Welcome to Hanwell Review

This game was reviewed on a PS4. It is also available on PC. A code was provided by Nathan Seedhouse for review purposes.

Overview

In Hanwell you get to be whomever you choose to be. An explorer, trying to explore the dense open world of Hanwell to find out what happened. An anomaly hunter, one that will search high and low to capture and kill each anomaly that you come across. Or perhaps just a regular citizen, just trying to get by the best you can in a world filled with horrors.

Hanwell used to be completely anomaly free. It was walled off by the Hanwell Council of Public Protection (HCPP) and it was what was once considered a “safe space”. One free from any anomalies lurking outside the walls, but something went wrong. Was it the rogue and power hungry doctor, a mayor that was overseeing things, or just a weird happening? This is what you can find out by exploring the world created.

Story

As said before, you can play this game from really any perspective that you choose. It really depends on you and what you are comfortable with. In this horror game you get to control what happens to a degree. To find out what fully happened to have a better shot at dealing with the anomalies, you will definitely want to explore every corner, every building, every home that you can. Along the way you will find different items that will tell you more of the happenings and why you are in the position you are. The more you uncover, the more you have the ability to understand and deal with the problems facing you.

The game definitely encourages full exploration. Part of the story line is that you need a level 1 citizenship card which has been torn in to 6 pieces and placed throughout the city. You will need to locate each of these pieces in order to get the full card and access the HCPP. It will all depend on you if you are willing to explore even more and find out as much information as possible by finding the different collectibles and story tidbits hidden throughout the city and its dwellings.

Gameplay

The game is pretty basic with its approach to combat and getting around. While maneuvering around Hanwell you will find different enemies and weapons that you will encounter them with. There is weapon degradation so you won’t be able to find that one special weapon and keep that throughout. In fact, there are a lot of buildings you will have to enter that will force you to drop your weapon in order to enter. The downside to this is that when you exit that building the weapon is no longer there. Dealing with the enemies are generally done without much of an effort but the game does have an anomaly that will come and blind you. When this happens it can make for a challenging time trying to make your way through a very dark city and dealing with the enemies it throws at you.

There was a really weird problem that persisted when entering and fighting in the arena. You get to control how many anomalies come out at a time by the first 3 switches from 4 to 12. The fourth switch is there to place bombs in the arena to help you deal with being overwhelmed. This however is something that doesn’t always work. The biggest problem with the arena is shown in the video above. If you are playing and die with enemies on screen or hell even just die before the game has registered you killed all the anomalies that were present, you will respawn and there will be no enemies but you will be locked in the arena. The only way to combat this is to exit back to the main menu and then continuing. This places you back at the start of the arena and you will begin your quest to 100 kills all over again. The developer, Nathan Seedhouse, did acknowledge this problem but unfortunately said there was no way to put a patch out to fix it due to him being in New Zealand and not having access to the project anymore. Although I have not completed the 100 kill threshold needed for the trophy, I can see that it is doable but ONLY after you complete the game and all it’s collectibles in order to gain the 3 special powers you get from those.

Graphics/Sounds

The graphics on Welcome to Hanwell are definitely nothing shabby. However, they aren’t without their problems either. You will notice pop ins from grass and other objects as you make your way around the game and this is something that can definitely affect your suspension of belief while playing. It sorta takes you out of the moment when you are deep in to the mood and start to see objects just popping in to view, or when in the arena and you drop the bombs and they go straight through the floor.

The sounds are great, you will use an EVP recorder to be notified of approaching anomalies and hear the loud speakers telling you to seek shelter. This is done with the presence in mind to keep you on your toes and to constantly remind you that you are not safe.

Summary

Welcome to Hanwell was a good idea but has some problems in practice. Though these problems aren’t game breaking they do present an issue with immersion and keeping you involved within the realm of horror. Sadly the developer for whatever reason doesn’t have access to his game anymore. This would be a very big game changer if he was able to fix the glitches and the small bugs that are present to make this an overall complete horror game. With taking those in to account here along with the pricing of the game, I would recommend picking this one up on sale as it is currently. The full price to me just doesn’t meet the threshold needed to have a complete experience and with no fixes in sight, it’s definitely a pick up on sale type of game.

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Welcome to Hanwell

19.99
7.8

Gameplay

7.5/10

Graphics

7.0/10

Sound

8.5/10

Story

8.0/10

Pros

  • Good premise
  • I love that in encourages exploration

Cons

  • Glitches with no ability to patch
  • Graphic Pop Ins
  • Items disappearing through the floor

We would definitely love to know what you think below

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