by Dave Corn
When approaching my first review I wanted it to be a game I could gush over, a game I could easily get onto a rant about, talk and talk, I didn’t have that luxury with El Hijo.
Now in theory this should be something I love… I love the premise… I love games with deep, emotionally drawing in storylines and really good stealth action games are fantastic (Splinter Cell Conviction you beautiful game). All based in mythical American style South West, El Hijo is a child whose mother is abducted by bandits, who burn down their home and leave him in a monks monastery. El Hijo decides to escape the monastery, proceed through the desert and a crime-riddled frontier Town to rescue his mother and so begins 29 very nice looking repetitive stealth level based and with set ways to finish each level, this gives you very little scope for personal creativity.
It’s hard not to mention how great this game looks.. you are playing a cartoon, I’m again showing my age here as someone whose first console was an atari 2600, my mind is still blown away by these kind of beautiful graphics but unfortunately, I have very little good things to say about the interactive parts of this game.. it should have been a cartoon.
Honig Studios have made a piece of art here but unfortunately, I think they’ve made it in the wrong media… You get through the levels relying on your slingshots, wind up toys, fireworks for distracting in this non-violent game, along with jumping in and out of baskets Bathtubs, laundry baskets and coffin. And that’s it… we won’t be talking about this game in years to come. Honig may win some arty awards (It was just voted Best Family Game by the Der Deutsche Computerspielpreis jury and awarded €80,000 in prize money – Lord Badger) and critics praise but you and me… we won’t play it. After a while it felt forced, I knew I was still only playing it for the sake of this review.
Hopefully, Honig’s next game will be a bit more exciting as they definitely know how to do a nice looking game but unfortunately, the lack of gripping gameplay makes you feel like you are playing a port of a child’s mobile game than a well presented indie game. With so much else to play at the moment whilst we are all stuck at home, El Hijo will not be one of those titles, unfortunately.