Hollow Knight beats Metroid, Dark Souls at their own brutal game

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Enlarge / Giddy up, little insectoid friend. We have fightin' (and learnin') to do. (credit: Team Cherry)

The video game Hollow Knight may look like it has familiar trappings: Ssde-scrolling combat; deadly, hand-animated insects; a massive, explore-and-return world. Another Metroidvania, right?
I made a similar assumption before diving into the 2017 game, which has since spread its insect wings after a PC Early Access debut and flittered all the way to the Nintendo Switch. But I quickly found myself bewildered, humbled, and, quite frankly, eager to learn more. This insect-obsessed game is a full hive of meaningful, show-don’t-tell encounters.
Maybe it’s a scuttling sound. Maybe it’s a rare friendly face that doesn’t attack you on sight. More often than not, though, it’s some horrible, shrieking thing waiting to ambush you in the dark—its mind rotted by the throbbing infection that felled a supposedly once great kingdom.

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