‘Kings and Heroes’ Review
Typically when an Early Access title comes out with a full release, it seems to be more polished than it was when it was in Early Access. Kings and Heroes does not follow suit to this statement. As a long-time fan of both MMO’s and action RPG’s, this was something that looked great. From what I saw originally, the game looked to be a really nice dungeon crawler with MMO elements to it. What I got at release, was an over-ambitious, epic-sized RPG with a lot of potential.
Right out of the gate you are told to create your character. This is where I can give the game some props, the character creation system was surprisingly in-depth. There are seven races to choose, from the lizard-like Amarian to the traditional Orcs. You are able to change different features on each character, bringing in a solid fantasy aspect. When you are done picking your race, you get to pick from five classes, Cleric, Champion, Rogue, Ranger, or Wizard. After that you get to choose your alignment, this will allow you to customize how your player is, whether it is neutral or chaotic evil. When your character is finished you are immediately dropped into the world and this is where the real fun begins. As far as the story goes, the only thing that I know for sure is that you are dropped into a massive land and need to vanquish the evil, quest by quest.
Kings and Heroes really takes on the classic RPG experience by not holding your hand from the start. You are challenged with exploring the area around you to find your next quest or group. It personally took me about a half hour to find my first quest giver as the map was a little hard to read. My Wizard was equipped with a few spells to start out with including a light I could use in the dark and shooting flames from my hand. For the most part, the abilities are skill based when it comes to targeting, instead of auto-attacking like most modern MMO’s. Some of the animations were very clunky, especially from the enemy AI. I was attacked by a deer whose body flailed like a rag doll to attack me. There was also a problem with level scaling. I was sent on a quest to kill some things in the cemetery and then given a quest to take out a stronger enemy. There was no level label on the quest so when I went to take on this enemy, I was taken out in a single hit because my level wasn’t high enough.
For just coming out of Early Access, the game does look really nice. Playing on the highest graphics on my rig, I was able to pull off some great sequences but I did experience frame rate drops, even upon lowering the quality settings. My character’s clothes also never loaded in with the model, they would always pop up afterwards. The world looks really nice, but is absolutely HUGE in scope. I love giant worlds just as much as the next guy, but, there is just tons of open space in the world. The UI in the game is very barebones as far as flair is concerned. The menus do what they need to do to get the job done without offering much else. Now, I know that this is fresh out of Early Access, so there are certain things to consider while doing this. To brand this game as a full release would be a little absurd. When combating enemies, the hit boxes were a little off. What seemed like getting a direct hit didn’t do any damage to the enemy. On the bright side, the game can be played in either first or third person, much like The Elder Scrolls.
The main draw to the game at the moment is the dungeon crawling. Once you are of level, you can enter dungeons with a group of up to seven other people. The dungeons are the bread and butter of Kings and Heroes and I can see where this feature could bring the game. You enter these dungeons with the intent of taking on the boss at the very end. Dungeons could range up to twenty minutes and I still feel like I accomplished something. As a kicker, the dungeons are randomly generated so you don’t get the same experience every time. The bosses are pretty challenging, especially with as frantic and off-kilter the combat could be at some times. If Industry Games could take this feature, expand on it more and polish the rest of their game, they would have a pretty sweet release on their hands. At best, at the current release, Kings and Heroes is a very strong start for what it could be. I know a couple people that have spent hundreds of hours in this game. This I can understand due to the high fantasy aspect of the game and the 100km size map area. If you could pick this one up on sale, I’d say go for it because with as involved as the developers are, this game has a bright future ahead of it, given they can work out all of the kinks!
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Review statement: The copy of this game was supplied by the developer for the sake of this review.