Silent Hope is a roguelike, dungeon-crawling, Action RPG created by the same team behind Rune Factory. It is set to release worldwide on October 3, 2023. Embark on a journey to restore words to the world by taking control of seven adventurers, each with their talents and unique take on combat. Can our heroes dive deeper into the Abyss to unravel this mystery and set the world to rights? Let’s dive in! Presenting Final Weapon’s Silent Hope Review.
Adventure 1 – The Seven Hopes
Our tale takes place in a world bereft of language. Not a living soul can verbally communicate or even leave a handwritten note. The concerns, ideas, and feelings of anyone and everyone are forced to stay bottled up inside. How did such a curse come to afflict this world? Why can people no longer communicate? The dark sides of communication must have created an unchecked fear that eventually hurled mankind into this dark abyss of private, internal monologue. However, the hope of a lone princess may be the key to reviving a long-lost kingdom and our words along with it.
The Princess’s sorrowful prayers manage to break through her cries in order to call 7 unlikely heroes to the edge of the Abyss, a giant sinkhole that holds untold truths of the world’s history and a chance to break the wordless curse. Seven lights lead seven heroes to the precipice of the Abyss, each hero representing a classic RPG character class. Each character has a different playstyle and a nice pool of abilities to try out when you factor in Class Changes. What I like about the use of these characters is the little spin they put on each. I really adore the almost pop idol farmer girl and the maid assassin. You get to choose a character that fits your playstyle and enjoy some of their added charm as you chill around the Base Camp.
That’s the gist of Silent Hope’s premise. I think it’s a very interesting idea and has plenty of room to explore such a theme. Some of the potential is squandered for the sake of the gameplay, but other aspects of the theme are extremely well-handled. The deeper you trudge through the Abyss, the more you learn about the events that wrought our speechless world. The game handles the concept decently well in this regard because the Princess and mysterious stone tablets put you in other’s shoes in order to convey how words can be hurtful. This is even portrayed in an additional light after you beat the main story.
This falls flat for me because you don’t get enough exploration of this concept due to the admittedly small scale of the game. For example, most of the main characters’ motivations and extra tidbits are relegated to character bios on the game’s website. You get little nuggets of this during the post-game, but it’s slightly disappointing that not all of it is in the game. Despite this, I get it. Having all these plot dumps would break up the gameplay loop too much. I think a slightly scaled-up and iterative sequel could fix this! The balance they achieved definitely works for the most part, though. Don’t expect a highly detailed epic; you should be satisfied enough with the story on concept alone.
Adventure 2 – Diving In
Our heroes valiantly jump into the dark unknowns of this dangerous chasm to discover the truth of the curse and to fulfill the Princess’s wish to restore language to the world. What treasure, monsters, and locations does the Abyss contain? The only way to find out is to jump on in!
The Abyss itself is randomly generated, with each layer sporting a unique design, traps, monsters, and loot. Each layer has a set number of floors, so you never have to worry about an area getting longer if you have to make an escape. Campfires act as your checkpoints, and they never change floors, either. There are also statues that present you with a trial, and if the conditions it provides are met, you are rewarded with extra rewards. There are also portals that you can come across that give you better drops at the risk of having to fight elite monsters.
The Abyss offers a good amount of player choice in the ways that it allows you to proceed and prepare for subsequent dives. There’s just enough random chance to keep you on your toes while still allowing your skill to carry you further. One could prefer the special abilities other roguelikes dole out that games like The Binding of Isaac and Hades include in their formula, but I like how Silent Hope is more like a traditional RPG where you learn a character while expanding their kit.
Getting new loot to deck out your characters is important. Raw levels and new skills will only get you so far. Getting lucky or taking risks is vital to getting better weapons and accessories to take you further into the Abyss’s depths. The time you spend in the Abyss also gives you other allies the opportunity to craft useful items at your Base Camp. Your Abyss dives will net you new recipes and materials that play into this addictive gameplay loop of discovery and fortification. However, more on that later.
Adventure 3 – Building a Homestead
The adventurers find their new home on the precipice of the Abyss in a Base Camp they made surrounding the crystal the Princess is sealed within. The adventurers have erected several facilities in the camp that both make use of their own natural talents and help them prepare for more excursions within the Abyss. Use these facilities to make use of the materials you discover while preparing yourself for more strenuous journeys into the Abyss.
When you get back from the Abyss, it is up to you to figure out your next step. That next step will usually be to turn your newly found materials into something usable. Take things like ores and wood to the Atelier and Workshop to turn them into suitable crafting supplies. This lets you craft new gear at the Smithy. Did you find some fodder or seeds? Then, take those to the farm in order to grow some veggies and get some animal products. Those are handy in the creation of food, which gives you some nice stat buffs for Abyss exploration.
Your facilities also gain experience and level up as you use them, further increasing your efficiency. Sadly, there aren’t any base-building mechanics to speak of. There are minor cosmetic changes as you get further in the story, at least. Plus, seeing what your adventurers do is interesting while giving you scraps of characterization.
Adventure 4 – The Eternal Loop
With the basics of the gameplay out of the way, let’s jump into how all of these features and mechanics weave into creating a satisfying gameplay loop. The gameplay systems alone aren’t super special; they are adequate. What makes everything come together and truly shine is how well they mesh. Getting deeper into the Abyss nets you more materials and stronger gear memories. So you want to get as far as possible, but sometimes your skill level or gear won’t carry too far. This is where returning to base or swapping characters can save you. You can press on at the risk of losing half of your goodies or return to base to power up some. This alone is what makes the loop addicting. Chasing improvement and power ceilings are some of the most fun I have when playing RPGs, and this game nails that.
There are several aspects that like playing with one another in this gameplay loop. Diving deeper nets gives you better rewards and materials, but making use of such things also bolsters the strength of the loop. When you get materials you usually have to process them at a Base Camp facility. When you do this, you must pass time in the Abyss in order to give your comrade enough time to complete your order. This mechanical interaction forces you to complete more of the Abyss to make use of your prior runs’ rewards. Using these newly completed materials also lets you craft any memories you find, giving you stronger gear, which in turn lets you explore more of the Abyss more easily.
Adventure 5 – Abyssal Aesthetics
In what other ways does Silent Hope attempt to draw players in? Why with the music and graphics? The graphical style they chose was a lively and vibrant chibi look. All the characters and monsters stand out from the environments. The Base Camp looks suitably cozy. However, the Abyss’s area design doesn’t stand out. The Abyss’s areas have interesting things like traps and the odd background creature, but most of it is on the bland side. I do think it was intentional, as the monsters, traps, and loot do stand out more without tons of props and details cluttering the visual language. So yeah, overall, the game does look appealing despite there not being much going on graphically.
The music of the game is quite nice. The opening theme song is definitely my type of jam. I’m more iffy on the Abyss’s tracks as they’re more atmospheric. However, about every boss theme was pretty neat or even AWESOME. I definitely think the scope of the game limits how much music there is, but what’s present is nice including some standouts.
Let’s also discuss voice acting. The Princess’s voice is one of the only voices you will hear speak for a long time (besides the battle grunts of your adventurers). She shares a lot of info regarding the story and has many cute little phrases. However, her smithy song… She would sing this more often than I cared to hear. It was fine at first, but it eventually just took root in my brain. Besides that one voice clip, she’s very cute and cheery! Also, keep your ears keen to hear more and more voices! It’s very important and cool, so be sure to play the game a lot!
Adventure 6 – Random Ramblings
I will make two statements that I find true and do not mean to be negative in any way: “This game reminds me of a gacha game” and “This game feels like a phone RPG as a console game.” Keep in mind that I like gacha and mobile games. They have a lot of interesting things going on. I am actually so happy that Silent Hope feels like a consolized version of an in-depth mobile game. I used to love Dragalia Lost a ton, and Silent Hope feels like a Dragalia console game that I never got. The missions, rewards, and time mechanics also sold me on this idea. They were all adapted beautifully into a single-player console RPG as well. This makes me hanker for more games to achieve this specific feel.
Besides that, I wanna talk about how much I enjoyed the character designs and their usage of tropes. I already mentioned the Maid and Farm girl because those are really good trope combinations, but I also like the rich girl who uses her fists and the tomboy warrior girl. If you like anime archetypes, you should get a kick out of the main characters. I sure did!
Adventure 7 – The Abyss and Beyond
The Journey came to an end… or did it? Silent Hope actually has quite an extensive Post-Game, featuring additional layers, more story, new gear, and additional difficulty modes. With all of these bonuses, playing more of the game is even more worthwhile. You can take the satisfying loop even further and get some additional story!
I’m mostly using this section to make a plea to implore anyone who enjoys this game to play past the credits. It strengthens the premise, gives you the ability to power your characters up even more, and adds more to explore. I’d even go as far as to say this is like a second act to the game. Similar to a game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, in both the content reuse and additional elements added.
Silent Hope‘s strengths lie in its premise and gameplay loop. The mix of RPG and Roguelike elements link up to formulate a rewarding loop that doesn’t forsake your skill. Character growth, equipment, and skill utilization are still the keys to progression. The premise is interesting despite not delivering on everything. Although, the post-game uses the plot to its advantage in a few cool ways. The graphics and music also help draw you into this storybook world.
Silent Hope is a great time. The premise is interesting despite not always delivering on it 100%. However, the gameplay loop engages with a good amount of depth and planning. Deliberating on how to prepare best and proceed is rewarding. Skill isn’t thrown to the wayside for an over-reliance on RNG elements either, which is welcome. You end up getting a neat and fun title to enjoy at your own pace. Although, I do see some getting burned out on the gameplay loop. Silent Hope offers a solid foundation for what hopefully branches into a nice Rune Factory side series. Also, you can pet the Story of Seasons cow!