Colourful, calm third-person action-adventures aren’t my usual destination of choice but the double whammy of Rime and Yonder has led to me spending a fair bit of time running and jumping and relaxing in recent months. September might add another game to the playlist when Hob [official site] arrives on the 26th, although talk of PUNCHING and MECHANICAL GLOVE-ARMS suggests it might not be as peaceful as I’d first thought.
I know I’ve seen this game before but I hadn’t realised it’s the next game from Runic, the studio that made the Torchlight games. Torchlight is the jolliest action role-playing game in the world, with cute pets and so many bright colours it’s enough to make a goth faint, and Hob looks jolly too, but that’s about as far as the similarities go.
OK, so the bit when the fish turned the player character into chum probably means I’m somewhat off the mark in thinking this might be another Yonder or Rime. I didn’t get gorily devoured by anything in Rime, not even once.
I’m not entirely sure what Hob’s all about. Runic promise a “wordless narrative” and a world that transforms as you solve puzzles and complete quests. It’s an open world, with sprites to befriend and creatures to battle. And that big ol’ mechanical arm is going to play a big part, whether for the aforementioned punching or as an omni-tool of sorts, as seen in the trailer when it seems to be a combination of key and battery.
Runic’s founders left the studio in March 2014, which might go some way to explaining the hard swerve away from Torchlight territory. Maybe Hob’s appeal is hidden somewhere in the trailer above, but I’m not seeing it – it looks…fine? The truth is I have very little desire to play Hob but I’m considering reinstalling Torchlight II right now.