The long-awaited sequel to Team Cherry’s beloved debut title, Hollow Knight, is almost as mysterious today as it was when it was first announced. Team Cherry has kept details concerning Hollow Knight Silksong close to the chest, teasing enemy designs and musical scores, but remaining coy on almost everything else. Below, we go over everything we know about Hollow Knight Silksong right now.
Silksong sees you play as Hornet, a fan-favorite character in the Hollow Knight community. A princess born out of wedlock as part of a magical pact, Hornet is both the daughter of the god-like ruler of Hallownest, the Pale King, and the spider queen of Deepnest, Herrah the Beast. Utilizing a needle and thread, Hornet regularly appears throughout the first Hollow Knight, first as a boss and later as an ally. Silksong will be the fans’ first chance to play as her.
Silksong was originally penned for the first half of 2023. However, in May 2023, Team Cherry marketing and publishing representative Matthew Griffin announced that development was “still continuing” and that the game would be delayed. No new release date or launch window has since been revealed, so we can only hope that 2024 is finally the year we get to play Silksong.
What we know
Silksong is an action-focused metroidvania where you explore an old kingdom, Pharloom, meeting oddball denizens and contending with dangerous insects, arachnids, and annelids. Throughout the journey, you’ll earn additional skills and weapons that unlock new pathways through the interconnected world.
As opposed to Hollow Knight, which saw the unnamed knight leave Dirtmouth on the surface to delve deeper into Hallownest, Silksong sees Hornet start in the furthest depths of Pharloom and strive to reach the Citadel at the top of the kingdom. Pharloom is described as a kingdom of silk and song, featuring far more industrialization than Hallownest did. It isn’t clear why Hornet is brought to Pharloom or whether this kingdom has any connection to Hallownest–only that Hornet wants to escape it.
Hornet can move far more quickly than the first game’s knight–she’s able to quickly hoist herself up ledges, she has a longer-reaching dash, and she can heal nearly instantly (even in midair). Otherwise, the game plays similarly to the first.
In an interview published in Edge Issue #354, Hollow Knight Silksong game designer Willian Pellen said, “Hornet being taller changes everything,” as the cave-like nature of the world needed to be made larger to accommodate her height. With this adjustment to the environment, the enemies had to be designed differently too.
“So the core of the world is mainly a reflection of Hornet: her fighting is so fast, and she’s so competent, that it changes the way that enemies need to be designed, and her nature as a character is echoed in the way the world is set up,” Hollow Knight Silksong animator Ari Gibson said in that same interview. “And what that means is–and this perhaps happened automatically just through development–she’s much more physical, and the world as a result is more physical.”
I got to see a little bit of what this is like at E3 2019 where there were two playable Silksong demos, one in an ambient forest area and another at a dock alongside rivers and geysers of lava. Both setpieces featured far more verticality and open space than most of the locations in Hollow Knight and enemies were more nimble and aggressive than what the original knight had to contend with. It was tricky adapting to Hornet’s movement–especially her downward aerial attack, which is a diagonal dive instead of the knight’s straight-down slash–but once I got into the swing of things, it was a whole lot of fun.
Silksong has been confirmed for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, and PC. On Xbox and PC, Silksong will be available through Xbox Game Pass on day one.
PC system specs
The system specs for Silksong have yet to be revealed.
We’ve gotten two trailers for Silksong. The first, February 2019’s reveal trailer, showcases Hornet being brought to Pharloom in captivity before escaping and embarking on her upward journey toward the Citadel. This was our first look at Silksong’s gameplay.
2022’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase trailer revealed that Silksong was coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one while also showcasing how far the game had come in the three years of Team Cherry’s relative silence. Hornet’s movements look a lot sharper and the enemy and level design has been iterated on to account for Hornet’s more nimble fighting style.
Hollow Knight: Silksong | Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
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Team Cherry hasn’t revealed whether Silksong will get post-launch DLC, but the first Hollow Knight did, so its sequel may as well. Post-launch, Hollow Knight got four major content updates. Hidden Dreams added more bosses and a new fast travel mechanic, The Grimm Troupe added new story chapters and NPCs, Lifeblood made major balancing adjustments, and Godmaster added a boss rush and new endings to the story. Silksong was originally meant to be the fifth and final expansion but eventually grew so large that Team Cherry decided to spin it off as its own game.