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Heroes Of Ruin review - an excellent dungeon crawler

We find the world of Ruin a whole lot less shabby than its name suggests

Games like this have us vibrating with excitement from the moment we glimpse the first bullet points of info. Heroes Of Ruin is an action-oriented dungeon crawler, with local and online four player co-op. Squeeze that formula onto a handheld and suddenly you've got something that's potentially magic.

Role-playing games that have an addictive loot-loop are hard to put down once you find yourself hooked: when you're blessed with a portable version, it's rare that you'll have to.

Even though the formula seemed like a no-brainer, we're also very thankful that they haven't chuffed it up. Heroes Of Ruin is lacking in flair, but still ticks all the boxes we wanted it to. The characters are all varied and fun, collecting loot feels suitably compulsive, the combat feels immediately punchy and the quests and story aren't entirely awful, to boot.

If you've been holding out for a chunky dose of hack 'n' slash jollies, you're in for hours of mindless fun. Add friends and/or an internet connection and things verge on the fantastic.

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Very Classy

There are four different classes to play as, with a decent amount of customisation for each. Once you've decided to opt for a bright blue skin and a light pink mohican, it's time to start thinking about your abilities. You get a new skill point for every level and each class has three skill trees to pick and choose from.

Level requirements for unlocking new skills mean you'll tend to end up dipping into all three, rather than investing everything in one, but the same can't be said for spending stat points. When faced with the choice of spending new points to get Might, Vigor, or Soul, we never found any incentive not to opt for the one that boosts attack damage.

Even before you start unlocking stuff, though, each character's basic combat skills are satisfying. The Vindicator relies on classic sword-swinging and can quickly charge and smash into any foes foolish enough to cross his path. He's the best guy for soaking up damage, while the Savage tends to focus on dealing it.

A giant, beardy hulk of a thing, the latter more than lives up to his ominous name, smashing foes in the face for massive damage and dragging them towards him with a hookshot attack.

The Alchitect, meanwhile, combines long-range magic with blade-staff melee, but our favourite remains the nippy Gunslinger. Twin pistols hold foes back from a distance and the blades attached to the barrel of each enable him to switch to a close combat moves when enemies grow sufficiently near.

He also starts off with a nifty spread-shot attack that looks rather like something that you might see Neo laying down in The Matrix. Each character also has a different type of charge attack that you'll need to use regularly in order to break the guards of blocking enemies.

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The face buttons trigger attacks and mapped skills, while the right shoulder button is mapped to both block and dodge, depending on whether or not you're moving.

The left shoulder button is used for interacting with stuff and picking up loot, which you're likely to spend quite a lot of time doing. You'll still get a kick out of finding shiny treasure, but there isn't a huge degree of tactical choice here. Some gear is buffed with elemental treats, but these always feel like the cherry on top, rather than a meaningful aspect of the cake.

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17 comments so far...
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  1. Aboyandhissequel Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 11:09

    Why the Muramasa screenie at the bottom?

  2. JackKuchiki Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 11:14

    What's up with the Muramasa screenshot at the end there?

  3. lminett Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 11:32

    I've been playing the demo of this, its quite difficult but i think this is something i do want to pick up. A lot of fun

  4. toffeeman30 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 12:06

    come on camelot and make a new golden sun. this is another average game.

  5. DFawkes Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 13:17

    come on camelot and make a new golden sun. this is another average game.

    What has this got to do with Camelot? It hasn't been developed by Camelot, Heroes of Ruin was developed by nSpace. Don't get me wrong, now Camelot have finished work on Mario Open Tennis I echo your sentiment for a new Golden Sun game, but this isn't really the best comments thread to voice it :wink:

    Nice review though, think I'll probably pick this up today if I can find it in the shops (which isn't guaranteed given the quality of shops in my area). I do love a nice bit of dungeon crawling, even single-player. It's great that it's online too :)

  6. ledreppe Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 14:19

    The reviewer said they didn't know why you would sell items at a shop when you can quick sell them using the d-pad, the reason would be is that you get less gold for quick selling. My copy didn't arrive today, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to start playing this. :x

  7. imc79 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 14:45

    Got this in the post this morning and have played it for a few hours. It's an excellent dungeon crawler in the vein of Torchlight. I'm waiting until I level up a few more times before I try the online options.

  8. 3ds234 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 16:37

    I think i'll get within the next week and anyone know how long it takes to clear it and the quality of the voice chat? :D

  9. liveswired Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 21:10

    meh - paid for review? I played the demo and it is TRASH - right from the menus to the gameplay to the graphics to the animations. Typical shovelware as expected from N Space.

  10. mercury9 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 22:05

    meh - paid for review? I played the demo and it is TRASH - right from the menus to the gameplay to the graphics to the animations. Typical shovelware as expected from N Space.

    It's far from shovelware :shock:

    A well fleshed out single adventure, thousands of weapons and items, daily content, local and online mutliplayer for upto 4 players and voice chat doesn't seem like shovelware to me. :roll:

  11. LOZ_01 Friday 15th Jun 2012 at 23:36

    So getting this!! Loved the demo, played it to death. Can't wait to go online with people on my friends list. One of the best games out Atm I think. :D :D

  12. conn1496 Saturday 16th Jun 2012 at 02:40

    I ran the demo for this game drier than world 2 of Super Mario Bros. 3. It's a great dungeon crawler for a handheld, and amazingly fun to play with others. Despite the online play being somewhat annoying with people you don't know, playing this with friends is rewarding and great to the last second. I highly suggest picking up a copy before I buy all of them and throw them from the rooftops so that everyone can have this game :mrgreen:. If you can't afford the game I at least urge you to get the demo, it's AWESOME!

  13. Claws Sunday 17th Jun 2012 at 08:00

    The demo was slightly confusing and difficult, but I might pick it up when it goes down in price

  14. Starman64O Sunday 17th Jun 2012 at 11:51

    Playing online with strangers, we can already see this proving to be a problem. There's nothing stopping the people you're playing with from insta-selling every bit of gear they find before you've even had a chance to look at it. Gold and quest rewards are shared automatically, but everything else is a very much a free-for-all. If you find that you are easily infuriated by rank idiocy, we would recommend just playing with friends. for the sake of your sanity.

    *nods* after playing the Demo Version, i can see there will be an issue. I'm not aware it is fixed for the Retail version, but the fact if you join a game, the host can quit and the game ends. I hope what equipment and experience you find is saved if you are diconnected, as spending 20 mins gridning up 4 levels and getting soem awesome equipment from Massive Spiders should not be wasted when the host loses connection

  15. Lulz Saturday 23rd Jun 2012 at 13:36

    You can read my own review for this game here

    :) I thought this was a really good game, just a shame it's so short!

  16. trigo Friday 29th Jun 2012 at 17:57

    im not quite shaw about this game it sounds good but im still in two minds

  17. Dark nemisis Monday 2nd Jul 2012 at 08:40

    Why the Muramasa screenie at the bottom?

    Becuase it is an awesome game :twisted:

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