Hollow Knight: Silksong is the highly anticipated sequel to indie Metroidvania Hollow Knight, and although a release date has yet to be announced, fans have been excited about changes that a sequel will bring. Along with a brand new adventure, Hollow Knight: Silksong also features the princess knight Hornet as the main protagonist.
Hornet brings a whole new playstyle to the Hollow Knight series, as she is much more nimble and agile than her predecessor. She also has more personality than the original Knight because she has the ability to talk, and this should give fans better insight into where the story and world takes them. Though Hollow Knight: Silksong should feel like a familiar return, the protagonist change should give players a much different experience.
One of the biggest changes in Hollow Knight: Silksong is the thematic change of location, as players will have to guide Hornet through the Kingdom of Pharloom in her journey to reach the citadel. This is contrasted by the original Hollow Knight, where players guided Knight through the depths of Hallownest. Along with this thematic world change, Hornet brings a different playstyle from what fans will be familiar with from the first game.
The biggest change is that Hornet is a much taller character than Knight, which allows her to jump higher, move quicker, and grab ledges easily. While Knight wielded a nail as a short-ranged melee weapon, Hornet uses a needle and silk thread which gives her a more diverse set of moves.
These differences in Hornet seem to imply a faster, more fluid combat system. As seen in the trailers for Hollow Knight: Silksong, Hornet focuses on an acrobatic style of combat as she uses her range advantage to jump and poke at her enemies from a longer distance. Her thread also seems to enable her fighting prowess both mid-air and on the ground, which give players more options for ranged attacks compared to Knight who had to rely on spells.
Hornet also has access to a unique crafting system which allows her to create new tools, weapons, and traps to aid her in combat or exploration. Another big change is Hornet’s ability to heal on the fly, whereas Knight had to stand still to charge a single hit point. However, the drawback is that players must use their entire magic bar to heal and this means that they will need to play more aggressively to continuously fill the bar.
Hollow Knight players might also be surprised to learn that Hornet can actually speak, unlike Knight who remained a silent protagonist throughout the original game. This change brings a number of exciting new possibilities for the narrative and lore surrounding Hollow Knight: Silksong. Players will actually understand the motivations behind Hornet, and what’s driving her. It also allows her to have more of a personality than Knight, and players may have an easier time understanding the complex world around them.
Giving Hornet the ability to speak is also beneficial to the storyline itself, considering how Hollow Knight: Silksong appears to focus more heavily on sidequests and NPC interactions than its predecessor. Unlike the original Hollow Knight, side quests will be introduced as a formal mechanic and will be grouped together in a log for players to keep track of. Allowing Hornet to interact with these quests through dialogue will likely give more insight into her character and the Kingdom of Pharloom.
While Hollow Knight: Silksong’s Hornet brings a new playstyle and personality to the series, the game remains faithful to what made the original Hollow Knight so great. The improvements to the combat mechanics and exploration should offer a brand new adventure for returning fans while Hornet’s characterization should give newcomers an easier time understanding the intricate world around them.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is currently in development for PC and Switch.