Hellboy: Web of Wyrd – A Bumpy Yet Thrilling Journey into the Depths of Roguelite Combat

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd brings the iconic red-horned hero back into the gaming world after a 15-year hiatus. Developed by British studio Upstream Arcade, the game takes a bold approach by steering away from a traditional action-adventure format and diving into the realm of roguelite gameplay with a focus on weighty, deliberate combat. While the risk doesn’t always pay off, the game manages to deliver a satisfying experience for fans eagerly awaiting a decent Hellboy game.

The visual aspect of Web of Wyrd is a standout feature, successfully capturing Mike Mignola’s distinctive art style in stunning cel-shaded 3D. The game’s environments and characters mirror the bold outlines and striking colors of the original comics, making each moment feel like a living Mignola art piece.

The roguelite structure of the game is an interesting choice, driven by Hellboy’s near-invulnerability. Instead of dying and restarting from the beginning, reaching zero health sends Hellboy back to the real world from the nightmarish dimension called the Wyrd. The Wyrd serves as a staging ground for missions in procedurally generated realms, offering a unique twist to the roguelite formula.

Web of Wyrd breaks away from the typical roguelite mold by dividing the game into distinct chapters, each set in a different biome with its own unique challenges. This not only prevents the gameplay from becoming monotonous but also provides a sense of progression beyond character upgrades. The mission structure, while not entirely unique, adds a refreshing layer to the overall experience.

In terms of combat, the game shines with its emphasis on Hellboy’s weighty and deliberate movements. The hand-to-hand combat feels satisfying, and the scarcity of healing options adds an element of danger to each encounter. Despite some issues with the camera and lack of attack indicators from off-screen, the combat remains engaging. The game’s challenging action is comparable to titles like For Honor, requiring players to learn enemy attack patterns and respond accordingly.

Web of Wyrd introduces a variety of weapons and charms, allowing players to customize their playstyle. The upgrading system adds depth to character progression, and the inclusion of Blessings in the Wyrd provides additional power-ups. However, the lack of build variety may be a drawback in the game’s 11-hour duration.

While the narrative is somewhat uninspiring, the game compensates with its impressive recreation of Mignola’s art style and a unique take on roguelite structure. Hellboy: Web of Wyrd may have its flaws, but its challenging combat and faithful adaptation of the source material make it a worthy addition to the limited roster of Hellboy games.

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