Hob Review

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Hob is a 3D action-adventure game with the primary focus being adventure and exploration. It was made by the recently closed studio Runic Games. If you are looking for a game with an intense and deep combat system, this will not be a game for you. 

Graphics

The lightly cell-shaded art style of Hob make for a vibrant and pleasing to look at experience. I never saw something throughout my playthrough and thought "that looks bad." There are also a lot of environments throughout the overworld; including forest, desert, and water areas. 

Although Hob's art style is impressive, it does have many graphical/technical issues [played on PC]. A short list of the problems I encountered includes pop-in, characters/environments disappearing/dropping through the map, constant frame drops, and poor camera angles. 

Never once during my time playing Hob did I notice any music track playing. The lack of music hurt the experience and did not give the different environments any personality. 

Hob’s art style is impressive.
— Riley Williams

Story

Hob is not a game with a story. The only thing that can be considered to be the story is that an alien corruption invaded the world, a battle took place, and the corruption won, consuming and destroying the world, and your journey is to rid the world of that corruption and piece the world back together. This story is a very generic and over-used concept, and I can't help but think there was supposed to be more to it. 

Gameplay

 Hob's main gameplay focus is exploring the world and restoring it over time. As you explore, you will get upgrades to access areas you couldn't before. Throughout all regions, there are the same several things you will have to do to restore each part of the world. These mostly are ridding the areas of the corruption and restoring water to each region. 

All of the regions are also filled with collectibles for you find. The collectibles include move upgrades, cloak upgrades, materials to those purchase upgrades, damage upgrades, and health upgrades. A lot of these collectibles will appear on the map; however, seemingly randomly some would not appear (I think this was probably a bug I encountered). 

Along with showing you most of the collectibles, the map also shows you where you should head next. Having the next point of interest just marked on the map detracts from the adventure and exploration focus Hob has. There was only one time that I felt semi-lost and did not immediately know where I should go next

Although it has not been mentioned yet, Hob does have some combat. In fact, there are a lot of elements to the fighting that just never ended up being explored to their full potential. There are five different ways to evade attacks: running away, jumping, warping, rolling, and blocking. However, there weren't any enemies that made you utilize all of those dodge tactics. To help prove that point, there are only seven or so enemy types, with a few of them reused with a different armor you have to either break/pull off, all of which just have attacks you can avoid by running out of the way. The combat can be simplified down to break the enemies armor if they have it, attack, run away when heir attack animation starts, and then run back and attack. 

Overall, the gameplay of Hob had the potential to have good exploration and combat, but it falls flat when it comes to enemy encounters. 

Verdict

 Hob is a game that could have been something special. It has a good art-style, sound exploration, but it lacks a meaningful story and combat system. I am unsure if Runic Games was forced to release an unfinished game in hopes of not being closed, but it feels like if Hob had another year or two to be refined and allowed more depth added to the story and combat, it could have been a truly great game. 

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