot, and goals feels a lot like a mobile game, as it's stupidly satisfying but doesn't have the same limitation, meaning you can over-level. At one point, I had over 30k Runes (the in-game currency) and over 100 of the materials to upgrade gear. It didn't break the game, however, especially because of the sheer number of heroes available.

In terms of combat, Silent Hope is simple yet fun: each hero can slot up to three abilities in addition to their auto attack and dash, and there are nine in total per character; you get the other six by unlocking the other two classes, one of which becomes available when you reach level 15. Thankfully, you won't have to worry about which one you like most as you can mix and match skills to your liking regardless of which class you have active. 

Silent Hope 5

That freedom is present throughout most mechanics in the game, and it is my favourite aspect of Silent Hope: it is very lenient, offering little to no limitations throughout the journey. You don't even have to go back to the base to do any of the swapping, whether you're changing hero or abilities, so it's easy to keep the flow of battle going. Additionally, if you feel like experimenting with another combination, all you have to do is go to the skill tree and hit reset to get all your points back to spend them again as you please. This made it really easy and fun to explore every character and find out which ones I liked the most!

Additionally, in order to unlock the next Layer in the Abyss, you have to defeat the boss at the last level. I appreciated how varied they were, as they all felt different and fun in their own way, and although they weren't too complex, they weren't so easy that they were boring. They offered enough challenge to keep things interesting!

Once you're done exploring the depths, you can go to camp and use everything you collected to craft better items and cook more meals (which give you buffs in the Abyss). You won't spend too much time there, however, as all of these things are done with a few clicks, and there isn't much else to do aside from refining and crafting. Although you'll get the finished products immediately (such as the food or gear), everything else is created on a timer, so ideally, you always have something crafting while you're busy completing the Layers. 

Silent Hope 4

Lastly, there are some special challenges that the princess offers whenever you're at camp. These range from cooking a certain meal x amount of times to upgrading equipment, and the rewards are varied, too. This helps keep you busy doing something specific when you're grinding a character to get them to a higher level, especially because although there’s a nice variety of heroes, they level up painstakingly slowly. Don’t be surprised if you spend a couple of dozen hours playing through the worlds and farming XP to get them to the max level — a staggering 100.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t mind because it’s easy to get lost in the grind, and I also quite enjoy finishing this sort of thing, but it’s definitely not for everyone. The simple combat style may feel a bit monotonous for some, though I did find it to be charming and enjoyable, giving me something to do that didn’t feel punishing or stressful. The gameplay loop is very simple as you don’t have much more to do aside from jumping into the Abyss again and again, but there’s a charm to the progression-based feel the game had.

That is basically the entire gameloop of Silent Hope — you go into the dungeon, complete Layers, go back to the base to use everything you got, and then jump in and conquer even deeper levels. Although it sounds simple and boring on paper, I had a lot of fun levelling up the individual heroes and unlocking everything there was to get! I thought the addition of the extra challenges was a phenomenal way to keep the game feeling rewarding, too, and the story was interesting enough that I looked forward to unravelling it further. 

Overall, I genuinely enjoyed Silent Hope, and more than I expected. While its gameplay loop might feel a bit simplistic, it fits perfectly into 30-minute delves into the Abyss that give me a great break and something to work towards; while it might not be a binge-worthy title, I genuinely liked jumping into a Layer, levelling up, and feeling purposeful as I slowly reached Level 100. This is a game I am definitely going to keep playing in my ROG Ally in downtimes, and it works as a great in-and-out title. 

8.00/10 8

Silent Hope (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Silent Hope is a lenient hack-and-slash title that'll keep you entertained grinding for everything from materials to classes! If dungeon crawlers are your type of game, this one was very fun.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Violet Plata

Violet Plata

Staff Writer

Liable to jump at her own shadow.

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