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Heroes of Ruin

by Alex Culafi - April 28, 2012, 11:31 am PDT
Total comments: 4

Well, I can't say it isn't interesting.

At PAX East, I got the opportunity to play Heroes of Ruin with fellow staffer Jon Lindemann (read his impressions here). Since he already covered the basics, I figured I would talk about my co-op experience and the game’s dungeon crawling.

As an action RPG, Heroes of Ruin attempts to take a well-established genre and add some twists to change up the experience, and from what I've played, n-Space and Square Enix has been somewhat successful. One particular difference comes in the game’s randomization of dungeons. With the exception of things like boss rooms and areas relevant to quests (which, even then, have some random locations), every experience in a given dungeon is slightly different each time. I think this is kind of cool, but I am also troubled by the idea, as many games utilizing a random format tend to make the experience feel less valuable. Thankfully, the forest dungeon I played was well put together.

Within these dungeons, there are NPCs offering side quests—alongside an overarching quest—requiring completion (in this case, it was beating a boss). For instance, one quest had Jon and I collecting materials scattered inside the area. Obtaining the items provided a stronger weapon than the basic one offered at the beginning of the demo. With this tool equipped, some particularly challenging fights became quite a bit easier, though collaboration was still required.

I used the Vindicator, a warrior class built for melee combat (as opposed to Jon, who played as the Gunslinger, with focus on long range). I had basic sword slash, as well as a special move (a forward dash). You can map to three of these special moves (which have limited use) at once to three of the face buttons, with one reserved for the basic move.

As the warrior class, the experience was quite traditional, though I feel like my time with the game was somewhat less enjoyable because of that fact. With all the special moves unlockable through leveling up, I presume playing will become far more interesting once I get to play with the skills a bit. As it stands, though, I would be lying if I said the Vindicator experience didn't feel a tad generic.

As a dungeon crawler, I was very impressed with the exploration, something often limited in games of the genre. Alongside monster fighting, there are the aforementioned side quests, plenty of secrets (Jon and I found ourselves in front of a slightly hidden spot, where cutting some branches led to a room filled with treasure), and even some really clever puzzles.

Co-op is clearly a strong aspect of Heroes of Ruin. In addition to the option for voice chat in online co-op, the game carries some subtle examples of the value of playing with someone else. Simply put, this game requires communication. Jon and I had some really good back and forths about things like what quest we should be focusing on, whether the other needs help, and general strategy.

The difficulty of going it alone is another reason to play cooperatively. When Jon and I were separated, I noticed I was rushing through potions much quicker than I would be if we were fighting together. For the brief chance I had to take on the boss of the dungeon, fighting solo was absolutely impossible, and it felt like I was dealing a fraction of what I should be (which makes sense, since this is intended as a four player game). Like many similar games, much of the fun comes from cooperating with one another, so much so that I don't think the game would be especially fun as a solo venture.

Heroes of Ruin is definitely a game I'll keep my eyes on. Although a design choice or two were questionable, the opportunity I had to play this game gave me faith that something of this magnitude can be done on 3DS, something I was not so sure of coming in.


PapermariofanboyApril 28, 2012

The thing is, the game is built so that it gets harder with more people. So, if you were going solo all of the monsters and bosses would be less tough, to make up for less people to kill them.

monoxzideApril 28, 2012

hmm..definetly appreciative for your insight with the hands on time you had..i was hyped for this game in the beggining.it SOUNDED like a great idea..but lately with vids of gameplay shown..i lost sum intrest.to me the creenshot look great..yet vids dont,they show blandness,framerate issues..and just bad enemy animations.its like we have been being shown what the game could look like in hd by their screen shots..yet the actual footage looks like a watered down ds version.. im not sure whats up with that..if sacrificies had to he made or not.then again i havent actually played it..as far as gameplay i look forward to reviews in the future..ive heard more ( meh ) than ( hell yas ) by others that have had hands on time..and that worries me this game may be seriously overhyped and will just wind up being Gauntlet renamed..guess we'll see

ejamerApril 28, 2012

I agree that things look a bit generic, but if the game ends up being a Gauntlet clone with (currently) the best online features on 3DS, well that's really not such a bad thing in my mind.

Lots of replay, solid co-op, tons of unique loot... even if it's not going to rock anyone's gaming world, it could be worth owning. It's not like 3DS retail is flooded with "must play" games at the moment anyway.

monoxzideApril 28, 2012

true enough..thats why im trying to remain opimistic regardless of my gripes..i think we just need to be able to see MORE..but atm and for sometime now they have shown much less then any other game promoted for 3ds..we saw moreof kid icarus a year before its release..this game comes out when..june?..but yes..i agree,theres alot to like about this game...juat hoping its all implemented well i guess

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Heroes of Ruin Box Art

Genre Action
Developer n-Space Inc.
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Heroes of Ruin
Release Jul 17, 2012
PublisherSquare Enix
eu: Heroes of Ruin
Release Jul 15, 2012
PublisherSquare Enix

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