To Hell With Hell Review
Reviewed on PC
Hell has been portrayed in countless ways throughout history from the lofty classic like The Divine Comedy, to slightly grubbier and comedic takes like in the Disgaea games. To Hell With Hell certainly fits more into the latter's take rather than a dark place full of fitting punishments.
Here you play a character tasked with helping the overthrown lord of hell get back on its feet. Your only instructions are to kill all of the demons, then jump through any portal that appears as a result of this. Nice and simple.
In order to accomplish this you have various types of tools at your disposal which serve different roles. Weapons are the more classic grouping and have an entertaining range of styles. You can pick up pistols and shotguns of course, but you can also find police batons and broadswords. Melee weapons make you more vulnerable but also allow you to deflect certain attacks which can make them invaluable if you learn how to use them. The more ranged weapons have different strengths and weaknesses, but all have the advantage of helping you keep away from the denizens of hell that don't want you to succeed.
The other group, and frankly the more interesting one are the masks that you find. When you start off you can have two equipped at one time and you can switch between them. Each mask grants its own special abilities and properties. Some even completely change your attacks, whether by adding an element to all of your attacks, or just by changing your weapon entirely. Each mask also has a health pool, if the mask runs out of health it gets destroyed and you will be worse off as a result. It is an interesting idea that helps To Hell With Hell standout from the other twin stick roguelikes that are around these days.
There are multiple difficulties which are unlocked as you succeed and allow you to increase the game's challenge providing you have earned it. The easiest difficulty allows you to save six times during a run which helps more than can be imagined, it is another great idea that will make the game more accessible to anyone new to the genre or just anyone who doesn't want the frustration of losing everything.
To Hell With Hell has some genuinely interesting features and ideas that help to make this more than just another roguelike. The gameplay feels good but is also incredibly punishing which will put some people off, of course this is true of any game in the genre but it is certainly worth mentioning just in case. The story is pretty cliche and the main character is just a bit drab really, it feels as though more could have been done there. Ultimately. that doesn't really impact the way the game plays but it still would have been nice to see some more innovation here as well. Overall it is a solid twin stick roguelike that certainly takes inspiration from some of the greats in the indie pantheon and tweaks some of the ideas to make it feel new.