Hellbound (PC)

Hellbound is the latest FPS unashamedly riding the retro shooter wave. Does it stand out from the grunge scene or is it just a pale imitation?.

Hellbound embraces the 90s FPS style from the get go, greeting you with a cheeky warning screen saying the game may be too hard for some, assemble the boomer squad (is that still a meme?).

You are put in the boots of Hellgore, he is PO’d and is more than happy to take his anger out on the hordes of hell!. The game is more than proud of its lack of narrative, it’s a shooter, set in hell, with gore and guns, what more do you need!. 

There are of course nice and witty one liners here for when you dispatch your foes and finish levels. The music as you would expect is oodles and oodles of metal and loud banging, lovely stuff.

Visually Hellbound is no slouch in the graphics department. It looks just how you imaged Hell to be in Doom all those years ago. Fire/brimstone and a whole bunch of metal, temples and caves to explore and paint the walls with blood. The enemies are overly generic through and there isn’t really that much variation. 

So how does Hellbound play I hear you ask over AOL Instant Messenger, well it plays fine, quite fine indeed. You’ll run, jump and shoot your way through hell in a campaign that sadly only lasts around 3 hours if you’re lucky. 

The weapon selection is sadly meager compared to what you would expect from an Fps, especially one mimicking the greats.  We do have a triple shotgun here so that gets the job done for 90% of issues thrown your way.

Hellbound does a fantastic job of reminding you of 90s shooters but misses one of the main things that made them special, identity. Hellbound is a fantastic reminder but has nothing of its own to make it stand out at all. 

Everything from its map screen to its look just isn’t original in the slightest. No unique gameplay hook and the most original weapon is a Triple Barrelled Shotgun, take from that what you will. 

Hellbound is not a bad game, its a fun little shooter but in the world of Doom Eternal, Ion Fury & even past titles like Painkiller it doesn’t offer anything other than a samey alternative to the genre standard. Hellbound has alot of heart but is lacking the flair or spark of identity to really make it noticable alongside its mouthy peers.

3

Summary

Serviceable if not a little unremarkable. Really aimed for people who’ve exhausted the genre.

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