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Video Game / Hob

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Hob is an Action-Adventure game with Metroidvania progression, developed by Runic Games (the creators of Torchlight and Torchlight II) and released on September 26th, 2017 on PC and Playstation 4. 2019 saw Hob: Definitive Edition, which was ported to Nintendo Switch as well.

It can be thought of as a 3D platformer version of Hyper Light Drifter, as both games use a similar mix of combat, puzzles and exploration, and adopt the same approach to storytelling: there's literally no dialogue or story text anywhere in the game, so observing the colorful environment and the actions of the characters is pretty much the only way to learn what's going on.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Affably Evil: The Queen and her helper. Both of them are very nice to you. The Queen even saves Hob's life when he's poisoned, and seems to take her death in stride, while her helper is the Final Boss trying to protect her.
  • All There in the Manual: Many details of the story, such as the identity of the helper, who the fallen swordsmen are, and why the friendly robot is special, are only shown in the prequel comic.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Hob gets infected with the purple corrupting goo on his arm. He promptly decides to cut it off. Luckily...
  • Artificial Limbs: A friendly robot quickly donates one of his arms instead.
  • Artificial Limbs Are Stronger: Since that robot is twice Hob's size, the arm is correspondingly larger and stronger than his real one was. And that is before he starts outfitting it with gadgets to gain extra powers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: No matter which ending you choose, it seems to mean the end of one of two civilizations, who never wanted to be in conflict but were forced to fight for domination of the planet.
  • Book Ends: The Stinger after the ending where you ally with the Queen is the same scene as the last page in the prequel comic, but in reverse.
  • Chicken Walker: You get to ride a robot that amounts to this.
  • Clockworks Area: The planetary core amounts to this.
  • Constructed World: The game is set on one, which is why you can alter so much of the environments simply through working with the switches.
  • The Corruption: There's a purple variety that infects things, and your job is to stop it and reverse tainted landscapes back to normal.
  • Dash Attack: An ability you can get.
  • Flunky Boss: The Queen's Protector's main gimmick that sets him apart from Hob. As the fight progresses, more and more waves spawn in to assist him. "Assist" being a generous word however, as the clones themselves are far more passive, dumb and go down in a single stroke. Their main purpose seems to be to provide Hob with health for the fight with the strawberries they drop.
  • Guide Dang It!: Due to the nature of the game's storytelling, what you're meant to do and where you're supposed to go is not made very clear. There will be more than one moment in the game where something seemingly major happens and then you are handed back control with no prompting on what to do next.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Hob's archaic sword is his main way of attacking enemies. It used to be his only weapon, before he got his other arm replaced with a robotic limb.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: You can find a shield for Hob.
  • Mighty Glacier: One of Hob's cloaks grants a tremendous boost to his overall health, but severely slows down his energy recharge rate, which can hamper his ability to use his arm's unique abilities to traverse the environment, and attack and defend against enemies.
  • Mirror Boss: The Queen's helper fights in the very same way as Hob, except they're faster and create clones.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • If you choose to ally with the Queen. The game ends there. The Stinger shows your robot buddy in the re-infested world, opening another house, possibly to look for someone else to do what you haven't done yet.
    • If you choose to not ally with the Queen. You fight her helper as the Final Boss, and subsequently kill the Queen. You sit on her throne and the rest of Hob's people leave their homes and start to populate the world. The Stinger shows your robot buddy sitting down and shutting down.
  • Patchwork World: The setting is a collection of plateaus shaped like jigsaw pieces that the player moves around and fits together in order to move forward. When the player unlocks a completely new landmass, its constituent pieces will be launched up from the depths below, briefly revealing their clockwork innards they overshoot the ground level before tumbling down into place. The implication is that the entire world is airborne.
  • Rare Candy: Exploring off the beaten path often lets Hob find these, which will expand his health and stamina.
  • Scenery Porn: Absolutely. The game prides itself on it's animated expanses filled with frolicking, carefree wild life and chunks of world climbing high into the air, figuratively and literally. The game even has a "vista points" feature where discovering and resting in certain points will allow you to view the surrounding area in greater detail than the overhead camera can provide and rewards you with, what else, but concept art. Functional too, as these vista points often give a vantage point which reveal secrets and even foreshadow paths forward.
  • Sprint Meter: Present, and can be expanded through finding specific items.
  • Sprint Shoes: There's a Speed Cloak item, which boosts speed at the expense of maximum health and stamina.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Plenty of them, which are broken through by controlling a giant stone arm.
  • Tractor Beam: Your robot arm eventually gets outfitted with one to help with the traversal.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The fight with the Queen's Protector invokes this, as despite ostensibly being a mirror match, the Protector's wiry frame apparently boasts enough hyper armor to power through attacks that would shake the composure of Hob's most goliath enemies and allows him to shell out attack after attack unabated, forcing you to wade through until he shows an opening. A process made all the more difficult as the clones he spawns cover him later in the fight. Not helping, the frame rate can become particularly atrocious during these segments with the amount of characters on screen, causing participants to sometimes skip animations or the game to ignore player inputs.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Present, and can be upgraded throughout the game.