Silent Hope – Review
Follow Genre: ARPG
Developer: Marvelous
Publisher: Marvelous;, XSEED
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Silent Hope – Review

Site Score
Good: Very accessible to newcomers
Bad: Turns into a repetitive grindfest after a while
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Marvelous’ Rune Factory series is of course well known for its signature gameplay blend of farming sim and dungeon crawler. However, if you prefer your dungeon crawling action without tending to your crops, the developer has you covered too with their latest title, Silent Hope. This spin-off of the Rune Factory series is set in the same universe but is a pure rogue-lite, dungeon-crawling ARPG. We always felt like Rune Factory’s dungeon-crawling experience could do with some fleshing out. Silent Hope aims to do exactly that, and it even has Rune Factory’s cute cows to boot!


Immediately breaking with tradition, Silent Hope does not feature an amnesiac protagonist. Instead, the game opens with a tragic tale about a king who stole his loyal subjects’ ability to speak, before disappearing into an abyss. His daughter was driven to cry endless tears, which eventually crystallized, trapping the princess within. Our story starts when seven heroes arrive at the edge of the abyss, answering the unnamed princess’ call to venture deep into it to find the king, reunite him with his daughter, and return the stolen words to the inhabitants of the realm.


Presented in an isometric perspective and with a chibi aesthetic, Silent Hope feels a lot more cutesy and cozy than you’d expect based on the story. The visual style undeniably ties the game to its bigger sister franchise, with many assets directly repurposed from recent Rune Factory games. The aesthetic feels right at home on the Switch, and the relatively simple visual style means that your console won’t struggle to keep up with the action, even with dozens of enemies on screen at once. While there was no difference in performance between docked and undocked gameplay, we did experience the minor annoyance that the smaller text was sometimes difficult to read in handheld mode.


While both the story premise and the title may lead you to think that Silent Hope would be lacking in the audio department, there is in fact some voice acting here, with Spy x Family and Genshin Impact alumni Dani Chambers narrating the whole thing from the perspective of the princess. The other characters can’t really talk, but they will still communicate through yells, grunts, sighs, and groans -mainly while fighting. The only issue we had with the voice work is that the princess’ dialogue is limited, so certain lines are repeated ad nauseam. That said, the music is good and fits the overall tone of the game.


As we mentioned in the intro, Silent Hope takes Rune Factory’s decent but rather basic dungeon-crawling foundation and builds on this to present a full-fledged ARPG with roguelite elements. The seven heroes that attempt to free the realm take up their task one at a time. As you’d expect, each of them belongs to a different class, each boasting their own set of specialties, strengths, and weaknesses. This does add some much-needed variety to the dungeon-crawling gameplay, as although the dungeons themselves are relatively compact, Silent Hope can start to feel repetitive and grindy after a while.

What Silent Hope absolutely nails is the straightforward and simplistic approach with which it approaches its core gameplay. Many modern JRPGs, like Monster Menu or the Legend of Heroes games get bogged down with complicated crafting systems and combat that relies on mastering a blend of combos, stances, and party positioning. Silent Hope foregoes this and is a lot more forgiving because of it. There is not really a “wrong” way to build a hero here, and min-maxing is completely unnecessary. That isn’t to say that Silent Hope lacks depth, though. We’d describe Silent Hope as a beginner-friendly dungeon crawler instead. In between dungeons, you’ll spend time at a hub area where you can restore your party’s health and manage your inventory, as well as upgrade buildings that provide helpful services to your party. There are plenty of nods to Rune Factory to be found here, even if you’re not directly tending crops.

There are still some things to consider before venturing out into the abyss. Specific heroes perform better against certain enemies. While this means that not every hero is suited for every dungeon, the princess herself generously gifts you with teleportation crystals that allow you to return to the in-game hub area in the middle of a dungeon crawl. If you do this, you get to keep all items that you picked up until that point. You’re also able to swap characters on the fly through these crystals, so bad choices can be mitigated. Another thing to keep in mind is the weight of your weapon loadout, as this affects the speed with which a hero attacks. Slower attacks deal more damage, but sometimes you want to be able to quickly dispatch your enemies before they can hurt you. Your Warrior’s massive damage output might be overkill against lightly armored enemies, and he’ll have to sit through their attacks before retaliating, whereas your Rogue might simply outspeed them and kill them before they can lift their blades.

The combat system is logical and easy to get to grips with, while still offering some tactical depth. While this is enjoyable, especially early on, Silent Hope falls victim to being a grindfest. You’ll need to constantly keep an eye on the levels of your party members, because it’s easy to become overwhelmed by high-level monsters, and the only way to counteract this is by making sure you are strong enough to force your way through. Party members only gain experience by being directly controlled, so you’ll need to swap and grind, replaying the same dungeon floors over and over again. While dungeons are randomly generated, they start to feel stale after a while even if the layout changes between runs. Even stage hazards don’t do enough to break things up. The game is seriously lacking in enemy variety as well, which further feeds the feeling of repetitiveness. Fortunately, the boss battles do break this pattern, as each one is unique and feels appropriately epic.

If staleness hasn’t fully set in by the time Silent Hope’s end credits roll, you’ll be able to tackle the game again in Hard Mode. While we don’t rule out that we’ll return to the game at some point in the future, the random difficulty spikes and requirement to level up heroes that got left behind do temper our enthusiasm a bit. This isn’t a JRPG in the vein of the Xenoblade series, where you’re looking at upwards of 100 hours before you get to the end, so the additional mode is welcome to add more value to the €49.99 asking price. However, given that the game feels like its length was artificially padded by forced grinding in the first place, we suspect that many players will forego that second playthrough anyway.


Fans of the Rune Factory series and anyone looking to dip their toe into the dungeon-crawling RPG genre will find plenty to like with Silent Hope. The story is decent enough and the game pleases from an audiovisual perspective. The core gameplay is easy enough to pick up and proves to be quite fun. However, the game does overstay its welcome by relying on difficulty spikes and grinding, seemingly in order to pad out its length. Given that the game’s core is good, here’s hoping that a potential sequel rectifies that and truly gives Silent Hope a chance to shine.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Silent Hope - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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