Saturday, February 10, 2024

The State of Silksong

The sequel to the beloved Hollow Knight was announced by Team Cherry about five years ago, on Valentine's Day 2019, with an impressive trailer and a detailed statement. A playable demo followed shortly after at E3 2019, which was even featured by Nintendo Treehouse: Live, where it all looked very promising. Then it took three years for another trailer to release, announcing the game for Xbox Game Pass, where it was claimed by Microsoft via social media that Hollow Knight: Silksong would arrive in the next twelve months...

That didn't happen and this may give people reason to worry. Maybe the game was announced too early? Maybe the game was too ambitious? Maybe Team Cherry couldn't handle the pressure of the success of the first game...? But I personally like to believe that the success of Hollow Knight simply allows Team Cherry to take their sweet time with Silksong, to make it the best it can be and as complete as it can be.

There are also some interesting parallels to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom here. Both games are the sequel to a fan favorite from 2017, where the development spawned from DLC ideas. Nintendo had been working on the Expansion Pass for Breath of the Wild and out of this came the idea for the Ultrahand and more, where they've decided to make this a core aspect of the next game...

For Hollow Knight Team Cherry released a series of free updates, like The Grimme Troupe and Godmaster, where one of the Kickstarter stretch goals for the game had been a playable Hornet, a character who is both foe and ally in Hollow Knight. But they came to realize that it would be more fun to make a game world designed for her, which then led to the development of a new game (which will be free for the corresponding backers).

Now, Tears of the Kingdom released as the full package. Nintendo launched the game on May 12th last year and – other than two additional amiibo – this was really it. No Expansion Pass, no free content updates, they've done all they wanted to do and have moved on immediately, whether you like it or not.

It's easy to imagine the same for Hollow Knight: Silksong. Team Cherry have the luxury now to take as much time as they need and they will likely want Silksong to be fully done when it ships, where it gets all the features that were added post-launch to Hollow Knight from the start, things like Godhome or the Path of Pain, and probably more than just that, so that Silksong will leave nothing to desire. Maybe they'll make some adjustments based on fan feedback afterwards, but most likely they are going to focus on a completely different project, where fans will obsess over it for the years to come.

Time will tell. The only problem with this situation is the radio silence and the lack of transparency. They don't have to show more of the game, if they don't want to, but at least getting some updates about its state of development from time to time would be good. Maybe they will give us such an update soon, maybe it will take another year, we will see...

No comments:

Post a Comment