January 26, 2023Hollow Knight Review: Should You Play It In 2023?

The Hollow Knight is a classic masterpiece of a game. It is one of those games that is timeless and is still very enjoyable even after you’ve played the game. Hollow Knight ropes you into a majestic, yet a lore-y world where, at every turn, you must fight against enemies and bosses that may or may not bring you to your demise. It’s even one of the best indie games of all time. It’s that good. So, if you want to dive deeper into the world of Hollow Knight, go on ahead and read our Hollow Knight review! Let’s go!

Hollow Knight Review

The game will take you on an extremely hard journey where you’re trying to solve the mysteries of the world underground. You will battle with both gigantic and small bugs and escape a ton of different traps. With so much creative content in the game, it’s hard not to get lost not only in the game but in the game itself. It is a fun and expansive adventure that will bring you into a whole new world of lore with a lot to work with.

It’s a game where nothing feels wrong because each gameplay experience is unique to the player. You can’t technically do anything wrong with the game (aside from dying). With that in mind, let’s go into deeper detail about the Hollow Knights’ world and its secrets.

Let’s get into it!

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Photo Credits to Steam

Release Date: February 25, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Team Cherry/Team Cherry
Genre: Metroidvania, Fighting Game
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Metacritic Score: 90%
Steam Review: Overwhelmingly Positive
  • Destructoid: Editor’s Choice Award
  • GameInformer: Gold
  • The PC Gamer: Platformer Award 2017

The beautifully hand-drawn metroidvania of the Hollow Knight is equally enjoyable, challenging, adorable, and terrifying. It has over a hundred different characters and a lot of different areas you can venture off on. Hollow Knight is one of those games where you can get lost but still find some amazing things and bosses to battle. The game is full of history, lore, and a purpose that you must find.

The deeper you go into the world of Hollow Knight, the more mysteries you find and bugs to fight with. You’ll be amazed at how deep you can go and still find new things the game has to offer.

The Travelling Knight

The action of the game begins in a kingdom of bugs beneath, where several heroes have journeyed before for numerous reasons but never came back. Players of the game take on the role of a cute little insect with no name (though the developers typically refer to it as “the Knight”) with only a nail to fend for itself against varying sizes of enemies, which just so happens to be a bug’s equivalent of a sword in size.

What I liked best about the game is how much freedom it gives me. Hollow Knight allows you to explore the world as you wish. This provides each player a unique experience every time. During the first few hours of playing the game, you are pushed around by different variables of the game. You don’t really get a map at first to allow you to easily backtrack all of the areas you’ve already been to, but you will get one sometime.

You just have to find a map seller in each area of the game before you’re able to keep track of where you’ve already been. Moreover, there are areas that are locked until you’re able to get upgrades or things that will unlock the area. Or there are just some areas that have hard bosses to defeat that you’ll have to come back for after some upgrades.

These hard-to-beat enemies make you think of alternative routes you can take to avoid them until you’re ready to fight them off or think of ways you can kill them with what you’ve got. Both of these approaches give you a sense of accomplishment after you figure out which approach to take in that situation.


Combat is surprisingly easy, though, and relies mostly on rhythm and endurance rather than technique. For a long time, Hollow Knight only provides you with one strike to use, but soon your arsenal evolves to include spells, dangerous charged strikes, and charms, and the opponents keep up with your upgrades for them to give you even harder challenges to face through.

The charm system in the game is fascinating and is something I want to discuss. Hollow Knight has a charm system that lets you create your own techniques for taking out your enemies. Each charm requires a certain amount of notches, and its benefits can be minor—such as increasing your attack range or gathering more souls when you hit someone—or significant—such as tripling your health at the expense of being unable to heal at all, which can affect how you play the game.

​​As you play the game, not only do you get upgrades, but it also becomes a lot easier as you go. It also became a regular occurrence for me to go back to an early game location and do what I couldn’t do the first time I was there. But even if you go back to an early game area, you might be surprised that Hollow Knight presents a fresh set of challenges you have to face.

The approach Hollow Knight tackles death at times gives off an exceptionally brutal and hard experience. It’s because you must travel back to your body after each death in order to regain any lost money. Furthermore, you’ll have to fight your detached soul that is hanging above your death location in order to retrieve it, which could cause issues if you happen to land in a dangerous location.

Every battle scenario is so meticulously planned out that I wonder how Hollow Knight was able to put so much creative content in the game that even after hours of gameplay, there are still things left to uncover. And what amazes me more is that nothing really feels like filler. Everything was so carefully thought out that each part of the game just seemed to seamlessly blend together.

A Visual Story with a Beautiful Soundtrack

The distinctive areas of Hollow Knight are works of visual artistry. To make it apparent where you are and what kinds of opponents you may expect to encounter, each features a stunning visual. What really impresses us about them is the richness of their variations. By reading the areas in Hollow Knight, each of which tells a story, you can immerse yourself in the various adventures its scarce occupants convey using text to figure out what happened to this once-royal civilization.

It might occasionally feel daunting to have so much to do at once. On your map, there may be so many options for exploring that it may be difficult to determine which is the “ideal” route. But the charm of Hollow Knight lies in the fact that there are almost never correct or incorrect decisions, and that no two players will likely travel these caves in nearly the same order.

Not only is the area of the game beautifully drawn, but so is each character in the game. Each carefully drawn character conveys a tale without using words. Moreover, both the characters and areas are backed by fantastic musical soundtracks that give each location and character a ton of individuality and complementary backgrounds, but Hollow Knight also knows that silence can be just as powerful.

With Hollow Knights’ artistic focus, nothing really seems out of place. Similar to its story, each character, area, and room exists for one purpose or another, which leaves me in awe of how meticulously made the game is.

Since so many of Hollow Knight’s beautifully made components work so seamlessly over a long journey, the game feels exceptional for those who ought to wander around the majestic world full of hidden symmetries. It’s a pleasure that every part of Hollow Knight’s shockingly lengthy and terrifying adventure is equally as glorious as the previous one.

Final Verdict

Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania game jam-packed with creatively designed content that will keep you entertained for a long time. The story’s depth is something you have to carefully uncover, and its enemies are something you have to defeat. This game is so much more than what it shows, and it entices you to go deeper into the world of bugs to discover all of the mysteries that lurk within.

Hollow Knight is definitely one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve tried and it’s easily a game I’ll continue to recommend through the years.

So, if you’re still asking whether or not Hollow Knight is worth playing in 2023, then it is! It is a timeless classic masterpiece that you should try at least once (or more) in your life.

Overall, the game’s deep lore is as deep as its caves.

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