Hero Siege reminds me of a 2d top-down version of Diablo where all you do is fight wave after wave of monsters. It's a pretty enjoyable game with a few weird design decisions and a few annoying bugs here and there. I had a pretty good time with it, so if killing stuff forever to get loot to kill more stuff sounds like something appealing to you, it's probably a safe bet. Not entirely twin-stick shooter and not entirely rogue-like, there's a bit for everyone in HS.

I haven't tried many classes because restarting from the beginning isn't the most fun thing in a game, but I've went with Pirate, then Marksman. Each class has a skill tree and a different type of basic attack - the pirate will shoot two guns in succession, the marksman shoots arrow, for instance - and I wasn't interested by melee classes. That being said, a bit of info on classes before you choose could've been useful, I had to go and look at a FAQ to see what classes did. Then you go with no equipment, at level 1, and you kill things. You press the space bar and waves of monsters spawn into maps, alongside new traps, chests and other oddities. You kill them and after a while a boss spawns, you kill that boss, maybe get a cool relic, rinse, repeat, pretty much forever.

Sometimes you'll find yourself into dungeons where you have 'puzzles' to solve, mostly pushing blocks on tiles and that does little to change the core game loop. Mostly, you'll be killing monsters. I find that the random generation and addition of stuff on the map is too chaotic at times. The level of difficulty can already be high enough without the addition of turrets you can't see (because they're hidden behind a building) or the weird chest or dungeon that spawns outside of the zone you can walk in, sometimes. Besides that, it's mostly chaos. Mashing the 'next wave' key will produce a screen full of monsters with various abilities - mainly reminding me of Diablo (arcane enchantment, electrified, waller, and so forth). And the bosses (especially end of act bosses) are big and take much more damage while still being pattern based, for you to have a chance at them.

I'm not a big fan of the relic system. You find relics randomly, sometimes in crystal chests, sometimes after defeating a boss or a dungeon, and they can sometimes change your character in significant ways, like adding poison to your attacks, or increasing your attack speed, or giving you a rotating familiar that shoots at your enemies, but you lose all your relics when you die. If you manage to get from wave 1 to wave 100 without dying and then lose at wave 101 and lose all of your relics, you can start again at wave 101, but you won't have any of them, weakening you so much that I almost always restarted from very early on in order to 'grind' for relics, which isn't fun. I wish they had lesser effects, but stayed with you. I wish the list of relics you'd unlocked was shown somewhere, and I wish you could see what they did when you opened up the menu.

Besides relics, you get gear, seven slots of various equipment with stat boosts, enchantments of various kinds and other buffs. It's a bit annoying that it doesn't pause the game when you're comparing your equipped gear with something on the ground, also that if you equip something by mistake - all you need to do is press F to examine and then F to equip - your old piece of gear is gone forever. But otherwise, the loot system is a nice addition. There are also gems you find in chests or by killing bosses and also you can buy for gold. These gems allow you to buy minions, change your character name, add a hat, things like that. I never understood what the value of gold was, since you lose it all when you die, but I suppose that changing it into gems is a nice way to use it.

The game is also a bit buggy. I had one crash to desktop - which made me discover it was probably made in Game Maker - but other things, like being unable to shoot in certain maps - that mine one comes to mind - made some parts much more difficult than they should've been. Other weird oddities, like restarting the game after dying and randomly not being at full hp - sometimes restarting one hit away from dying again, strange - or the option menu being different between one instance to another, with sliders you can drag past their logical limits.

But that shouldn't stop you if you enjoy action RPGs and have a few hours to spare on a cool one. The ideas in Hero Siege aren't bad and the execution is fun for a while, but you'll have to accept its few quirks if you want to get the most of it.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories4/5, Action RPG