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.
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.
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.