To kick off the new year, we’re shining a spotlight on some of the biggest and most anticipated games of 2022 across all platforms and genres, today looking at Hollow Knight: Silksong. We’ll be looking at its journey so far, why we’re so excited for it, and what we expect out of it in the new year. Here’s everything you need to know about Hollow Knight: Silksong, including its history, known gameplay mechanics, and release date info.
It feels like when we talk about standout indie games, they fall into two distinct categories. There are lower-case “i” indies, the kinds of games that come out of nowhere and impress us by doing something new and unique. And then there are capital “I” Indies, which we follow the development of with the same rapt attention and anticipation we give the biggest AAA games.
Hollow Knight: Silksong is absolutely a capital “I” Indie, and as the sequel to one of the best games of the past generation, it makes sense. What started out as DLC for the 2017 metroidvania Hollow Knight morphed and grew to the point where it became its own full-fledged sequel. And though the three-person Australian crew at developer Team Cherry has been radio silent for the better part of two years, anybody who’s played the original knows that the sequel is well worth the wait, even though the release date of Hollow Knight: Silksong is still not set.
Development of the original Hollow Knight was partially funded by a Kickstarter back in 2014. The game eventually released on PC on February 24, 2017, with Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 ports coming the following year. While it received great reviews at launch, it wasn’t until those console releases, alongside a slew of updates and DLC, that the game began to snowball into one of the most beloved indie games of the decade — as well as a speedrunning phenomenon.
Hollow Knight’s success comes from a whole mess of places. It certainly didn’t hurt that it came out at a time when neither Metroid nor Castlevania was in a great place, leaving a void at the top of the metroidvania genre. But Hollow Knight stands on its own quality. Hollow Knight has a gorgeous art style and wonderful music, both of which have helped grow its fandom. There’s deep lore for those who want to seek it out, tight gameplay that trusts the player’s skill and intelligence, and a design philosophy that leans heavily into the success of the recursive model of FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games. Check out our own JM8’s video on “The Anatomy of Hollow Knight” for a full deep dive into that wonderful design.
As of 2019, Hollow Knight had sold over 2.8 million copies, with that number obviously being much higher three years later. Team Cherry was already at work on follow-up DLC, but that expansion grew to the point where it made sense to just treat the new content as a sequel. That gave birth to Hollow Knight: Silksong, which was teased by Team Cherry in January 2019 with a post that stated “Ready Your Needle!,” before being fully revealed on February 14, 2019.
Team Cherry’s reveal blog gave some details on what to expect from Silksong, including its focus on the character Hornet, who was initially planned to be the second playable character for the core game. Silksong’s new setting is the kingdom of Pharloom, which houses a hub town called Bonebottom. While the original game is set in Hallownest and focuses on the player diving deeper into the world, Hollow Knight: Silksong has you ascend higher and higher in Pharloom. Aside from this, the game will feature over 150 brand new enemies. It was also stated that it would launch on PC and Switch at first, with the possibilities of other console ports down the line.
A few months later at E3 2019, Silksong was a big part of Nintendo’s Treehouse: Live presentation, showing off nearly 20 minutes of new footage. Shortly after E3, Team Cherry released a post-mortem blog going over all the details it shared at the show. In terms of a release date announcement, the team was hesitant to commit to anything too soon, stating, “For Silksong we’re running on Cherry-time over here, that means both ‘When it’s ready,’ and ‘When it matches the quality and scale of Hollow Knight.’” They further explained, “Just know, we will talk about a release date when we’re 100% certain we can hit it.”
In December 2019, the team posted another blog highlighting some songs off the game’s soundtrack, in addition to detailing some of the new characters we’ll be encountering in the game. A few days later, it was revealed that Edge Magazine’s next cover story would be centered on Silksong, leading many to believe that the game’s release would be imminent. However, over two years have passed since then, with nearly zero information on Silksong coming out during that time.
It goes without saying, but the pandemic began shortly after that Edge cover story. And it’s no secret that it has impacted the development of virtually every video game, no matter the size of the team creating it. As we pass the two-year mark since we’ve last had updates on the game and approach the five-year anniversary of the original Hollow Knight’s PC release, Silksong remains a high commodity – and one that folks are constantly hoping for and predicting to see at every big gaming event, from E3 to The Game Awards to random Nintendo Indie World Showcases. There’s no promise that Hollow Knight: Silksong sees the light of day in 2022, but its mere existence makes it one of our most anticipated games out there.
That’s everything you need to know about Hollow Knight: Silksong — check out the full list of our biggest, most anticipated games of 2022 for more insights: