The release of the amazing and interesting Kurina Police: Paint it red! Put HandyGames, a subsidiary of THQ Nordic, on the radar of the WTMG staff. We’ve always been fascinated by A.A. publishers producing small but creative titles, so I was looking forward to their next release. Ultimately, it was a cartoon invisibility game set in a Wild West environment called El Hijo.

The landlord uncle and aunt Beru didn’t get hurt this time.

El Hijo begins deceptively: a little boy in a poncho enjoys life with his mother. At the time, my Ori anxiety screamed as if I was ready for another motorcycle incident in the intro of the video game, but I was finally caught unguarded. A tragedy follows, when a group of bandits set fire to the boy’s family home, but without maternal loss. But for some reason your mother decided to leave you at the monastery, because she thought you would be safer with a bunch of old monks than under the care of your own family. So the game begins, you want to get away from the monastery and find your mother.

The main selling point of El Hijo, at least according to the developers, is that it is a non-violent version of the stealth genre. But in terms of play, it doesn’t matter much. All you have to do is watch your opponent’s movements and use your surroundings to catch up without getting caught. You can do this by going into the shadows (these enemies need points, I tell you), solving little riddles, etcetera. If you get caught, you’re quickly pushed back a few yards, which means the stakes aren’t as high as you’d think.

The fear of my Ori has appeared for no reason.

Simply put, the main selling point is also one of the elements that limit the gameplay of El Hijo. You’re a child, which means you’re limited in your ability to avoid your enemies. There’s only so much the hijo around here can do. The game is also a bit hampered by a few mistakes and a confusing isometric perspective, but it’s nothing you can’t get used to after a while.

If the gameplay is correct (at best), El Hijo compensates with his presentation. It seduces with its charming appearance at the edge of the Steven universe and its distinctive design. The soundtrack is also clearly inspired by Ennio Morricone’s Western masterpieces, with the same atmosphere and instrumentation. Fortunately, the game has enough visual and sound effects to keep you on the hook for a long time, which the gameplay doesn’t do.

These monks need glasses.

El Hijo is a great stealth game. It does what it wanted to offer, but apart from beautiful graphics and a great Morricone-style soundtrack, it does not stand out much from the dozens, if not hundreds, much better stealth games. If you do not like his non-violent approach, I advise you to consult his polar opposite in terms of colour, violence and dynamics, A Tale of the Plague : Innocent instead.

El Hijo has a unique and visually attractive graphic style, but the limited colour palette often clashes with the isometric perspective of the game. It is a simple game, sometimes not extensive enough, that suffers from a few mistakes, perspective problems and general limitations of what a child can do.
The soundtrack of Morricone’s El Hijo is by far the greatest climax and transforms even the most mundane sneaky sections into something much more epic than they should be. Watching and listening to El Hijo is actually more fun than playing. It’s a decent stealth game, but it doesn’t pay much for mechanics.
Last block: 7.0

El Hijo: Wild West Tale is now available for PC.

Viewed on PC.

A copy of El Hijo: Wild West Tale was supplied by the publisher.


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