Silent Hope (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 27.09.2023

Review for Silent Hope on Nintendo Switch

A question that the one writing this frequently asks himself is "why do I like Diablo?" It's a simple game, with simple mechanics, a simple story, and as a result, it can feel quite repetitive after a while. Well either the devil works in mysterious ways, or it's simply a matter of the right amount of the right ingredients, cooked in the best possible way - which is why many "clones" have appeared throughout the years, yet few have managed to offer that same kind of magic. Silent Hope by Marvelous can be described as "Diablo but cute." The gameplay still revolves around killing monsters and improving your gear, but the whole look of it all is far less dark and violent. Is that all there is to say? Is this just "Diablo but cute," or are there more differences to talk about?

Silent Hope has a simple placeholder plot that it's easy to stop caring about. It's a generic tale about a once thriving kingdom, and a King who stole the people's "words" before entering the darkness of a place called the abyss, because… reasons. There's also a princess encased in a crystal made out of her tears (what a wimp), who is tasked with aiding the seven heroes that appeared to help with the whole situation. Occasionally, while inside this very abyss the princess, the only one who can talk to you (ala Professor X), will throw in some bits of storytelling, but once mentioned before, it's not something special, so one can safely skip all dialogue sequences.

…And that, of course, is never a good thing in an action-RPG that can take you more than a handful of hours to reach the finishing line. Some won't care and go straight to the upgrading business, but for many being immersed into the world of a game is even more important. Silent Hope is depressingly bad at that, and it doesn't help that it all looks so boring. Most of the different worlds that one can pay visit to while inside the abyss are basically colour swaps of the first one, so after the generic grassland, there's a generic autumn land, and then a generic snow land, and so on and forth, therefore this doesn't even trick your imagination into crafting some lore of its own. Oh, yeah, this all takes place in the universe of the Rune Factory series. Does that make any difference? Err…

Screenshot for Silent Hope on Nintendo Switch

In the end, the total lack of immersion means that this is only for those who are here for the action, and of course the whole grinding that's required to improve one's skills. Gameplay-wise this is as simple as an ARPG can be. Move around, semi-automatically target a foe, press attack a few times, done! Done? Well, you also need to dodge every now and then, and occasionally use one amongst the three abilities you can have on your hotbar, amongst the nine you can unlock. It's all super easy to learn, as well as super easy to pull off, since there's only one real tactic here: throw a few hits and get out of the way a second after the enemy has started telegraphing his move. In other words, boring!

Yes, this is a very, very boring kind experience. Most will mostly die out because they stopped paying attention, rather because the whole ordeal is any tough. The second way these chose to challenge you is via bullet sponges. Almost everything takes more hits than it should to go down, and the whole process isn't actually that fast, as in… well, every other ARPG. This means that when you find yourself in a brand-new world to explore, and enemies take a million hits to go down, then it's much better to stop your session and return to the overworld.

Screenshot for Silent Hope on Nintendo Switch

The "town" which is right next to the abyss, acts as you base, and it is then where you can work with the resources that have been accumulated during the previous run. This means preparing materials, and then using said materials to craft your equipment. Besides that, one can cook a variety of meals, which can boost the stats for your next adventure in a variety of ways. It will soon become clear, however, that Silent Hope has artificially lengthened all processes by additional steps that add nothing to the experience. In most ARPGs you find a "recipe," you gather the necessary ingredients, and then you do the crafting. In here you must find raw materials, refine them by assigning a "shop" to do it all while you are down there adventuring, and only after than can you proceed with the actual crafting… as long as you have the required number of crystals, that is.

It's not like the equipment changes the gameplay in any substantial way. You made a big sword that's 2% faster, raises strength by 5%, and has a 1.9% chance to stun? Well, whoop-de-doo, what a game changer that is. In essence you craft better items to make the bullet-sponge-killing a bit faster, not to make the experience better or different. In other words, grinding, grinding, grinding, and even more grinding, and it gets old really, really fast, especially since, as mentioned before, the gameplay is boring. But wait! You have seven heroes to choose from. Isn't that great?!

Screenshot for Silent Hope on Nintendo Switch

Yes, there are seven hero archetypes to pick before entering the abyss, and once in one can choose another one when managing to find the crystal with which you can also return to town. These range from archers and sword-and-shield warriors, to mages, and unarmed brawlers among others. Neat? No, because it’s one of those occasions of content for content’s sake. Having more heroes to work with doesn’t add anything of value here - in fact, you need to spend even more time grinding to equip them all. In practice you don’t really need to play with more than one or two. Just find the one you enjoy the most (stay away from the slow ones), and only swap heroes if you start to feel bored.

In the end, whether one likes the whole grinding, crafting, hero swapping, etc, all you do is explore a gargantuan world that looks and feels the same from start to finish, with combat mechanics that are so simplistic it hurts, and only a handful of abilities that really stand out. Ability ‘A’ of the Warrior is somewhat slow but strong? the Wanderer’s almost identical ability is faster but also weaker. There’s not much variation as is usually the case with ARPGs. In essence, it would be better to have three heroes, or even better one that can be customised the way players want… but again, the main problem is the core gameplay loop which is sleep-inducing.

Screenshot for Silent Hope on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Silent Hope is many things, and none of these manage to be combined into a great experience. From the exploration and combat, to the customization of your seven heroes, and the whole crafting business, this just never manages to be any fun. There's no challenge or incentive to keep on playing. You just do whatever is needed to be done, so you can go deeper into the labyrinth. That's. It. A chore, rather than a game.

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Marvelous

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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