|Platforms||Nintendo Switch, PC (Reviewed)|
|Release Date||October 3, 2023|
When you tell me you have a class-based action RPG with crafting mechanics in it, you’ve got my attention. Toss a cute, vibrant art style on top and you’ve got me on the hook. Silent Hope looked great and promised a fun combat experience with some variety. Will the bards sing of it for ages to come or will it quietly be lost to the annals of time?
Violence: Silent Hope features cartoon combat. There is no blood or gore.
Sexual Content: There is no sexual content of concern here.
Drugs and Alcohol: There are no drugs or references to alcohol in Silent Hope.
Language/Crude Humor: There is a little mild language in the game including the word B******.
Dark/Spiritual Content: The game features magic and monsters. There are evil foes to conquer.
From the outset, Silent Hope felt like a game we’ve seen hundreds of times: an action-based JRPG with loads of monsters. I would probably have guessed there’d be a vulgar old man and characters doing world-destroying attacks by the end too, if it followed any anime tropes. Thankfully, the game is just a good, fun action RPG with some extra mechanics and none of those extra tropes to worry about.
While we don’t have to worry about the lecherous geriatric, lewd jokes, or insane feats of power, I’d say the story of Silent Hope is, unfortunately, a bit unsurprising. Something catastrophic happened to the kingdom. The princess was preserved in a crystal in the village atop a massive chasm. Thanks to her quiet prayers, seven heroes were all summoned to venture into the chasm to help discover what happened and save the princess. For what it is, I enjoyed the story Silent Hope tells. I just don’t think it does anything that feels particularly unique. The seven playable characters are essentially avatars of destruction for you to use, so don’t expect any witty dialog there.
The real strength of Silent Hope is in its core gameplay loop. Again, there’s nothing really unique here. What the game does, however, it does quite well. Players will control one of seven characters, each with their own class (and two more you can eventually unlock). You’ll fight through progressively longer zones, each with floors of monsters and checkpoints. Along the way, you’ll collect experience, materials, and blueprints.
Any time you reach a crystal, you’ll be able to swap your playable character or warp back to camp. Once back to camp, you’ll get to interact with your fellow warriors, each of whom mans a station in the town atop the chasm. In town, you can initiate projects to refine wood and metal, grow crops, harvest farm-raised animal goods, make food, or craft weapons and armor. Refining materials takes time and will be completed as you explore dungeons, but you can pay a fee to complete things sooner. It gives you a substantial variety of extra tasks to do when you’re taking a break in town. The more you play, though, the more tedious and menu-driven it all feels. Just let me refine and use what I have for my blueprints.
Along with crafting, you’ll earn experience and levels. You’ll be able to learn and upgrade skills from each of up to three job classes per character, mixing and matching three to be the most effective tornado of destruction possible. Between sorting out your equipment and powering up your skills, the rest of the game is just loads of dungeon-crawling.
Thankfully, Silent Hope leans into having a simple, addictive dungeon-crawling loop. You’ll explore every level of a zone, looking for the way down the next floor. Along the way, you’ll loot chests and topple (or flee from) hordes of enemies. Every few floors, you’ll hit a campfire checkpoint you can come back to. Many floors will also give you a challenge you get bonus experience for completing. On the bottom floor, you’ll typically get a few lines of story from the princess and take on a boss monster.
For the most part, combat feels great. That experience will change depending on which character you’re controlling and what skills you have equipped, but I found it to be a satisfying experience. On top of fun combat, there’s a substantial variety of enemies and landscapes you’ll work through. Despite the same core loop, you’ll rarely feel like things feel stale. I think that’s a testament to the game’s playable experience.
From an audiovisual perspective, Silent Hope is kind of a known quantity. I love the bright visuals, the art style, the variety of environments, and the smooth animation. What they have, they’ve done well. There just isn’t anything particularly stand-out with the game.
For folks who love loot grinding and slaughtering mobs of enemies, Silent Hope is an easy recommendation. Combat and crafting are fun, if a little mindless. Whether in settings, enemies, or playable characters, there’s plenty of variety to keep you engaged and exploring for a nice, long while too. Just don’t expect the story to top the next Brandon Sanderson novel or Shonen anime.
Review copy generously provided by XSEED Games
The Bottom Line
Silent Hope is a fun, mindless action RPG that mixes dungeon diving, crafting, and a variety of combat playstyle options.