Hohokum - PS4 Review
SCEA Santa Monica
As we said in our preview Hohokum it's this kind of game which makes the Playstation brand so exciting to gamers. Indeed Sony has done a fantastic job of supporting indie developers and while this game is a joint development between Honeyslug (in the UK) and their own SCEA Santa Monica (most well known for the God of War franchise in recent years), this is such a unique experience that it's unlikely you've ever played anything like it.
|Hohokum is a visually colourful game.|
As the developers confirmed Hohokum doesn't have a deep storyline, nor many set objectives throughout the game, but rather offers a non-linear game which provides a relaxing, explorable environment which the developers have described as a "playground".
Hohokum sees you control a snake-like creature called the "Long Mover" which can be sped up with a short speed boost by pressing X, or slowed down and compacted with the O button. The game gives you little instructions (pretty much just use X and O), so you're left to your own devices to explore the level and figure out how to progress.
|It's sort of an elephant, but not really.|
With a sense of flOw, Flower and Sound Shapes the numerous levels all have primary and secondary objectives - and even the trophies are hidden so you can't get any clues there. Apparently some people have completed all the objectives and obtained all the trophies in this game in around an hour, but we haven't been rushing or cheating and have been playing for probably 6 hours now and still haven't come close to completion. There's plenty here to do thats for sure.
While this is a game which deliberately pushes exploration and trial and error, there was perhaps a little too much mystery and lack of clarity to objectives. When we started the game it was a good 10 minutes before we discovered how to progress from the introductory area to the next. Having said that, this is also be a part of the charm as there is a great sense of accomplishment when you realise how to complete the objectives in an area. I have no doubt though that this will frustrate some gamers.
|Hohokum is out now on PS4, PSVita and PS3.|
While it's understandable given the context of the game it's important to note that there are no multiplayer modes in Hohokum - either online or offline. There hasn't been any mention of them from the developers either, so it's unlikely this will be seen in future. At this stage there is no mention of DLC, but given the rather open structure of the levels we can't see it would be too hard for Honeyslug to create a DLC with additional content down the track.
One cool bonus for people buying this game is Sony's Cross-Buy program which means when you buy the game on PS3, PSVita or PS4 you can then download and play it on the other platforms. This is great news if you have a PS3 and want to play the game now, as you can then get the upgraded version (with better visuals of course) on PS4 if you end up purchasing that console.
|Graphics are simple, but elegant.|
Over our years reviewing games there are few that we can recall that have looked as bright and vibrant - well, actually, we would think of LocoRoco and perhaps Patapon. But this really is a gorgeous looking game that runs at 1080p/60fps on the PS4 with only the very occasional, almost imperceptible frame rate drop for a few moments. Also impressive is that each of the levels has a different look, purpose and enemies which keeps things fresh.
Sonically this game hits all the right notes too with a lively soundtrack by artists from Independent label Ghostly International. Not only does the music suit the tone of the game perfectly but it also ties into the gameplay.
|The Long Mover carries some people.|
It's fantastic to see Sony backing titles such as Hohokum which certainly aren't mainstream, but do have their place in the industry. This is more of an artistic exploration experience then video game, but for those that like something a little different, this is probably worth checking out.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||There is no doubt this is a gorgeous, colourful and stunningly presented 1080p 60fps visuals.||90%|
|SOUND||Just as unique, lively and entertaining as the visuals the music is a complete joy.||88%|
|GAMEPLAY||This game will divide opinion - there's little instruction on what to do and no story. This is pure exploration and experimentation.||77%|
|VALUE||This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea and at $19.45 the price is a little high, but it's a unique experience.||75%|
|OVERALL||Just like it's name Hohokum is a very unique beast. It's certainly artistic and worth checking out - if you're open-minded to something quite different.||81%|