Battle Hunters is a new RPG adventure in a classic style that looks and feels a bit like a mobile game. But more importantly: it’s releasing today! Developer studio Phase Two Games promises an original tactical real-time combat system, and my attention was caught. I dived into this game immediately and ended up playing it a lot, not to say I got addicted a little to the gameplay. I’d like to give a special shout out to Phase Two’s Toby Charlton, who helped me out right away when I got stuck in the game for a bit (turned out I missed a cave, silly me). Anyway, I hope my enthusiasm for Battle Hunters will rub off a little on you!
What we liked!
- Range of heroes: One of the best things about Battle Hunters, is meeting new characters you can recruit on your journey. There are no less than 28 unique heroes to discover, and I was very curious to meet new ones all the time. There’s Juan the Swordsman, Selena the Witch, Raven the Assassin and Tryst the Thief, amongst a lot of other people! Every character has their own abilities and moves that unlock as they level up. Of course, you can upgrade stats when your characters grow as well. I liked all characters but noticed I have a few favorites that I use more than others because I really want to see them grow.
- Enemies: Your foes will come in all sizes and shapes and will gradually become more difficult, as your characters level up. The Steam page promises plenty of different enemies and there really were. Some examples include griffins, spiders, lizardmen, ogres, (redback) spiders, skeleton soldiers, and killfish. I enjoyed seeing what new enemies the game was going to come up with next every single time. I liked the challenge these villains brought as well. Sometimes, I could easily defeat them in one try, sometimes it took me two or three tries (because I’m not the most strategical thinker lol).
- Settings: There are various settings that I enjoyed. For example, the game saves automatically at any time. You can just quit when you want (there’s no saving option), and when you start the game, you can just continue where you left off. I loved that you didn’t just appear at the last saving point you passed because that might’ve well been the case. Another setting I enjoyed was the difficulty. When you continue a game, you can still switch between difficulties (easy, normal, hard). There is no need to start again or start a different save. As you can tell, it’s the little things I enjoyed here.
- The map: This was such a helpful tool! There’s so much ground to cover, I would have been lost without the map. It shows everything you need, like vendors, chests, caves, dungeons, and so on. You can quickly move around the map by using one of the many saving points, that look like snake statues. Honestly, so much time was saved by using these. Here is a little tip: when you have a key or stone that opens something, open the map, and the entrance/bridge you’re looking for will be blinking. There’s no need to wander around and search the map for hours! The map also came in handy when I wasn’t sure where to go, and by looking at it in detail, I could sometimes figure out where a secret path was hidden. The graphics are fine, but the map is quite pixelated and blurry, by the way. I didn’t mind since it was still more than clear enough to work with (because the icons used on it are very obvious) but keep this in mind.
- Combat: Combat is very straightforward but requires some thinking. You fight with three heroes of your choice. Each hero has basic moves and three special abilities, which have to charge before you can use them. For example, I love using Selena, a witch, because her moves are so much fun. One of them is turning your opponents into harmless frogs! As you level up, you’ll be able to upgrade your character’s health, attack and abilities strength, as well as shorten the recharge time needed for them. Besides attacking, you can also go for a defensive move, or move your hero across the battlefield. Of course, you can also heal them by eating/drinking or use potions or scrolls to help you (like reducing harm). Now, for the lesser parts when it comes to combat. When you control your heroes, the game pauses whenever you make a new move. This I enjoy, but when an enemy dies, the combat goes on hold again, and you have to select a new enemy. This seems like it just takes longer than it should. Just attack a random enemy, or one nearby or anything. I’ll switch if I want to, but don’t make me lose more time, please.
- Vendors: The game offers various vendors, some sell potions, other sell food, and there’s also one old guy that buys all the gems you find. These NPCs proved to be very useful and I ended up visiting them a lot. Unfortunately, I always made quite the purchase, for example, I wanted 6 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of wine, and 10 pieces of cheese. Guess what? I had to purchase each of these, one by one. So, that means selecting a bottle of wine, clicking the check, and then select the bottle again, click the check, and so on. There is no option to select multiple bottles of wine at once. This annoyed me a little because it felt like I was wasting too much time with the vendors.
What we disliked
- No voice-acting: There are various heroes to play with, as well as NPCs and enemies that you encounter. The biggest part of the game is combat and walking around, but the times I had conversations, I was still tempted to quickly click through them and not read anything. Voice-acting would be such a bonus here! I would love to hear, especially, the different voices of the heroes I gathered. I get that hiring 28 voice-actors (and that’s only the heroes) might be a cost that is too big to carry, but I still wanted to add this here since I really imagine this could be a big plus for Battle Hunters. To elaborate here: there’s barely any music in the game at all, so you might as well put on your own music.
I wish I could describe Battle Hunters in detail even more, but I think that only playing will give you the full picture. Battle Hunters is a beautiful game that offers fun gameplay. It keeps pulling you back into the game because of the constant introduction of new enemies and heroes. The combat is simple yet strategic thinking is essential, and I would’ve put it in the ‘liked’ section if not for the loss of time you experience. I hope the developers do something about the buying system because that just feels like a lot more work than it should be. I didn’t know the price when playing this game, but seeing as its around 12 Euros, I can definitely recommend Battle Hunters.