Hellboy: Web of Wyrd – Game Review

Hellboy is one of my favourite comics of all time, I quickly fell in love with the world and its fantastical lore. Hellboy: Web of Wyrd is an action brawler, roguelike game made in partnership with Hellboy’s creator Mike Magnolia. So without a further ado lets delve into Hellboy: Web of Wyrd…

Details of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

How Hellboy Web of Wyrd's Commitment to Comic Book Authenticity Packs a  Punch - Xbox Wire
Image Source: Xbox Wire

Developer: Upstream Arcade

Publisher: Good Shepard Entertainment

Game Series: Hellboy

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Windows, Xbox One/Series X/S

Release Date: 18th October 2023

Age Rating: 12

Story of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

New Hellboy Web of Wyrd trailer has convinced me we could finally get a  good Hellboy game | TechRadar
Image Source: TechRadar

The story follows Hellboy being sent into the depths of the Wyrd to investigate the disappearance of a missing BRPB agent.

Analysis of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Gameplay of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Hellboy The Game
Image Source: Hellboywebofwyrd.com

Gameplay is similar to that of a souls like with you having to perfect your blocking and dodging to get past the later stages. The game offers several upgrades in the hub which can help the player progress further. These range from extra toughness (armour), health, and revives. You can also equip one of three relics which give you a certain ability: shockwave, block, etc. These as well as your arsenal can also be upgraded.  

For weapons you have (in unlock order) the pistol, shotgun, and grenade launcher. My personal favourite is the shotgun paired with the shockwave relic. Shockwave when you need reload and you should JUST have enough time to reload and then dodge the incoming attack. I preferred the shotgun for the single fact it reloaded all the bullets at once, reloading is a real pain in this game! The setback of the shotgun is a very limited range, even for a video game shotgun. You have to be close enough to smell their breaths to get a decent hit off.

The dodging and blocking at least on steam deck doesn’t seem to be that responsive to other games, I find myself holding the block to not block. It maybe due to pressing the attack so closely before it. Another issue I had with the blocking is that it had a set time, so if you blocked and they didn’t attack you were stood there helpless until they did, at which point you could block again.

Pros of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Hellboy The Game
Image Source: Hellboywebofwyrd.com

The ART STYLE! It’s amazing. Similar to the iconic style of the Borderlands series HWOT features a cell shading art style that brings the pages of the comic to life. The vibrant colors in the background really offset the massive empathises on shadows, which I also loved. The shading in this game is incredible and the shadows really pop from the comic book art style. It’s simple but very, very effective. It will be getting the best art style nomination from me in the next steam awards!  

Broom’s voice acting was by far one the best of the game, thankfully for me as I didn’t like the Hellboy performance. I really enjoyed the background music as well the orchestral like music but paired with some drums was amazing. I loved every track! It was very fitting for the game, I found it adding to my immersion rather than pulling me out of it, which some game soundtracks can do.

Cons of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Hellboy: Web Of Wyrd Revealed During The 2022 Game Awards - GameSpot
Image Source: GameSpot

The first thing I found myself not liking about the game was Hellboy’s voice actor. I didn’t connect with the performance and found the protagonists voice grating on me. This could be because for me Hellboy will forever be Ron Pearlman, yet it just didn’t remotely do it justice. The accent was weird, I always thought of Hellboy of having a gruff voice like Pearlman’s or Harbour’s performances yet this is easily the least favourite performance.

My second grip is the variety of enemies and weapons. You only have three firearms: pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher and I know Hellboy in the comics is limited in his arsenal, but a bit of variety or slight variations of the same weapons would have greatly added to the replay ability of the game. One thing I love to do with roguelites/roguelikes is to experience every weapon and if possible weapon fuse/combination. Truly experiencing all the game has to offer yet Hellboy didn’t seem to offer much.

As I mentioned prior about the enemies there wasn’t much variation, with the enemies of the first two floors only having one basic enemy and three variations of the same sub boss. Compared to the likes of Vampire Survivors and Enter the Gungeon its honestly a little pathetic for the games budget. With the only variation and most ingenuity and creativity that went into the enemies seemingly going all into the boss fights. These require varying your approach to defeat them.

Performance on Steam Deck

Image Source: PCMag

As of writing there is no reports on ProtonDB and the game is classed as unknown combatability on the Steam Deck, I had no issues. I ran the game at 30FPS on the 60 refresh rate and got good battery life and had no hiccups when playing. I did have a couple of frame drops but this has seemingly been fixed with a day one patch. It is 100% playable and enjoyable on the Steam Deck!

Summary of Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Save 20% on Hellboy Web of Wyrd on Steam
Image Source: Steam

To summarize Hellboy: Web of Wyrd won’t be one of the best roguelikes you play, but the charming art comic book art style that so closely resembles the pages of the comic makes it worthwhile just to experience that. It truly is the closest you can get to inhabiting the world of the Hellboy comics. The gameplay is satisfying until it starts to get a little repetitive, but this is a problem a lot of roguelites/roguelikes face. It can be solved with adding more enemy types and various other weapons etc, but for now the game does get a bit boring in the continuous loop. However, I enjoyed my time in the Wyrd on the whole, preferring the world design and art to the actual gameplay.  As such it isn’t going to be in my game of the year list.  

Overall Rating: 6.5 – Okay!

Platform Played On: Steam Deck

Game Time At Review: 8 Hours

Recommendation: Yes (But wait for sale, or really love Hellboy)

You can purchase Hellboy: Web of Wyrd on Steam

Links

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