Hollow Knight: Silksong - 20 Minutes Of Gameplay Footage From Nintendo's Treehouse Presentation

Hornet is a lean and mean bug-killing machine.
Nintendo shows off 20 minutes of gameplay footage for Hollow Knight: Silksong during their E3 2019 Treehouse: Live.
Nintendo shows off 20 minutes of gameplay footage for Hollow Knight: Silksong during their E3 2019 Treehouse: Live. Team Cherry

E3 2019 was an event filled with memorable game reveals and updates. One of these updates is for Hollow Knight: Silksong, the much-awaited and much-hyped sequel for Team Cherry’s hit Metroidvania title Hollow Knight.

Nintendo’s Treehouse: Live at E3 2019 was the one that snagged the major gameplay reveal, and we got to see Hollow Knight: Silksong in action for nearly 20 minutes while running on the Nintendo Switch. Check out the gameplay footage below to see just how much this game deviates from Hollow Knight, and how it seeks to create a new hero in Hornet, who is one of the main characters from the first title.

The gameplay footage starts off with a very cryptic poem that goes:

“They see your beauty, so frail and fine,
They see your peace, woven of faith and toil,
They forget your heart, bound in slumber and servitude,
When you wake they shall see your truth
A beast’s nature bare to all.”

Right off the bat you can already tell that Hollow Knight: Silksong is going for a similar atmosphere to the original Hollow Knight. This game follows Hornet, who is captured and taken against her will to an unknown, haunted kingdom, this one ruled by silk and song. The game’s opening cinematic is shown, and you can see her in a cage being taken somewhere in this kingdom. An accident occurs in which a blinding light webs itself around a bridge and destroys it. Hornet then finds herself waking at the bottom-most part of the game, called the Moss Grotto. It is covered with moss and other greenery. Unlike Hollow Knight, which is a game about descending to the depths, Hollow Knight: Silksong wants you to go up to find the answers you’re looking for.

We then see Hornet taking on the game’s first levels, which shows how different Hornet is in terms of both combat and traversal. For example, Hornet can edge grab, which is a mechanic notably missing from Hollow Knight. In terms of overall movement, Hornet is also a lot more acrobatic and agile than the Knight, in addition to wielding a longer and sharper nail.

The footage also shows the return of the iconic benches, in which Hornet can sit to rest and reclaim her health. The video then cuts to the game’s first boss fight, called the Moss Mother. It’s a fairly straightforward boss that’s meant to ease you into the game as opposed to just dumping new mechanics straight on you. Hollow Knight itself was famous for its incredibly rewarding difficulty spikes, which is one of the most engaging things I’ve found myself enjoying in that game.

After defeating the boss, Hornet ascends into a new area, where she meets a shadowy figure. At that moment, the demo ends, although it continues into a brand-new demo further in the game set in an entirely new area. The area is called Deep Docks, and it’s stylized to look like an industrial setting with elevators and fiery coals. The footage also goes in depth with the new currency for Hollow Knight: Silksong, which is native to Pharloom: rosaries. These beads are collected throughout the game and are used to purchase items which can help Hornet on her journey. Dying in the game will make you lose you rosaries, but this can be prevented by tying them with strings to form rosary strings. It’s kind of like the sen pouch mechanic from Sekiro, which is a great investment to keep you from losing your hard-earned currency if you find yourself dying too much.

The footage also shows off a bit of platforming, featuring a place filled with lava, still set in Deep Docks. This is also when the demo introduced the replacement for the Soul mechanic, which is Silk; by filling this up, Hornet can regain her missing masks, or her health. The Silk can also be used for various skills which Hornet can learn all throughout the game.

Hornet can also use her speed to dash very quickly, which is useful for traversing areas, such as hardened but still incredibly hot magma. Besides the spool of Silk, Hornet also has access to pins, which she can throw like a projectile to kill enemies from afar.

A lot more information was covered in the gameplay footage, of which you can watch above. Be sure to check it out for another look at one of the game’s bosses later in the game.

Hollow Knight: Silksong will be released on PC, macOS, Linux, and Nintendo Switch at a date yet to be revealed.

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