Thunder is rolling in the distance while lightning can be seen decorating the sky, lighting it up in a display of earth’s raw energies. Rain can be heard crashing against your single layer windows while you tinker further with your gizmos and doodads. Fell energies start to swirl into life as arcs of electricity shoot overhead. Another thunderclap… No, wait, why is there a red liquid pouring over my face… Wait… where… is my face? Laughter that sounds like 2 boulders rubbing against each other can be heard from the darkest corners of the room. It seems your experiment… Was a success. Yes! Hello ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Hellmut: The Badass from Hell. You play as a floating skull, brought back to life as you tried to summon forth a demon from hell, in an experiment that cost you your life… Kind of ironic, as your wish was to live on eternally. In this crazy and wacky twin-stick shooter, you’ll be fighting an entire armada of the undead, creeps, and ghouls, and who knows, maybe even a Baldo like our lord and savior Jim. Uhuhu, the thoughts alone send shivers down my spine and give me goosebumps. Did I peak your interests? Then prepare yourself, because this is one wild ride you just have to know about!
- Kickass Soundtrack: Prepare your ears for some nice tunes because what you’ll be experiencing here suits this game extremely well. The music matches the style of the game. Gothic, tempo driven and with a bit of metal spliced into it. Now sure depending on how the battles go, or which weapon you’re using, the music will be eclipsed by the bangs and explosions and whatnot. So if you want to experience the full glory of the soundtrack? Might want to turn down those sound effects then! Oh, and on the fact about the sound effect? Let me tell you, the guns sound amazing. From a high pitched laser to the grunting growl of a shotgun, don’t know how they created a couple of these sound effects, but I love ‘m. And so does my bass-loving heart!
- 8-Bit goodness!: On the visuals department, Hellmut does not disappoint at all. Okay, sure you have to be into 8-Bit to appreciate the game to its fullest extent. But even beyond that point, you still will have to admit that each of the levels looks really nice. The colors aren’t too shouty, yet are clearly defined. Your weapons and explosions look like they have a devastating effect. Apart from these, the lighting is another key factor that Hellmut scores straight A’s on. Not one level will look overly saturated with light or too dark that you’d have to turn up the lighting to actually see your guy walking. So to this? Visual department? Good job!
- Replayability!: As with a lot of rogue-likes, random dungeons form a big part of this game’s bread and butter. Each time you load a new game, the game will generate an entirely new experience for you. The types of mutations that you’ll be able to find, what kind of weapons that could drop on you from for instance killing an enemy or destroying a box or crate? Heck, even the items in the shop will be different every time. Okay, your health vendor will always have the same, 2 health packs a revive crystal for your mutations if any of them would’ve died. But the weapons and armor guy will have different goodies for you to choose from.
- Replayability… But…: Yes, this might be a randomly generated game, yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that a lot of my other rooms that I went through, I had already seen before. It’s not as if the random generator really generates each room differently. Rather it looks like it places a room as a pre-defined block and voila. You have your level to run through. Though cool, the devs do say it in their statements “Randomly generated levels”. This really isn’t random, right boys? This is just a build-a-block level that a generator quickly puts together. Hell, even the map layouts weren’t all too different from time to time. So true randomly generated levels? I don’t really think so!
- Heals please…: It’d be nice if I could find some random healing items during my playthrough. But no, these are as rare as a unicorn’s ass. If you are extremely lucky, then sure. You’ll get a health kit dropped on you, but otherwise? You’ll have to run through the level and hope you don’t die before you hit the shops. And does a health kit restore your entire health bar? Of course not! Silly, you’ll have to spend more money on healing items then you’d be able to on other items. Like, for instance, shields or extra weaponry. And if you do take the chance into buying a shield? Yeah, tough cookies, because the clutter that Hellmut throws at you will melt that shield right off of your body and reveal those smiley boxers underneath all those layers! … Health orbs! Something!
- Controls: Wait, controls? Yup. Controls. How can controls be an issue when it’s a twin-stick shooter? Well. It’s not specifically when playing the game itself that the issues spring up, but rather how to flip through your mutations or weaponry. Instead of opening the choice wheel and hovering over your selection and then close it again. No, you got to open the wheel, hover over your selection, and then press a button, to select it. I mean… What? Why would I have to do that? I know what I hover over, give me my quick selection back! This has actually killed me a couple of times because I thought I’d switch immediately.
- Can get really cluttered: For a game that is really well put together, it seems like they still had some issues when it came down to the projectile vomit. Okay, it’s a twin-stick shooter, but come on. The dense amount of bullets or projectiles that’ll be coming for your ass is just absurd from time to time. Not only that, but the clutter that’s being caused by the destroyed tables and boxes and whatnot doesn’t really make it easier as well. Please, it’s destroyed… Just fade it out or let it disintigrate into nothingness. At least that would make it a bit easier to discern bullet from rubbish.
Ha yes, if you have ever played games like Enter the Gungeon, you’ll absolutely love Hellmut as well. If anything, the game is a perfect tribute to the twin-stick shooter dungeon crawler! And for the price that it’s being sold, you’d be a madman if you didn’t play this game! Though unforgiving, Hellmut: The Badass from Hell will tickle your joy-bone for hours on end!
Developer: Volcanicc Publisher: Grindstone
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Alexis played for 4 hours mutating on end!
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: 10 to 15 ish hours.
Perfect for: Dungeon crawler fans!
Xbox Game Store link: Click here