While the promised free Gods & Glory expansion for Team Cherry’s excellent Hollow Night is still in the works, porting the game to the Nintendo Switch has led to the creation of some tangential new content & features that we all get to enjoy in the interim.
While not completely finalized, they’ve rolled this little bundle of boss fights and gubbins out as a beta on Steam, and call it the Lifeblood update. While perhaps not worth a full playthrough to experience, it’s more of an already-good thing.
The star of the show for the Lifeblood update is an all-new boss fight. The Hive Knight (pictured above) leaps into battle with a charmingly buzzy ‘Huzzzzzah!‘. He’s not the toughest of enemies, but still has some interesting tricks up his sleeve, and has his own theme tune.
They’ve also gone and tuned up the Traitor Lord boss fight. Formerly a little underwhelming due to a lack of attack variety, the mantis should now do a few better job of keeping players on their toes, further encouraging completion of a particularly helpful character’s side-quest.
One major new feature has been introduced early: Custom map markers should help you navigate the sprawling underworld a little more easily. Really, this should be a standard feature in every Metroidvania if they’re not going to automatically mark every type of locked door or closed path for you, but it’s nice it’s finally here.
Beyond that, there’s some (unspecified in the patch notes) balance tweaks, some additional sounds and voice samples and some bug fixes. The Lifeblood update is currently Steam-exclusive and can be accessed by right-clicking on Hollow Knight in your downloaded games library, selecting Properties/Betas and picking the Public Beta branch of the game there.
This new update should soon come to all versions, along with the Gods & Glory expansion (the last of the promised Kickstarter stretch goals), but for now it’s Steam-only.
There’s also rumblings that some paid DLC is planned for later in the year, perhaps giving us the chance to play as Hornet. Can a metroidvania possibly grow too large? Team Cherry seem dedicated to finding out.