NYCC ’11 – Joey & Mike were Blown Away by Heroes of Ruin

Is this the perfect excuse to but a 3DS for RPG lovers?

Joey Davidson & Mike Whiteby Joey Davidson & Mike White

Heroes of Ruin

How about a new, multiplayer RPG for the Nintendo 3DS? Interested? We were. Joey and Mike, here, and we sat down with Heroes of Ruin for the 3DS for a full dungeon. We battled fishy hordes, took on a Leviathan and blew into the face of a mighty conch.

We did so separately, helming our own characters.

This one came out of no-where for us. We walked up to Square Enix's booth in between appointments and looking to kill time. What we found was an incredible distraction from the convention grind. This game got Mike amped to actually run out and buy a 3DS, and it found Joey smiling over the fact that he already has one.

But, why?

Heroes of Ruin offers up four playable classes though only two were available for us to try out in this demo. Each class has three skill trees to unlock, allowing for a bit of customization for your gameplay. As far as the single player campaign is concerned n-Space promised 10 hours of gameplay per character.

Four player online co-op is available for both local and broadband connections. Voice chat will be included for players as they work through random generated dungeons. Heroes of Ruin will also include daily DLC content. That's right, daily. ___ hopes to release Heroes of Ruin sometime in 2012. Gunslinger class.

Heroes of Ruin

Joey Davidson: I had the opportunity to run with the Paladin-esque class. The lion-looking race let me pick my mane color, my skin type and my base costume. I was wielding a massive, two-handed sword.

Essentially, I spent the duration of the level hacking and slashing my way through the enemies throughout. My low-level character hadn't unlocked much at all in his three branch skill tree, so my only moves were a sword swing, a block breaking blow and a stunning shot. As such, I was pretty much relegating to stomping the shit out of those around me with brute force.

There were moments when my campaign towards the Leviathan felt more challenging than others; say, for instance, when a baddie set off a poison bomb near my location. I had to dodge through my foes and take up a new position in order to survive.

This was, pure and simple, a solo run with a tank type character. Had I been with a group of friends, making use of voice chat and rocking some more exciting powers, this play-through may have left me stunned. As it was, call it a hack & slash adventure.

I loved the intuitive, quick control scheme presented on the 3DS. Pressing left on the d-pad healed right, pressing up automatically equipped your best loot, tapping L over something on the ground had you pick it up; it felt nice, easy and well-made for RPG gaming on the go.

However, the presentation in 3D felt like too much. The screen is packed with information at any time: you'll see your health, your experience, your enemy's name, his health, his level, your level and all of the actual gameplay stuff in the environment.

For me, the thought of a great, on-the-go, constantly multiplayer RPG with random dungeons, daily DLC and roughly 40 hours of total gameplay is a great one. Heroes of Ruin owns a spot on my map of upcoming releases.

Heroes of Ruin

Mike White: I picked up the Gunslinger to try out their ranged damage dealer class. After a quick character customization mode, we were tossed into a simple map with a quest to find the Leviathan.

The circle controller for the 3DS makes maneuvering through the zone fluid and comfortable. For the Gunslinger class' basic attack, you fire both guns in the direction you're facing, auto-targetting enemies that are in range.

If a mob gets too close your character, your basic attack switches from pistol fire to melee strikes. This obviously isn't as effective at bringing down your attacker and makes your character much more vulnerable. A simple tap of the right bumper sends your character into the action RPG tuck n' roll.

This actually takes a little practice and finesse to use efficiently. When you dodge away, you're no longer facing the enemy. Swinging back around takes a second or two before you can open fire again. As you level up, you unlock abilities to snare targets from range which will help you in burning down mobs before they can close the gap.

With the size of the top screen, you actually end up kiting mobs to the point of them being just off-screen. This is another problem for enemies who have projectile attacks. By the time I saw the animation reaching my character, I was often in the middle of my ranged attack. This left me unable to react fast enough to block the incoming damage.

Health and energy potions drop frequently, allowing me to solo without too much downtime. I feel like this class would do very well in group situations where positioning would be less of a chore. I actually enjoyed the fact that I had to work to clear through the map instead of just button mashing, a pleasant surprise for this type of game.

I'll be paying attention to this game as its eventual release date nears.