Silent Hope is a 3D anime-style dungeon-crawler, where players control a team of seven different heroes, all with different affinities and weapons. The heroes work at the behest of a Princess who seeks the King, hiding in a deep abyss after cursing his people. Silent Hope follows a familiar formula of seeking answers to narrative mysteries while conquering a lengthy and difficult string of dungeon levels, but does it follow through on all its promises?
The story behind Silent Hope is intriguing from the jump, even with the minimal details players are provided. A kingdom has fallen, with its ruler suddenly turning malicious and stealing the voices of his people (hence the name of the game). Thereafter, he descended into the depths of the Abyss, a cesspool of monsters and evil. You control a party of seven heroes. They all operate at the will of the Princess, who is trapped inside a crystal teardrop, and whose wishes can only be heard by her now voiceless subjects. She wants answers as to why her father cursed her people, and guides the party through the Abyss.
From the beginning, the game promises answers to lore and all the mysteries it proposes. Unfortunately, story beats take incredibly long to occur, with new dialogue from the Princess only unlocking after completing around half a dungeon level. Cutscenes are few and far between, with the majority of the game being running through the Abyss, hoping to find a checkpoint. A lot of the excitement about unraveling the mystery of the story is lost in the grinding and leveling that comprises the main chunk of the game.
Silent Hope is defined by its gameplay, requiring hours and hours of grinding characters and equipment to be strong enough to defeat bosses and continue through the story. The dungeon-crawling mechanic is the main source of gameplay. Your character jumps into the Abyss at the start of every round, and attempts to gain experience, collect materials, and progress to the next floor. When players encounter a Princess Tear, they are given the opportunity to switch to another character, or return to base camp.
Unfortunately, it seemed some characters were designed better than others – making it difficult to want to play as all seven and level them equally. I found myself wanting to stick to the same two or three characters throughout the game, but it was difficult to progress through levels without making use of the entire party – you cannot heal or revive characters unless you return above ground, so your only option is to switch to someone else. And if you don’t have options for properly leveled characters, you’ll die almost immediately.
The base camp area has numerous stations/tents where you can craft weapons, meals for combat buffs in the Abyss, and materials for new equipment and food. The production of most materials are locked until you return to the Abyss a given number of times, which encourages further exploration. However, crafting quickly feels mundane and thoughtless, with limited options for what to craft until later in the game, and limited interaction outside of clicking the same buttons over and over.
Like with most games of a similar style, playing Silent Hope can feel repetitive and mindless. If focusing on leveling and upgrading through in-game grinding is fun to you, you’ll likely be able to lose yourself in this game and enjoy it for a bit. But even as someone that tends to enjoy that, I found myself bored and wanting more rather quickly.
Silent Hope uses a 3D anime art-style. The playable characters are all chibi style, with many of the enemies and bosses appearing in a similar style. The visuals of the game are very colorful and simple. At times, the environment feels stagnant. The majority of the characters are not very expressive and outside of some cutscenes, the visuals of the game aren’t particularly impressive or eye-catching.
The soundtrack of Silent Hope is of a whimsical RPG vibe, and predictable without standouts.
Regarding the voiceover work for the game, the Princess is the only character who speaks and serves as a narrator. The voice acting for the Princess is good, but as she’s the only voice you hear throughout the game, the quality of the voice acting becomes meaningless compared to how annoying hearing the same lines over and over can be.
Silent Hope is an interesting experience and could be fun to a specific type of player-base. The colorful anime-style animation makes the game light-hearted and cute, while the required dedication to crafting and grinding can make the game feel like a drag. A lot of these elements seem to counteract each other at times, and I found myself wanting a lot more from the game narratively, character-wise, and especially in terms of its gameplay. At its price point, I hoped for more, making me think this game may not be worth it, unless you are drawn in by the premise or gameplay genre.
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