Studio Co-founder Talks About Hellpoint Co-op, Duels, DLC, Secret Ending

Hellpoint has already made a name for itself as an intense Souls-like role-playing game with a dark and twisted sci-fi setting. The entire game takes place in a derelict space station, which was once a bustling metropolis but is now devoid of any signs of life. Instead, the space station has been invaded by nightmarish creatures. What players will need to do is not just survive but also unravel the truth of what happened with the space station.

Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, studio co-founder and creative director Mathieu Boudreau shared a lot about what makes Hellpoint an appetizing game for Souls fans. There are, of course, unique elements as well that give Hellpoint its own identity. With a start-to-finish co-op option, brutal gameplay and scares, Boudreau would love to see the game sell well so as to open up a path for a re-release on next-generation platforms.

Until then, the following will give you a good idea about what to expect from Hellpoint when it officially releases in April for all major platforms. You can go ahead and add Hellpoint to your wishlist on Steam right now. Cradle Games believes that PC will see the most amount of sales anyway because of its enormous user-base. Just remember that the developer encourages you to get a controller for the game.

What sort of Character creator players can expect in Hellpoint? Are there fixed classes or you will allow players to customize the attributes? Is there going to be a gender selection?

In Hellpoint you play as a Spawn which is an organic being, made by a machine. There is an infinity of parallel universes so Spawns can connect together for coop gameplay. You can expect XP points and full level up with stat scaling and all that. There is no character selection, it’s a story-driven game where you play as a pre-set character. With Hellpoint, our biggest focus was level design and crafting the universe so we only made one starting character.

Let’s talk about similarities and differences of the game from souls-like games. What are the unique gameplay elements that are unique to Hellpoint?

We have quite a few features that distinguish Hellpoint from other souls-like games. We built our character to support a little bit of platforming; there is a jump button so you can explore the environment with an additional angle and attack enemies from the air. You can dual-wield firearms and unlock three ammunition types. In fact, every weapon unlocks abilities the more you fight with them.

You can play coop from the beginning to the end without interruption basically like Diablo and the game supports good ol’ split screen couch multiplayer. You regain healing power by slaughtering enemies. We have the “Omni-cube” which serves as a flashlight or a turret, or a tool to leave breadcrumbs behind, or a radio to play music while you explore.

There’s an Underworld and the real time black hole orbit system, and the accretion storms, and the black hole hours, and the territory war feature, as well as the shuffling of enemy positions. A player can put on a space suit to take a stroll outside the station. Looking back I think we were absurdly concerned about bringing a maximum of new things to the table, but we think the end result is overall very cool, certainly unpredictable.

About different playstyles, is there a proper class system with proper builds in the game or a player can choose to use any weapon, spell or stat?

You start naked as a “newborn” Spawn and gather scraps to make it through the first level, but soon as you explore further into Irid Novo, you find gear from the past and decide what stats to upgrade since there are weapon requirements. Everything is old but you can find blueprints to restore your equipment using machinery. We tried to design the game so that you want to constantly create new characters, and when you’re an expert, you know where to go to get certain gear and that makes you explore the interconnected world in a different order of completion every time.

How is the progressions system of the game? Can we expect something similar to Dark Souls? Is there a regular levelling system?

It’s your typical modern auto-save system that triggers pretty much every action and event that occurs while you play. So once you’re in there’s no going back. There is indeed a leveling system for your character and weapon abilities, and you can transfer an elemental upgradeable “chip” from one weapon to another so your investment is not glued to one or two weapons only per playthrough, but you can plug it and play with any weapon you like and remain deadly (as long as you have the stat requirements). There are also infinite level up and a new game plus – a harder game mode that unlocks after beating the base game.

About the co-op gameplay. Is the whole game playable in coop? Or it’s just the specific missions for multiplayer? Could you elaborate the system?

Initially I wanted to make a coop game because I couldn’t find anything to play with my friend on our traditional Friday gaming nights. The whole game is playable in coop right from the start up until the end and beyond into a new game plus. All the loot is shared, the XP’s as well. The story progression is for the host only, so when you return to your own world, you might be totally OP fighting the first boss, but we figured it was worth it.

About PvP, are there going to be different game modes or just regular duels?

At the moment I can only confirm that you can place signs in the world to seek an opponent for a duel. We have many ideas to expand on it in the future, if players want more. I still want my Fat Jester Gruesome Space Football mode.

How many hours of single-player content (the main campaign) players can expect to have in a single playthrough?
That’s hard to say… if you rush through I think you can make it to the end in 15 to 20 hours, but that’s also the amount of time players typically spend in a single map since each one is riddled with so many secrets, side paths and exploration opportunities. And we have quite a lot of maps to sink your teeth in. It’s not rare that I see players with a 100h + time record. You have to get way out of the beaten path to really see the whole story and alternate endings. It’s a challenge that we send to the players to find everything that we’ve hidden in there. Good luck!

Are there any post-launch content plans for Hellpoint? Any DLC expansions of sort?
Oh yes, we’re only getting started. Already, the demo that you’ll be able to play soon is a standalone story with a different main character. The business reality though is that we will need to show great sales numbers to really unravel our master plan of the future. It would definitely be complete expansion packs to make you want to replay the whole game differently. Fingers crossed!

You have mentioned that choices in game are going to affect everyone. Does this mean that Hellpoint has multiple endings?
Yes, if you only do what you’re told you will be missing out on a lot of content. The ultimate secret ending is just insane!

About the performance, What FPS and resolution the game will run on consoles and PC?
PC is butter smooth, consoles proved to be a bit more of a challenge so we choose to lock it to a constant 30 fps on consoles instead of having unpleasant FPS fluctuations. Not gonna lie, we aimed for higher initially, but with the split screen and all we really did our best to push the engine to the limit. We’re still working to get higher resolutions though. So many lessons learned.

What sort of microtransactions/ in-app purchases will there be in the game? What’s your stance on microtransactions in general?
There are no micro transactions in Hellpoint. We must be old-fashioned because that did not cross our minds at all. Like in the old days of the PS2. Personally, I would not offer just a pair of boots for five bucks but rather a whole wardrobe plus a dog, a laser axe and a pound of bacon. Now you have an adventure. I like the old idea of expansion packs, it motivates you to replay the whole game differently, so we’ll see. I think the way Darkest Dungeon handled it was great! With the vampire mechanic and horde mode and the new backstory, it definitely made me want to replay the game multiple times.