June 9, 2023

Halls of Torment (Steam) Review - A Captivating Blend of Rogue-like Survival and Gothic Atmosphere

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Halls of Torment (Steam) Review - A Captivating Blend of Rogue-like Survival and Gothic Atmosphere

By Joel | June 9, 2023

Halls of Torment would have been a great early 1990s game as it embodies the kind of nuts-and-bolts survival game right down to the notion that despite having a team of characters to choose from, you essential traverse the underground caverns to face a swarm of enemies on your own. This is a game where much of the suspense involves your battle with the clock as it is with demons that reside within.

Halls of Torment: A Captivating Blend of Rogue-like Survival and Gothic Atmosphere

Nightmare Symphony

I appreciate the game's focus on situations and characters, as I find zero-sum plots where time is limited to be intriguing. The core gameplay of rogue-like shooter games involves selecting the most suitable character to level up and complete the objective. While some may believe that the best choice is the one with the highest damage output, this is not always the case in this particular game as defense and speed are also crucial factors.

This game is full of non-stop action, with swarms of enemies constantly coming at you. Fortunately, the hit detection allows you to move through groups of enemies without sustaining any damage. Gameplay is reminiscent of Vampire Survivor in that you must carefully manage your traits and use strategic combat techniques to defeat your foes. The game strikes a good balance between being challenging and rewarding, encouraging players to explore deeper into the dark halls in search of treasures, magical scrolls, and abilities needed to take on the end-level bosses.

Halls of Torment boasts an impressive progression and customization system. As you advance in the game, you can earn credits by defeating enemies and mid-level bosses, which can be used to acquire new abilities, powers, and armor. This enables you to personalize your character's playstyle to suit your liking.

Halls of Torment: A Captivating Blend of Rogue-like Survival and Gothic Atmosphere

Trial by Torment

The game's leveling system, though not necessarily deep, is rewarding enough and encourages the player to experiment with specific traits and abilities to produce a character that is both nimble and deadly. So whether you prefer to rely on stealth, brute strength, or cunning magic, there are multiple paths to explore and strategies to employ, ensuring each playthrough feels unique.

While the game is fun, there are indeed several quirks that are apparent. For one, there is the inevitable fact of gaming development: Evil monsters never hit their target, and the good guys never miss. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see an apparition of archers zoomed in on you but their draw and release is so slow, that you can escape their line of sight before they even have you in their crosshairs.

Although I appreciate the leveling system, I have noticed that certain abilities and traits appear to be unbalanced as some traits hit a stop gap while others seem to go on indefinitely. Additionally, the inability to re-roll causes minor frustration because you must either choose an ability or skip it. The game also includes a well that can be used to retrieve items for other characters, but I have not used this feature and remain unclear on its intended purpose.

Halls of Torment: A Captivating Blend of Rogue-like Survival and Gothic Atmosphere

From Torment to Triumph

Overall however, Halls of Torment stands out as an indie gem that successfully merges the addictive nature of rogue-like gameplay with a captivating gothic atmosphere reminiscent of the Diablo series.

Indie developer, Chasing Carrots' meticulous attention to detail in gameplay mechanics, immersive setting, progression system, and narrative elements ensures a memorable and engaging experience for fans of the vampire survivor genre. If you are seeking a challenging yet rewarding adventure through dark and treacherous halls, then Halls of Torment is an absolute must-play.

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