The other two classes - Gunslinger and Alchitect - prefer to stay further back. The Gunslinger likes to sling guns - conveniently - and his skills support his hobby, letting him fire dual pistols before scurrying out of trouble. The Alchitect - a mage, not a drunk architect - can toss spells at foes, holding groups in place and rearranging the battlefield to suit his hopefully sober plans.
To n-Space's credit, each class plays completely differently. The Savage's hook skill yanks enemies closer so they can be ripped to shreds. The Gunslinger can unlock a talent that sees him flip away from danger while chucking a bomb towards it. It's an incentive to start a save file as each class (luckily the cart has space for exactly four - almost like they planned it!), but even more interestingly, it encourages multiplayer cooperation.
The version of the game we were playing unfortunately didn't let us try out the four- player co-op mode, but it's easy to see how the characters' skills overlap, and only a short mental skip to planning combos to stomp through tougher foes. It's easy to spam your way through the game's early dungeons with basic attacks, but a bit of creativity has you linking together chains of high-damage combos - doing this with another player would add to Heroes Of Ruin's value, and take the edge off a trudge through another 50 enemy corpses. We'll put that theory to the test in next month's online review.
After a while, the game's central premise becomes all too clear - you kill stuff for better numbers. But Heroes Of Ruin treads the line between engagement and boredom well: at times you're more aware than in other games that you're hitting goblins for shoes with a higher number on them, but then a bigger goblin appears, and his shoes are amazing.
It might be tempting after a long dungeon slog to head back out into the light, but the promise of better numbers means exploring those depths is both enjoyable and rewarding.
Samey combat can cause biff-fatigue to set in, but the nearly endless loot treadmill coupled with skills that are enjoyable to use make Heroes Of Ruin a dungeon that's fun to run.
- Addictive stat heavy gameplay
- Punchy combat
- Varied classes and abilities
- Can feel like a slog at times