Another hit as part of the PAX Indie Showcase for 2023, Primordials Legends: Hollow Hero is an ambitious action-adventure title that has you playing as Brunt, a wombat who over the PAX weekend was lovingly referred to as the “Combat Wombat”.
Set in a fantasy world called Eridal, you’ll encounter other anthropomorphic animals, as Brunt looks to journey to unknown lands and save her people, and we were eager to play the game for ourselves.
It’s hard not to be drawn in by the visuals of Primordials Legends: Hollow Hero. The team at Toybox Game Studios has done a wonderful job of realising this fantasy world, with lush forestry, gorgeous lighting and dark caves with pops of purple flowers. The demo on the PAX show floor only gave us a glimpse; the final game promises diverse biomes and structures, including base camps and a dormant volcano.
There is narration and Brunt herself speaks and reacts to the world around her. The voiceover work is strong so far, and shows the studio’s commitment to push themselves as much as possible when it comes to production values; in an interview with lead developer Tyson on our show, they mentioned God of War as a heavy inspiration, cheekily saying the team sees this as “God of Wombat”. They even envision Hollow Hero to be the first of a larger Primordials Legends universe. Lofty goals, indeed.
“…Brunt doesn’t just emerge from the dirt, instead leaping out from the underground with a fierce uppercut.”
In practice, Primordials Legends: Hollow Hero combines combat, exploration, platforming and puzzling as you navigate its world from the third-person perspective. Insects of the flying variety were the main enemy shown here, and you’re able to wallop them as they get close, or used ranged attacks. I played Hollow Hero at PAX last year and can feel improvements from the last time I saw it; attacks feel punchier and land with more oomph. Same with the platforming; Toybox addressed criticism that Brunt was “too floaty”, and now jumping from ledge to ledge feels much better.
Brunt has a range of other abilities that came in handy during our play session. You’ll climb up vines and burrow underneath the ground to access new areas; burrowing has combat applications too, though. Tyson giggled with glee as he explained that they wanted to make everything feel epic, and so Brunt doesn’t just emerge from the dirt, instead leaping out from the underground with a fierce uppercut.
We also got to see Brunt crystalise in ruberite, the purple crystal shell providing her with immense power to aid with her mix of light and heavy attacks. Oh, and of course you can butt-slam down on your foes, like only a wombat can. Given it was essentially the tutorial of the experience, we haven’t had the chance to properly check out the world in more detail, but Tyson assures us it’s rich with lore, and with plenty of puzzles and secrets to uncover.
While our time playing as Brunt was short, I am already impressed with the improvements made from the slice I played last year. The gameplay feels tighter overall, which bodes well for the rest of the adventure. Considering the commitment to this character-driven story with rich lore, it could certainly set the scene for a compelling ongoing franchise, should they succeed in their goals.
The small but mighty Melbourne team at Toybox Games Studios are ones to keep an eye on, and I can’t wait to check out more of Primordials Legends: Hollow Hero as its development progresses.
You can listen to our episode where we speak with Tyson from Toybox Games Studios about the game here.
You can follow the game and wishlist it on Steam right here.