Hellbound – Review
Follow Genre: FPS
Developer: Saibot Studios
Publisher: Saibot Studios, Nimble Giant Entertainment
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Hellbound – Review

Site Score
Good: It's fast, and gunplay can be pretty rewarding.
Bad: There's just not a lot there, variety is non-existent.
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Hellbound is a game developed for a 90s audience, but released 30 years later in 2020. With the revival of games like DOOM, and DOOM Eternal releasing just earlier in the year, there’s clearly a market for fast-paced old-school shooters. Hellbound promised to have a non-existent story, a modern style and the balls to the wall 90s shooting gallery. The game was put on hold a few times, so let’s see if this game really is worth the wait and delivers on its promises.


There isn’t really much of a story to go off here. If you’re playing this game, it’s almost assuredly because you’re filled to the brim with 90s nostalgia and longing for the next DOOM or Quake. The developers behind the title even pre-warn you that the game is as 90s as it gets. You play as Hellgore, the last of his race. The demonic hordes that you’re fighting have invaded Earth, and so the humans have somehow revived you to fight on their behalf, and as the demons are apparently what killed your race, you’re game. The game only has one campaign, and the length of it is questionable. At only two or so hours, we finished the campaign and had tried a touch of the side-content.


The game has everything you’re probably expecting, with the player characters being dropped into a hellscape you’ll have to fight hordes of enemies through. For the size of the development team, they’ve managed to make a pretty great-looking world, filled with some pretty saturated environments at times. The lava just pops out against some of the gloom and doom. They’ve tried to make the game look like something modern, released in the current year, but it sure does resemble other old-school shooters from the early 2000s. A more stylized aesthetics choice probably would’ve made some of the faults of the game a little less obvious, like, perhaps something along the lines of DUSK or Ion Fury. For a game that’s trying to be authentic, it just doesn’t feel authentic to its genre.


The sound is surprisingly great. The music lies somewhere between metal and dad rock, and it’s just so great. There are not that many tracks though, so you’re gonna have to really, really enjoy the track, or you’re outta luck, and it doesn’t really sync up to anything interesting happening. Some of the audio lines are also hit-and-miss, but most of them will have you cracking a smile. The sounds of the guns are also suffering from this lack of variety, but the audio only really falls flat with the rocket launcher. You’ve got a nice visual impact, great damage, but there should be a loud, satisfying explosion when fired. Especially when the earlier introduced shotgun sounds so, so satisfying.


Hellbound is a typical 90s shooter, albeit modernized to suit our current gaming rigs. The game throws you in situations where you kill hordes of enemies, in a true old-school style. Shooting enemies is quite satisfying. If you’re using the shotgun, or the SNG equivalent from Quake, you’re gonna have a good time. The weapons feel satisfying, the damage is immense and the sounds of the guns feel great. The shotgun in particular sounds like you’re slamming a car door with every round. This is where the biggest problem of the game lies. There are only four weapons in the game, and the other two just aren’t good. The first is a slower, awful machine gun, and the other is a rocket launcher that just feels like it has no impact visually, or audibly. The shooting also features ADS (aim-down sights) for some reason, which doesn’t suit the style of the game at all. Also, for some reason, the animation of you aiming down the sights is buggered.

The variety of enemies is also limited in this regard, with there being four enemy types, all of them being pretty uninteresting. The demonic enemy that throws projectile fireballs, for example, is very similar to its contemporaries, but does very little other than standing still and waiting for you to end it. The gunplay itself is very satisfying and responsive, and moving as fast as you can is a breeze. The levels are all pretty well designed, and exploring the maps to find items and more enemies to shoot was a blast. The survival mode doesn’t really feel great to play, especially with how open it is. Surviving waves of enemies and kiting them around until you chip them down just isn’t satisfying, and the guns don’t really feel made for it.


There were lessons to be learned from 90s shooters, with great titles like DOOM, DUSK, Ion Fury, Amid Evil, all releasing well before Hellbound, but we haven’t really seen those lessons learned in-game. There are also not really any new advancements with the game, and it’s far too strict on sticking to the older games it’s basing itself off. It doesn’t really have its own identity, in the way other games like it have strived forward with. The variety of the game, and the lack of content that’s on offer is the biggest drawback of the game. It’s only got four guns, a few music tracks, four enemy types, etc. It’s hard not to get a little bit bored with those enemies, even when the campaign is only two or so hours long. The gameplay is actually pretty great though, so it’s a shame that the content on offer is so limited. If the game had a little more time to really find its identity, and make content with this gameplay system, it could’ve been good.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Hellbound - Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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