Silent Hope

Silent Hope

released on Sep 28, 2023

Silent Hope

released on Sep 28, 2023

Explore, fight, and produce items to grow stronger as seven distinct heroes in this silent world. Guided by the Princess, you'll delve into the Abyss and learn the mysteries of the King and his now-ruined kingdom. In a world without words, what hope is there for humanity?

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silent protagonists can be great. in games where the world is more important than individual characters, or when the developers want to make the player feel more deeply connected in the game, a silent protagonist can do wonders.

a silent protagonist (or more accurately, a set of silent protagonists) does not work for a game like Silent Hope.

according to the story, these are 7 powerful fighters drawn to the cursed abyss, who create a small town in order to conquer the hole and free the king at the bottom. which, in concept, isn't a bad premise.

as the title of the game suggests, though, every one of the characters has no dialogue until the post-game, which makes caring about the day-to-day of these characters extremely, extremely difficult.

the game is also mechanically lacking and quite boring, but that's not as fun to talk about.

I really wanted to like the game, but I'm not super fond of constant gear upgrade games unless I'm getting something else out of that game (like a co-op experience).

Overall a fun game but it's being held back by numerous, truly numerous, flaws.

Silent Hope is a roguelike that alternates between sending you inside a long, continuous dungeons to kill monsters, gather materials and move forward and another section where you are managing resources at your base.

First of all, the base management is absolutely horrendous. During the dungeoning, you gather materials which will be used to craft weapons, pretty straightforward so far right? Except you need to process them into processed materials first, for example turning wood into lumber or plant something for it to grow, before you can use them. This also takes time, which only runs when you are dungeoning. So to use new materials and ingredients, you essentially need at least two runs which is a weird decision that I don't really understand and only serves to hinder your progress if you rush through the dungeons, which start very easy.

The loot system of the game isn't spared from this. With a diablo-like loot system, you're gonna get a lot of weapons or so you thought. They're crafting schemes which you need to actually craft at the base using your materials. Unfortunately, the variable differences between weapons are very minimal: their base attack value is almost the same per weapon type and one area in a dungeon will usually only have the same weapon type, until you progress enough to get better weapons. Ultimately, you just end up with a lot of copies of the same weapon cluttering your inventory, and the inventory and crafting interface in this game are pretty bad and unintuitive. Did I mention how bad the processing interface was? Because you'll be wasting a lot of time scrolling to get the material you want to process, interrupted by an animation the first time you do it after every dungeoning session and then you'll waste even more getting rid of needless weapon schemes and whatnot. There's no easy way to scroll and sort your stuff, it's all very tedious and involves a lot of micromanagement and repetition.

There's also cooking and... yeah, it's not really much better than the rest.

The story is fairly unimpressive and serviceable. Despite being a part of the Rune Factory series, it doesn't really develop onto anything so it might as well not be a spinoff. Aside from woolies and a few weapon/ingredients from the main series, you'll hardly recognise anything. The music is also fairly limited and gets repeated a lot during your playthroughs. On another hand, I was very surprised with the voice acting, especially of the king, which was very good, but there are few instances of dialogue in the game (excluding the constantly chattering princess, which thankfully can be disabled).

Dungeoning is where the game is fun but even so, it's pretty limited. Most monsters hardly flinch so a lot of the game involves running back and forth by using the dodge feature whenever your skills are recharging. The more you move forward, the less useful your basic attack seems to be and unfortunately your skills have at least 4-5 seconds of cooldown for the lucky ones, 10 for the unlucky caster which is in my opinion the worst class in the game because of this. You can end up waiting a lot depending on your playstyle, just because your skills have very long cooldown and you can at most have three of them. This also creates a dilemma where you either try to get easily spammable skills to be effective or you try to focus on a good combo (like caster seems to be build for) but you'll be AFK for a while after every burst of attacks.

Some characters also suffer from terrible flaws. Warrior for example has an attack where she spins her weapon and it's supposed to attract enemies to her, stunning them if they get hit enough. However, this skill flinches the enemies, sending them away from you and resulting in them not being attracted nor getting stunned. Another one of her attacks is a charge which pushes enemies away and is supposed to deal multiple hits as long as you keep running into an enemy. The unfortunate result is the physics of the game will often throw an enemies ABOVE your head and they won't get hit until the end of your charge. This kind of game breaking thing is fairly common and pretty annoying honestly, even more so when I really enjoyed the concept of those.

The dungeons stay fairly basic with a limited number of enemies that repeat themselves in slightly different shapes. Overall it's alright, but the repetitive nature of being forced into the same areas over and over because you died or you need to process materials or you need to level up your previous characters is pretty underwhelming, even more so knowing that you already have dozens of every material type, that you are not going to get a better weapon or anything out of it... There is no fast way to progress, especially in the lategame where floors can be extremely long and tedious to go through, without any indication of an exit. I honestly spent more time just running and dodging enemies because I had absolutely nothing to gain and it's much more efficient to progress to newer areas to progress.

Despite this, one last thing will eventually hold you back. You might assume that you can simply blast through the game with one character and equip better gear on the others, allowing them to catch up. You would be wrong, as levels heavily influence your character's strength despite this, you will therefore be forced to eventually go back an area or two and grind them.

I feel like this game would really have benefited from allowing more than three skills to be funnier to play. It also doesn't really play into its concept of constantly switching characters despite the boosts you get from doing so and the frequency of crystals, because they really want you to stay stuck in the same area and level up every character individually. Additionally, you'll only unlock the third and last class of every character one dungeon layer after beating the main story boss and oh boy, you'll need to grind your characters and repeat that one area with each of the seven characters.

I would add the completely astounding price of 40usd on release as yet another flaw but at least by now you can get the game at 20usd on sales. Which is still fairly expensive in my opinion, there are better and cheaper roguelites out there. Ultimately, if it hadn't been a Rune Factory spinoff I probably would not have ended up playing it.

Silent Hope is a master of walking the fine line between potentially boring and perfectly fine.

This is a 3DS-looking game that tells the story of a kingdom that lost its words. The king, aeons ago, stole the words (?) and went into a huge dungeon, or something. The princess cried so hard she turned into a crystal. Now, her voice called 7 heroes to her, and these heroes are you. You can take the heroes, one at a time, to tackle the big dungeon in which the old king lies in wait.

Fortunately, they didn't make the dungeon all subterranean, looking like old temples and caves all the time. Actually, the dungeon looks like overworld type environments. Think "autumnal forest" and "grassy hills" and "halloween woods". Every environment has its fair share of different enemies, who look like very 3DS versions of classic fantasy monsters, lizard warriors, wolfs, mmorpg-looking jumping bunnies. I kid you not: I'm 10 hours in and yet no spiders showed up.

If you aren't fighting and crawling in the dungeon, you probably are in the hub area. The hub area acts like a mobile game about managing a farm. You get raw materials in the dungeon, and the hub area has facilities that turn those materials into the good ones that can be used to craft gear. You queue tasks for these facilities, that take real time to pump out your desired objects. So you'll probably jump back into the dungeon to make the most out of your time.

Heroes are very 3DS looking dudes that do not look like main characters, IMO. As the game's story is about a king who stole words, they are silent, which may be a blessing. The game incentivizes you to switch between different heroes in a run. You only have 2 healing potions with each one of them, and after you use those, you'll be safer if you just switch your guys and take one that still has its consumables on.

That said, heroes can be geared up and they also can learn and upgrade skills. This is the coolest part of the upgrade system. You start with a base class and the possibility to acquire 3 different active skills. As the game progresses, you open 2 more classes for each character, and you can combine active skills of all the classes for making your own setup of possible actions.

For me, this is an absolutely 7/10 game. If you want a simple ARPG that won't ask you to min-max nor to engage with advanced item management, this is one of the best games available. But this is the kind of game that, although its good, exists in order to pass the time. You play Silent Hope while you listen to a podcast, and then you wonder were those precious hours went.

The kind of game where the first couple hours already show you everything there is to the game, and the following just get more repetitive and bloated. You'd think that the different playable characters would alleviate the repetitiveness, but the way they are all extremely unbalanced with some being outright unfit for the way the game is constructed and how leveling and gearing them up is a repetitive slog too shatters any hope of the game deserving the time spent on it.
At least you get to hear HanaKana voicing the super cute Princess as the narrator.

easy to play - good for fans of progression. pretty simple overall / repetitive, perfect for handheld gaming