Title: Hellmut: The Badass from Hell
Developer: Volcanicc, Grindstone
Genre: Shooter, Action, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 03/05/19
Price: £26.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Take control of various Transformations and unlock new Transformations each time you complete the game.
Challenge randomly generated bosses across the randomly generated world, defeat demonic hordes, loot valuable treasures and soulstones, equip powerful weapons and use all your skills to save humanity! Or at the very least, save yourself, which feels at least as good as saving humanity.
Each Transformation gives you new ways of conquering yet more hordes of demons! Command rats as the Rat King, become the Orc Fairy with her mighty spells (well, as mighty as an Orc Fairy can cast…), dip enemies in the questionable goo of the Slimeball, or become many other ludicrous monstrosities.
Welcome to the world of Hellmut. Here we have a rogue-like shooter with an interesting transform mechanic. You play as multiple mutations each with their own unique weapons as you plough through multiple locates to take on the evil Hellmut – someone who has destroyed your lab and turned you into a floating undead skull! It’s safe to say it is not your day, nor the enemies as you shoot, crush and get your revenge on all who stand in your way!
Audio & Visual
The audio in Hellmut is not what I expected at all. I had imagined a punk-rock soundtrack, especially with the games name being Hellmut: The badass from hell. Surprisingly, the music is pretty laid back considering your blowing ten tons of sh….. blood out of anything that moves. For the most part, all you’ll be hearing is your gun firing, blood splattering, and the many screams and moans of dying enemies! On that front, it all sounds great.
Visually, Hellmut is bright and crisp with its neon colours – everything pops off the screen. The environments are nothing too spectacular to look at, with repetitive room layouts that are pretty dark: there’s not a lot of detail or points of interest to look at. The enemy design is varied though, and each boss is well-animated. However, after you’ve seen one hell hound you’ve seen them all. Each of the unique characters you get to play as look pretty cool too… but I feel they should have been a little more crazy with the character designs. I mean an orc fairy… rat… brain in robot suit… its nothing that creative and has been seen in hundreds of titles before… but they do the job.
Gameplay and Replayability
The gameplay in Hellmut sees you starting in a small lab with multiple test tubes located around the area, and your starter form will be a floating skull. You’re pretty weak in this form, but you are still able to fire a main scattershot and secondary beam ability with the triggers on the back of joy-cons or a pro controller. You have 360 degrees of aiming with the right stick, which is excellent. Playing as your weaker self won’t cut it here, and you’ll need to use one of your many transformations to cause some severe damage.
When you begin, you have the choice between two forms: the abomination or rat king. Each form has its own health bar, and once it’s depleted, that form will die for that current run unless you earn or buy a resurrect stone at the shop. Otherwise, you’ll be returned to your original floating skull form. Thankfully, your other forms have their own unique main, secondary abilities that prove pretty useful and powerful in combat.
Shop till you drop
You can also find a shop portal located in each level where you purchase new guns with limited ammo or health packs. Other useful items help you run quicker or use different types of ammo. Gold coins can be found scattered throughout each level or within chests or even drop from fallen enemies. The only other currency is souls that appear once an enemy has been put down.
These come in two varieties: blue and pink. They can be used in each level to unlock transformation challenges. There is a book located in each level that requires a sacrifice of a certain number of souls to activate. Once it’s active, you are set a challenge within a strict time limit. If you manage to complete it, you’ll be rewarded with a new form to transform into at any time. This can be done by pressing the X button and using the analogue stick to select a new form. Remembering each form has their own health pool, cycling between them during play is advised as some characters have better weapons than others.
Before encouraging a boss, you have to make it through the first two floors which are randomly generated. Each floor has a starter point and an exit point, as well as one shop and challenge book. Destroying enemies and finding the exit to move on is your main goal here, after which a random boss encounter will greet you. These are randomly generated, and you’ll never know who you’re going to face. Each abomination has their own unique attacks, and as you progress through the levels, you’ll find that bosses have harder and more unique attack patterns as well as abilities. As a result, you will always find the boss battles new and exciting.
It is here though that you realise this isn’t just a standard shooter. If you die, then you’re heading straight back to the beginning. Yes, this is a rogue-like…Every game I’ve played in the last few months has some rogue-like elements to it, and I am getting a little fed up with this mechanic. Repeating the same levels multiple times isn’t fun, especially when you’re not rewarded with anything meaningful in each new run. In Hellmut, there is no sense of progression – you don’t unlock anything new if you die which makes me less inclined to want to replay the same areas again. Good rogue-likes give you an incentive to continue. However, Hellmut doesn’t do that at all.
I’ve played a good few hours, and I’ve still only got two of the starter forms. Even though I’ve unlocked characters in my playthrough, they didn’t appear in the tube room. I was wondering what I was doing wrong. Well, apparently the forms you unlock during your current run are just temporary, which is little disheartening as I never felt as though I was levelling up and having a better chance to get further. This is one of my issues with Hellmut: the lack of any sort of meaningful progression.
The only way you can unlock characters permanently is to complete the game, so if you are having trouble getting through a particular area or boss, then you are pretty much going to be stuck in limbo till you ‘git gud’… While I do enjoy the high-octane shooting and mayhem that you can cause in Hellmut, I feel as though the transform ability hasn’t been pushed to create a truly unique experience and it falls flat in a few areas. This is a shame as I love the concept, but it just hasn’t been implemented all that well and a lack of meaningful rewards hinders my enjoyment.
My biggest gripe with the title is how expensive it is on the eShop. Coming in at £26.99… I mean come on that’s ridiculous. Most shooter games are roughly £8.99 to £10.99. I am shocked with 2tainment that they think they could charge well over the asking price for this title. If it had been priced at £9.99, it would have been the sweet spot, and l think it would have made a hell of a lot more sales at that price point. Currently, it is just not worth the investment, especially when there are so many better shooters or rogue-likes on the market right now.
Hellmut: The Badass from Hell is a good shooter, but it never pushes its unique mechanics any further. With no real progression after death, you’re treading old ground constantly. There are a few hints of creativity like little arcade machine in shops and challenges to unlock new forms, but, there’s just something missing here which makes the game feel too repetitive. Coupled with a lack of reward, it means the game falls flat quickly. There is an extra mode for score chasers, but it’s pretty mundane and falls into the same trap as the main campaign.
The price point here is way off, and unless you are desperate to play another rogue-like shooter, there are a lot better options on the eShop at a better price.
Hellmut is a solid but flawed shooter, and at this price point, it’s not worth investing in – this is one mutt that should stay in hell.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Hellmut: The Badass From Hell from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Hellmut-The-Badass-from-Hell-1552163.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.