A game with a lot of heart, but a broken soul to boot.
Roguelike elements are a diverse and interesting thing that seems to be continuously expanding. It gives life to various main gaming staples and present them with a fun, new twist. What roguelikes thrive on are their unpredictability, which is why replaying them is oh so enjoyable. Unpredictable is certainly what the game Heart&Slash can be called, but frankly, I can't say that I got something amazing out of it. The mix of roguelike and beat'em up sounds neat on paper, but I fell out of it pretty hard.
The atmosphere and background of Heart&Slash is what shines the most. You control the robot Heart, who wakes up after a 100 year slumber. You aren't exactly sure what went down, but you get enough pieces to get the gist. Your goal in the game is to flourish through a labyrinth of hallways, and destroy every robot that stands in your way. It starts easy enough, but you quickly realize that the world is filled with bosses and hard hitting enemies that won't take no for an answer.
While that already sounds pretty roguelike-esque, it becomes even crazier with the equipment. Heart has a large arsenal at his disposal, which gets randomly selected at the start of a run. At the beginning, the gear offered isn't that good and the game wants to gets some stuff done first. I found this more than a bit problematic honestly. To off-set this a little, you will be upgraded with various pieces of gear with bolts. These trinkets carry over from game to game, allowing you to start the next run that teensy bit stronger. The way you make crucial decisions adds to the tension, and it made me excited to push onward.
That being said, there are a multitude of problems that made me put the game down. The camera is absolutely insufferable, and feels rather harsh to get a good grip on. I really had to battle with it. The bigger problem comes in the form of game crashes. On a system where the majority of the titles just run, Heart&Slash had the nerve to crash on me about four times. In two instances, I had a really good run that I will now never get back. That is just the biggest blow to the face.
At the end of day, Heart&Slash had good intentions and could've been so much better. I love the concept of the game so very much, but it is such a harsh mistress. The first number of rounds that wasted my time, the multiple crashes and camera problems are just too big to overlook. It is such a shame, because the arsenal and action feels so grand. Maybe in time, and with an update, Heart&Slash is something I could adore.