I keep arguing with my bathroom wall in Hell is Others, a bizarre top-down extraction shooter

Personal Choices

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In addition to our main Game of the Year Awards 2022 (opens in a new tab), each member of the PC Gamer team highlights a game they loved this year. We’ll be posting new Personal Picks, alongside our main rewards, throughout the month.

I was late to the party on Hell is Others (opens in a new tab), partly because I didn’t know what to do with it. When I finally decided to give it a try, shortly after its launch in October, I still didn’t know what to think: it’s a top-down extraction shooter about a badass living in a ramshackle 1950s town, but the town is infested with vaguely insectoid monsters from another dimension, and there’s a gaping chasm in your bathroom wall dispensing prophetic advice and precautions. Not your usual black thread, to say the least.

It’s definitely weird and hard to break too. There is very little smooth integration: you are mostly thrown into the world and left to figure it out. This plays nicely with the game’s deliberately obtuse fiction, but unfortunately much of that “discovery” time is spent in the company of other players – many of whom, as the saying goes, don’t wish you well. Developer Strelka Games released an update in November which, among other things, made changes to matchmaking to queue newbies and veterans separately, and that helped smooth things out – it’s a lot more easy to complete entry-level quests when you’re not hunted down mercilessly by people already versed in the art of murder, after all.

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