It was February of 2017 when a small Australian game development studio, Team Cherry, released the game Hollow Knight, onto the world. Hollow Knight is an expansive Metroidvania title originally released for PC, and then for the major consoles over the next year. It is an absolutely amazing title which has sold over 2.8 million units and has received critical acclaim by many in the industry.
Two years later, Team Cherry has revealed that the content they had originally planned as DLC has evolved into a full on sequel: Hollow Knight: Silksong. As of December 13, 2019, Silksong is still in development, with Team Cherry boasting the unique enemy count has surpassed its goal of 150 new, unique enemies (and is currently sitting at 165).
Silksong has a lot to live up to. Its predecessor left behind some big shoes to fill. After all, Hollow Knight received critical acclaim for good reason: it did everything right.
Being a Metroidvania, there a certain points Team Cherry will have to focus on in order to make Silksong work. To learn from Hollow Knight and improve on an already competent system will be, in the fewest possible words, a delicate undertaking. The world of Hollow Knight was vast and interconnected. Paths branched outward from all angles in an interwoven, planned, and organic way that made navigating the game painless.
The lore that went with this world was deep and rich, yet avoided being cumbersome. It never became a burden. The gameplay, while simple in theory, became more rewarding concurrent with your own mastery. The controls were tight and responsive in such a way that, if you did fail, it never felt like you were being cheated; never felt as if the game were at fault.
These tight, exact, and responsive controls were paramount to the game’s success. Incredible amounts of adrenaline and excitement was derived from just dodging bosses’ attacks and closing in for the kill. A three minute, non-stop, life-or-death platforming section with razors and buzz saws on all sides, only to finally land on the millimeter-sized ledge at the end, safely: Recreating moments like these will be important in guaranteeing Silksong‘s success. Improving on these mechanics and experiences would cement Team Cherry’s already well-earned prestige.
Judging by the trailers and streams of early gameplay, things look like they are progressing in the right direction. Hornet, the player controlled character, is outfitted for a more mobile, acrobatic style of game play. That would be a perfect fit for the precise and demanding boss battles of Hollow Knight. Now with the ability to grab ledges, flip, dive, and sprint, Hornet gets around the screen in both dimensions much faster than The Knight did. We think this will lend itself to even more riveting moments this time around.
There is no official release date yet, but Team Cherry continues to provide progress updates every few months, and with it, hope that Silksong will live up to the masterpiece that was Hollow Knight. You can checkout the gameplay trailer above and the gallery below to help hold you over until we learn more, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below.