Highlights Hollow Knight: Silksong started as DLC but grew into a full-fledged sequel, expanding the game’s scope and potentially taking unexpected directions. The use of a silent protagonist in the original Hollow Knight allowed players to see themselves as the character and immerse themselves in the world, a common technique in video games. In Silksong, the protagonist Hornet will have her own voice and can tell her own story, potentially leading to a dramatic and open-ended storyline that could elevate the series to new heights.
In the gaming world, there are two prominent titles that players have and likely would wait forever for, and those are The Elder Scrolls 6 and Hollow Knight: Silksong. However, only one of those titles has been properly in the works for a while, and the other one has only just begun early development. In this case, Team Cherry has won the battle against Bethesda, as the solo game starring the infamous former Hollow Knight boss Hornet has been a well-known work in progress since 2019.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is one of the rare cases where a promise from a development studio grew too big for its original scope. What began as simple playable DLC for the prominent Hornet character promised during a Kickstarter campaign ended up growing into a full-fledged sequel. However, news for Silksong has dried up as of late, and there is lots to wonder about in terms of the game’s scope even now, which may take some unexpected directions.Why Hollow Knight’s Silence Matters
The original game by Team Cherry that started it all was a Metroidvania game that took inspiration from titles such as Dark Souls to build its atmosphere and stakes while adding more risk to its combat. One idea it took from FromSoftware’s hit series was the use of a silent protagonist as the audience’s surrogate. As players wandered around Hollownest, they were allowed to discover the world and the little Knight they played as at the same time as the insect critter. Through this approach, they were allowed to see the Knight as any character they wished for him to be, and that in turn allowed them to interact through the world as the protagonist themselves.
A silent protagonist is usually a very easy template for players to see themselves as, which is why it’s so common in video games to help with immersion. FromSoftware’s Souls titles use the same approach in order to encourage players to make their own decisions as in games like Elden Ring, their choices help decide the ending. In these cases, it’s often that other, non-playable characters will be given voices to breathe life into the world’s inhabitants.
Due to how Hollownest needed living, breathing characters to sell its atmosphere and world, even bosses like Hornet were given voices in the form of small grunts and battle cries, as well as written dialogue that showed many facets to characters’ personalities to where it was rewarding for players to learn more about them. As such, Hornet is understood to be a skilled and talented fighter who won’t back down from a challenge to protect her world.
It’s this side of Hornet’s character that fans have wished to play as for so long, so that’s the kind of person she should be as players make their way through Hollow Knight: Silksong. This may seem rather limiting, as this means that Team Cherry can’t rely on a quiet protagonist to serve as a good audience surrogate, but this only helps Hornet’s story thrive in the long run as she can literally use her own voice to tell her story. It could also extend the game’s scope significantly, possibly explaining the long wait.
With Hornet’s particular characterization, she could react to whatever mysteries lurk in the kingdom of Pharloom in her own way and help direct the player. With enough care put into the same exploration seen in the original Hollow Knight, having a character with plenty to say could lead to a rather dramatic storyline that’s open-ended in a way that may help the series reach new heights once Hollow Knight: Silksong finally releases.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is in development for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.