Has-Been-Heroes Review

Review Has-Been Heroes | Frozenbyte brings us Has-Been Heroes, a challenging, lane-based roguelike game of strategy and action, featuring a band of heroes on a quest to escort the King’s twin princesses to school. Yes school, it’s important, so let’s see what we can learn from this game.

 THE GOOD

  • I love the character art and while the levels are rendered in a different style the visuals as whole work together nicely to create a pleasing picture.
  • The sounds are pretty good as well, from the environmental sounds to the combat effects, nothing sounds really out of place.
  • The combat system is cleverly done and mostly enjoyable. The fights are all about switching your 3 has-been heroes between lanes and making intensive use of the pause button, all in order to hit enemies in the right order, bringing their stamina down so you can damage them and push them back.

 MIXED FEELINGS

  • The controls are fairly easy, if a bit awkward at first. I do still accidentally fire a spell when I intend to switch to another spell. This is caused by the fact that with some spells you can click RB to unselect them and others target the first enemy so will actually be fired when you click RB instead of being unselected.
  • I do think the combat is great and it’s just fine that it takes a while to really master it but starting out wasn’t as smooth an experience as it should have been. The prologue you can play as a tutorial explains some parts but not all of the important details.
  • The intro video starts of great; I could not help but feel excited when watching it, unfortunately that’s about the entire story you’re getting in this game.

 THE BAD

  • The game is designed to have the player start over dozens, if not hundreds of times. Win or lose, you have to start a new game afterwards. You do keep your unlocks in the next game, but that just means having the chance of finding that item, not the actual item itself.
  • Speaking of those unlocks, the process of unlocking items is extremely slow going. You do need those unlocks to slowly have more chance of becoming powerful during a run. Finishing with your characters really well equipped only makes the process of having to start over even more annoying.
  • Hardly any variety in the maps and gameplay. You’ll be doing the exact same thing over and over and while the levels look good, I soon didn’t even notice them anymore. The mechanic of forcing you to start a new game every time doesn’t help to alleviate the feeling of boredom that soon arises from this.
  • The game is really hard, which is ok, but due to the RNG in getting, or more accurately not getting, items and spells you need before successfully taking on the boss makes it feel needlessly unfair.

Score: 60% | Has-Been Heroes has some strong elements with its combat system, sound and visuals that could have formed the basis for a great game, but has precious little built on top of that. The combat is interesting but is really the only incentive to play the game at all, which ultimately just isn’t enough to keep going. If only there was a more rewarding experience to be found in the grind or a proper campaign to keep you engaged.

Patrick spent 11 hours on the game before writing the review, earning 180 Gamerscore. 

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