I can’t even begin to count the amount of reviews I have written that started with the phrase “I love a good dungeon crawler.” It should be no surprise that I’m thrilled that the genre is having a resurgence. Now comes Heroes of Ruin, a dungeon crawler that tries to bring the loot whoring to the handheld 3DS. For the most part, the game does exactly that. If you ever wanted to play Torchlight or Diablo on the go, this is about as close as you’re going to get.
A great defender of the land has been cursed into a deep sleep. Bands of heroes have tried to find out how to wake the protector to no avail. Now, the next group enters to see if they can lift the curse and restore peace to the land. You are one of those heroes. You’ll have to discover the mysteries of the curse and find a way to break it, all the while taking on hordes of enemies while gathering as much loot as possible. That’s the main gist of the game.
You play as one of four classes that represent rather standard genre archetypes. There’s the spell-wielding mage, the ranged gunslinger, the powerhouse warrior and the well-rounded melee class. Each come with special attacks that can be mapped to three buttons, with the forth dedicated to your standard melee attack. Using the special moves will use up your magic, but you can either down a potion, or wait for the bar to fill back up. You can also block and dodge using the right bumper.
The game has a main hub world where you can purchase new items and equipment from vendors and accept new quests. There are a decent amount of tasks to take on ranging from main story missions to simple fetch or kill quests. When going to a dungeon, you can choose from a list, and when you complete what you need in the area, you can always go back to finish up some miscellaneous quests.
The game is very much a loot game. You’ll constantly get new and improved loot to equip or sell, and the game does a good job of dropping just enough to scratch that itch until the next big loot drop.
The game is not without its problems. The game feels rather slow in combat. Blocking seems to be a useless ability at times. I find it best to just hack and slash and use health potions when I run low on hit points. The special attacks seems to have a rather big delay when they come out, leaving you wide open to attacks.
The level progression feels somewhat slow as well. When you level up, you gain a point to spend on unlocking or ranking up abilities. The problem is, every rank and ability has a level requirement. It’s hard to not feel like you’re being lead down a specific path the game. The load times are rather long as well, and when you want finish up a quest and then turn it in, you have to go through two long load screens. The menu system leaves something to be desired. It works and serves its purpose, but sometimes you spend a little too much time just to equip some new gloves. Most of these problems I have with Heroes are honestly just small little annoyances that don’t take away from the full game.
The visuals are not as impressive as I have seen on the 3DS, but they don’t disappoint. I never had a drop in gameplay or frame-rate during even the most hectic battles. The 3D is never too much and complements the game very well.
The impressive offering is the online play. There is drop in/drop out co-op both in online and local play. The crazy thing is, it works very well. I hardly ever experienced any lag, and the play works how you would want it to. You gain your own loot, and all your progress and experience carries over to your main game. There’s even voice chat that works relatively well. Another really nice aspect of the online is the daily and weekly challenges that you are given. When completed, these will give you special valor points that you can spend on high level loot. It’s a nice touch that keeps the game fresh.
For the most part, you will have a very good time with Heroes of Ruin. The loot whoring is done right, the online integration is handled very well and the over all feel of the game is top notch. If you were looking for the one game that brought dungeon crawling to the hand-held market and done right, Heroes of Ruin is that game. If you own a 3DS, and you enjoy action RPGs, you really should pick up this game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.