To Hell with Hell by Lazurite Games
Incidentally, I get to take a second trip into the netherworld this summer. This recent expenditure isn’t Agony like the last one, but instead one hell of a ride.
To Hell with Hell from Lazurite Games is still in development, most likely not for long. This incredibly difficult bullet hell plays like a finished title. Right off the bat, the player is treated with a warning. This game is meant to be hard, and holy hell, is it ever! The developer even suggests that some game play-throughs should be started over if the player isn’t happy with the way things are going.
Forget Seven Circles; How does 12 Sound?
Playing as one of Satan’s daughters Natasia, the story takes place in Hell upon the wake of the apocalypse. There are 12 levels to traverse, with three boss stages every four levels. The player is only given six saves, which means even easy mode is difficult. These saves can be used at the end of any level.
Replaying the first batch of levels happens a lot, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Upon completion of a level, a perk is chosen for the next. These stack throughout the play-through. Each one is extremely useful, and some can really change the tide.
The level design isn’t procedurally generated; however, the player’s starting point upon death is randomized. Treasure chests will be in new locations, and different variations of enemy demons will be trying to murder you through each run. You will definitely at some point be swarmed by at least 20 of those fast creepy spider things.
Pew Pew Pew SMASH
The amount of variety in the weapons makes To Hell with Hell fantastic. Weapons found in chests are also randomized, and I was hard-pressed to find one I didn’t like. All suit various play styles.
There are lots of guns, of course, with different attack powers, fire rates, ricochet bullets and so on. There are also a few medieval weapons, such as the intensely powerful crossbow, and melee weapons, like the sledgehammer. Only two weapons can be held, and ammo drops are plentiful.
One time, I swear I got this gun that shot out toilet plungers; it was awesome! Every shot was accompanied by a satisfying toilet plunger – or perhaps suction dart – sound effect.
To Hell with Hell has another fantastic feature to increase the player’s time in the underworld. Masks can be found scattered throughout Hell that will give the player special abilities, also adding a small health bar. Two masks can be held, and each possess one or two abilities. These can be anything from firing a hail of magic bullets to spewing out fire or erecting a bullet barrier. Once the player is hit enough to drain that mask’s HP bar, the mask disappears. Make sure to utilize those special attacks whenever they’re available; they come in handy.
They Will Find You and They Will Kill You
The enemy AI in To Hell with Hell is programmed beautifully. Given the simplicity of the graphics, one would assume that enemies would simply charge the player in hopes of delivering death. This is not the case. Enemies will move to a strategic vantage point or even lie in wait for the player before unleashing well-timed hell.
To Hell with Hell has the makings to turn into a modern Roguelike classic, the likes of Rogue Legacy or Enter the Gungeon.
All these factors come together into what I consider to be my favorite game of 2018 so far. It’s difficult, but that’s what turns us all into masochists. I just kept coming back for more, and I don’t plan on stopping. Will To Hell with Hell make its way to the top of my Game of the Year list for 2018? It’s at the top as it stands, we’ll see what the rest of the year has in store for us.
Watch the official trailer for To Hell with Hell below: