There’s been a long line of people queuing up at Nintendo’s booth every day here at E3 to play the sequel to Hollow Knight on the Switch. These people have good taste. Hollow Knight was a great modern execution of classic Metroid-style 2D exploration and combat, set in gorgeous, mostly subterranean areas. Its sequel, Silksong, already looks terrific, as you can see from the video we shot.
We tried out both of the demo’s levels, including an early one in a green environment in which new protagonist Hornet only has her basic jump and attack. In a later, tougher level filled with metal and volcanic rock, Hornet was more leveled up and could dash and do a strong special attack. She’s got some sort of dart for ranged attacks and can heal if the player spends a meter that is filled by defeating enemies. In the sequel, it seems like you can’t just heal a tiny bit. It’s more of an all-or-nothing affair.
One of the most striking differences is that Hornet can pull herself up ledges, so if you’re jumping over to a high platform and you’re just a little too low (or it’s just too high, depending on your perspective), she grabs it and climbs up.
It’s never easy to jump into the middle of a game, but the demo felt good. Navigation and combat are tough enough when playing a Hollow Knight game from the start, and they were sufficiently tricky in this Silksong demo. Nothing felt off, the combat felt challenging and good, and the levels looked and sounded great. Development studio Team Cherry certainly seems to know what they’re doing.
Silksong’s appearance at E3 surprised me and a lot of the people waiting on the line. It hasn’t been that long since the first game, which came out for PC two years ago and for Switch last year. Nintendo press materials list the game as coming “soon,” but that could mean anything. Silksong is set to launch on PC and Switch.