Hollow 2 review. A poor sequel to a poor game

We’ve been waiting for over four years for Hollow 2, the sequel to the not-so-successful space FPS. Although the first edition suffered from many shortcomings and problems, the creators could not deny their ambition. The dark atmosphere, interesting story, nice location designs and the survival flair did not help much in the face of optimization problems, technical errors and poor performance of key mechanics. Polish Dead Space disappointed, although it had papers for a good title. Did the creators draw conclusions during the production of the second installment?

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During the production of Hollow 2, the developers decided to revise their ambitious plans and instead of fixing the bugs and not pulling off the first part, they removed the mechanics and elements that generated these weaknesses. So, stealth, dark climate, elements of survival and exploration were abandoned in favor of shooting, which, unfortunately, was not a strong point of the first part, it is also not the case now. Although it is certainly a bit more fun. It also looks much less spectacular in terms of the plot. We play the role of Mark, who is trying to destroy the Shakhter-One space station orbiting Jupiter. Players who have played Hollow may feel déjà vu at first, as the previous game started in exactly the same place. This time, however, we do not discover the secret of the abandoned station, but eliminate all the scars standing in our way. The only companion of our journey is the all-seeing and hearing wife of the protagonist, whose hysterical screams come out of the loudspeakers from time to time. The woman does not appear to be emotionally stable and is certainly not cheering for our progress. That’s basically it. During the game, we will not see any notes, collectibles or additional information. Exploration does not make any sense, and the only additional activities apart from the elimination of enemies are the solution of 2-3 banal and totally ineffective puzzles, which, incidentally, are 1: 1 cut from the first installment. The fight itself is also not a very strong element, which is disappointing, especially since it is mainly based on the Hollow 2 gameplay. Shooting is quite pleasant, although on the Nintendo Switch it is difficult to precisely aim. Fortunately, the opponents materializing in front of our eyes are not a bullet sponge and they pass quickly even after shooting in the body. We don’t have to worry about the shortage of ammunition either, because, unlike the previous part, the basic weapon has an unlimited number of rounds. For the remaining destructive toys, discovered gradually during the game, we have to buy ammunition in a special chamber after the end of each stage.The clashes are dynamic, but very schematic, and they all look similar. Dynamic music is coming out of the loudspeakers, announcing problems, we eliminate our opponents, and when we defeat the last enemy, the music stops. Then we look for the only open door, where another loss or checkpoint awaits us. However, to make it not so easy and boring, the developers have tried to get a few bosses, the levels of which are very diverse – we defeat some without any problems, with others we have to bother for a few minutes. Although, unfortunately, most often in fights with more difficult opponents, the most difficult ones are underdeveloped controls, drops in animation smoothness and errors. Unfortunately, Hollow 2, like the first part, does not look very good technically. Optimization on the Nintendo console leaves a lot to be desired and there are even more serious errors, such as exit to the system or a crash on the Switch. It is true that there are fewer bugs and funny situations, but only because the creators, instead of trying to solve the problem, eliminated its source. And so, errors with levitating or convulsing corpses were fixed by getting rid of the corpse, which literally melts before our eyes after being shot. Graphically, there is also nothing to hang your eye on. Yes, the design of the station itself is very nice and made with attention to detail, but it’s the same Shakhter-One as in the first Hollow. The same elements of the environment, almost the same, poorly designed opponents, the same low resolution and the same grain filter to mask the fact that the game is simply ugly. I cannot rate Hollow 2 positively. Maybe if I hadn’t played the first game, the rating would have been higher, but unfortunately it is impossible to judge the sequel without setting the original as a point of reference. Hollow was an ambitious project that lacked budget and talent to produce, and this time lacked ambition and creativity. For 4 years, the creators did so little that it’s hard for me to treat Hollow 2 as a serious, independent production. The game looks like the effect of the work of two talented modders who after hours decided to make a bad horror film called Dead Space into a poor shooter like Doom. I do not recommend it, and I advise desperate people to wait for the PC version ..

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