It's a "normal" and boring evening for Adam Smithson, when suddenly someone knocks on his door. Bizarre things happen in his world, but at this moment things are about to change for him: in front of it he finds a bonsai tree and a note that says “Water it. In 10 days you will have a reward.” A bonsai is nothing special to us, but for someone like Adam it's quite unusual to deal with a seemingly insignificant gift. But apparently, he will find out the truth in ten days. This is the beginning of Hell is Others, which today we analyze in review, the new game developed by yonder in collaboration with Strelka Games, already seen in the game Red Rope: don't Fall Behind.
The "fabulous" world of Adam
From the very first minutes of the game, we realize that we are faced with a world that is completely distorted compared to ours. The fact that the bonsai will not have to be watered with normal water, but with blood it is already something that could leave you a little bewildered. But this feeling will pass, especially after seeing the appearance of the building attendant, an anthropomorphic rabbit vaguely reminiscent of the creatures from the Rusty Lake saga.
As is clear from the note, in the next ten days we will have to keep the bonsai alive by getting blood from it. It will apparently not be difficult, because Adam is something of a jack of all trades forced to do missions (not really legal or without violence) in order to make ends meet.
We will have to deal with eccentric characters and vaguely Lovecraftian creatures, but we will have to be very careful not to die in the streets of Century City. Get ready to meet a series of shady figures who will send you on a series of missions, which will turn out to be very dangerous for your safety. But you will only have to resist for ten days, then after that, who knows what will happen…
Your death my life
The noir atmosphere is actually only the outline of a survival horror based on PvPvE, that is we will have to deal not only with enemies governed by the AI but also with opposing players. Yup, this game has a multiplayer mode, so it will be easy to find other players ready to shoot you between the eyes, because the monstrous creatures we will meet will also be other Adams. Strictly speaking, we too are monsters in the eyes of others and this can be understood in some moments of the game, in which we appear as an abominable creature for a few moments. Death in this game is permanent, in pure roguelite style, so keep an eye out because you won't get a second chance and will have to start all over again.
Your inventory can be improved along the way, but you will have limited slots. As a good survival horror, you will have to choose wisely which items to keep and which to discard, always bearing in mind that you will need to have a small supply of blood for your bonsai. You will have the possibility to recover better weapons, in order to better defend yourself from AI or other players. Century City will be your personal hell and your little room a little purgatory where you can ask for some respite. In fact, after the clashes and missions, to save your skin you'll have to find a working elevator that will take you to your apartment. This quirky Ballard-worthy condo, does from game hub and houses the stories of the other inhabitants, useful for developing your story.
Un po' Twin Peaks un po' Hotline Miami
The pixel graphics, the top view and even the movements of the characters may recall an old gaming gloryaka Hotlime Miami. While this is a very different game, the rawness of the kills and some of the gameplay will bring back some pleasant memories of a great game. But the noir atmosphere is easily comparable to that of a David Lynch product, it is no coincidence that Adam vaguely resembles a much more disillusioned and slovenly Agent Cooper.
A round of applause also goes to the sound design which does not lose even a seemingly insignificant noise. The noise of the reloading, the broken bones and the sound of the elevator that we will soon approach with hope, will remain in your head for quite some time and will immerse you in this atmosphere as absurd as it is spectacular.
- Hell is Others (Tested on PC)7.5 Final Vote
Hell is Others is a little gem that you have certainly never tried in your life. Survival horror combined with that rogue-lite tack makes it long-lived and infinitely replayable. It might seem a bit frustrating for some, due to the continuous game overs especially in the initial part, but after understanding the mechanism it will be easy to enjoy the gloomy and rotten atmosphere of Century City.