Analysis of Hob. When the stage is the protagonist

Written by Kamran Haider

Hob is an action and adventure game but above all exploration. The creators of Torchlight have created an experience in which the weight of the world we must explore seems much more important than that of the protagonist itself. Prepare to discover a changing and impressive land inhabited by automatons and mysterious animals. Analysis of Hob.

The first thing that surprises Hob is the decorative nature of its scenarios. Everything says civilization, everything says past, but also beauty, loneliness, and melancholy. The second thing that surprises is that it also says something about Zelda, about Metroidvanias and that with it Runic Games, creators of the outstanding Torchlight saga, have managed to distance themselves. We speak of a game of exploration and action in which the camera, elevated and in the third person, does not know what modesty is and does not hesitate to constantly show us panoramas that overwhelm and impatient the most curious player.

We guide a hooded individual, lonely and with a certain mysterious air for this melancholic world and, as we soon discovered, dangerous. A purple substance infects our arm and we lose it. Luckily, we have a protector: an automaton that does not hesitate to shed its own mechanical arm to implant us. Then the cakes begin. We went from moving through those green lands full of defenseless and confused ruins to begin to see that there is something that we have to resuscitate: the buried heart of something very old and forgotten.

Before us, a semi-open world where powerful abilities await us, sword fights and the vestiges of that old world hidden behind a puzzle whose resolution changes entire areas of the map. Although we have a map that indicates the goal, Hob manages to show us the way to follow the design of the stage, but it also allows you to hide secrets and improvements in less visible areas of the map. With this, although the control of the prota is not the most polished, the exploration is very grateful. Especially on occasions when thinking that we deviate from the “obvious main road” we end up finding “the true main road”. Either way, every detour always has a good reward, and that’s a good reward for the player.

A very special world

On the other hand, the game sins short of words. We love the stories that are transmitted through the experience as much as you, but the problem is when interacting with the environment, as players, it is not clear to us if we can not advance because we should not or because we have not known interpret the subtle indications of the developers. That is, sometimes we have the example mentioned above, but others also feel somewhat embarrassed to go a little blind, performing tasks that do not seem related to the main objective.

When we discover how Hob’s world really is and how to move more efficiently, we come across a vast complex scenario worthy of admiration. Towards the middle of the game, we started to generate an intuition about what each button does, but we have the feeling that the game lacks clearer indications of how our interactions with the world affect. As much as we move around this fantastic world, and however much we like its design, we do not just feel attached to it. Maybe it’s the camera’s fault, that out of our control. Being a third-person game with parts of platforms, it is highly uncomfortable and causes unnecessary deaths. We get used to it, of course, but what we do not want to get used to is the tugs that the rate of frames per second …

Hob is an action and adventure game, but above all explorationspecial world

Although the protagonist does his job well, what most falls in love with Hob is the world we inhabit. The artistic work is excellent, but not because of the caricature style or the animations, but because of the coherent and attractive representation of the world. Intersections of the leafy forest with stone parts, technology and rusty machinery that, as we said, seem to be below everything we see on the surface. Regarding the action and the combat, although it is in the background with respect to a Zelda, most encounters usually resolve to wait for the enemy to attack, dodging and counterattacking with the sword or mechanical arm. Throughout the adventure we are finding new skills, but nothing that brings essential novelties to combat mechanics.

The artistic work is excellent.

If Hob is a beauty in the purely visual sense, in the sound part he seeks to contribute to the atmosphere although in a more discreet and less grandiloquent way. There are good scores, but the compositions are somewhat simpler and contrast, precisely, with the variegated aesthetic. Surely the type of audio design has something to do with creating a minimalist feeling of isolation to fit well with the very universe you intend to create, so … again a point in favor of the program.

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Despite the pitfalls and technical failures, Hob is a title that explorers and anyone who wants to get to know a world with personality and well thought out will greatly enjoy. It is a good example of how to carry out a game in the third person without worrying about the script, focusing on the beauty and sense of discovery that inspires us when it gives us new parts of the stage. It’s fun, entertaining and smart at times. If you miss a beautiful adventure in your life, do not think much about it.

  • Visually it is a joy. It gives real pleasure to stop to contemplate the panoramic.
  • The expiration can be very rewarding
  • The fascinating world in which the adventure takes place
  • Sometimes the objective is not clear
  • There are technical failures that do not seem difficult to solve
  • The experience would have won whole with better camera and control

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Kamran Haider

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